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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777
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JEW V. JEW

Upper West Siders Forget to Think Jewish

“I am surprised those Zionists are not outside protesting,” says one woman.


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Even if it is, Dror Moreh focuses only on Israel’s failed perfection, questionable morality. His focus is tight and narrow. If Israel is not “perfect” then it does not deserve to survive is the unspoken morality here. He has Shin Bet directors describing Israel’s actions as “cruel,” German-like, the government as “winning the battles but losing the war,” and as worse, much worse. This filmmaker still fervently believes in the Oslo Accords. He does not seem to understand how much Arafat was offered and what he refused, that instead, he launched the Second Intifada.

Moreh does not tell us—not even once—that the Palestinians, (really, the Arabs who were once Egyptians, Syrians, and Jordanians and who historically never thought of themselves as “Palestinians”), kept refusing to become a state, insisting all the while that their goal was to exterminate the Jewish entity in the otherwise entirely judenrein Arab Middle East.

Almost in passing, Moreh does give us this one chilling admission. A Palestinian counterpart to one of the Shin Bet heads is quoted as having said: “To us, victory means you suffering.” And after fifty years when the suffering has balanced out—when your F-16s are equal to our suicide killers then…..”the speaker goes no further.

Moreh only used a very small percentage of the time he spent with Shalom, Diskin, Peri, Gillon, and two other Shin Bet directors. Some directors feel, (this is their words), that they were hung out to dry, stopped from doing their job (by the politicians), blamed, not thanked–but even this is hard to be conclusive about because we don’t know what else they said and what the context was for the quotes Moreh chose to use. The film is well made, tense, dramatic, with faked (“Pallywood” style) recreations and real black and white footage. Of course, the film reviews are adoring and filled with admiration. The film has been nominated for an Academy award. What courage Moreh has demonstrated! But not really: He represents a very trendy point of view, both on the upper west side and in Tel Aviv. This is the kind of film the French (who sheltered Arafat in so many ways) sponsored. This film confirms the European view that Israel is evil, wrong, engages in ethnic cleansing and apartheid. And yet, an Israeli filmmaker could make such a film and Shin Bet directors could talk to him, perhaps saying things they should not have said. No one is in jail. No one has been assassinated.

I am waiting for a Palestinian filmmaker to make a comparable film, one that exposes the Muslim-on-Muslim violence, corruption and culture of torture; one that exposes the Muslim-on-Christian violence that has sent Arab Christians running to Jewish Israel for cover; one that exposes the handler’s ruthless manipulation of a psychologically vulnerable suicide killer-to-be; one that exposes the Arab League decision not to allow a single Palestinian to become a citizen in any Arab country but instead, to rot in villas, palaces, and “refugee camps,” infernal, eternal fodder against the Jewish presence in the Middle East.

People were relatively quiet as they filed out of the movie theatre. It was as if they had just had a religious experience; their every prejudice confirmed somehow elevated them. To the extent to which this film is accurate I salute it. To the extent to which it is false, defamatory, biased, exaggerated — I consider it suicidal and traitorous.

Afterword: I have just read the excellent piece by Rick Richman in the New York Sun which was just posted online. In his review of this film, Richman points out that four of these same former Shin Bet directors were the men who had previously gone on record castigating Sharon’s “settlement” policy. Sharon caved and pulled out of Gaza, which resulted in Hamastan right next door.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler

About the Author: Dr. Phyllis Chesler is a professor emerita of psychology, a Middle East Forum fellow, and the author of sixteen books including “The New Anti-Semitism” (2003, 2014), “Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews, 2003-2015 (2015), and “An American Bride in Kabul” (2013), for which she won the National Jewish Book Award in the category of memoirs. Her articles are archived at www.phyllis-chesler.com. A version of this piece appeared on IsraelNationalNews.com.


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Imported and Older Comments:

  1. JudithGrayson916 says:

    these upper west siders really don’t get that when they say Israel, they mean Jews. when they say Jews, it means them. the first ones in the ovens.

  2. steveSpivack says:

    We are superior. It is us who send our sons and daughters to make aliya and fight for Israel. It is us who think about both our countries America and Israel and live with our heads out of the sand. We are not all liberals but concerned people who live in the 21st century and don’t find it necessary to wear clothes that the Gentiles wore hundreds of years ago. And it is we who are not abusing the govrnments grnerasity by abusing it. I am sick of seeing all these Brooklyn women in their very expensive sheitels and fur coats paying for groceries with food stamps. Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house!

  3. these upper west siders really don't get that when they say Israel, they mean Jews. when they say Jews, it means them. the first ones in the ovens.

  4. these upper west siders really don't get that when they say Israel, they mean Jews. when they say Jews, it means them. the first ones in the ovens.

  5. DiannVail says:

    It’s shocking that people of intelligence can ignore the historical facts. I think we should all begin to condemn the occupation – that of Non-Jews occupying Judea and Samaria. Turn this phrase around and get people thinking about truth.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We are superior. It is us who send our sons and daughters to make aliya and fight for Israel. It is us who think about both our countries America and Israel and live with our heads out of the sand. We are not all liberals but concerned people who live in the 21st century and don't find it necessary to wear clothes that the Gentiles wore hundreds of years ago. And it is we who are not abusing the govrnments grnerasity by abusing it. I am sick of seeing all these Brooklyn women in their very expensive sheitels and fur coats paying for groceries with food stamps. Don't throw stones if you live in a glass house!

  7. Diann Vail says:

    It's shocking that people of intelligence can ignore the historical facts. I think we should all begin to condemn the occupation – that of Non-Jews occupying Judea and Samaria. Turn this phrase around and get people thinking about truth.

  8. FiammaNirenstein says:

    Almost all the delegitimization of Israel comes from Israel itself, the jews hater quote Ha’aretz and shin bet chiefs, Tzipi Livni and OLmert like undisputable sources of absolute truth.

  9. Almost all the delegitimization of Israel comes from Israel itself, the jews hater quote Ha'aretz and shin bet chiefs, Tzipi Livni and OLmert like undisputable sources of absolute truth.

  10. Almost all the delegitimization of Israel comes from Israel itself, the jews hater quote Ha'aretz and shin bet chiefs, Tzipi Livni and OLmert like undisputable sources of absolute truth.

  11. JeanPierreKatz104 says:

    The phenomenon of which this article speaks to is very complex and I think a book could be written about it.

    Many issues are raised here. Why are American Jews comfortable here. What are the expectations of the world about Jews. Why are they held to a higher standard?
    Is it because Judaism promotes an idea that humanity will get better through Judaism?

    I agree with much of this article that the movie is primarily one sided and therefore.
    a propagandistic half truth.

    But it is also important not to de-humanize your enemy.

    Israeli self-defense is absolutely necessary but not all Palestinians are terrorists or evil, sometimes they are just in the way of a needed military strike, and sometimes they are the innocent victims.

  12. The phenomenon of which this article speaks to is very complex and I think a book could be written about it.

    Many issues are raised here. Why are American Jews comfortable here. What are the expectations of the world about Jews. Why are they held to a higher standard?
    Is it because Judaism promotes an idea that humanity will get better through Judaism?

    I agree with much of this article that the movie is primarily one sided and therefore.
    a propagandistic half truth.

    But it is also important not to de-humanize your enemy.

    Israeli self-defense is absolutely necessary but not all Palestinians are terrorists or evil, sometimes they are just in the way of a needed military strike, and sometimes they are the innocent victims.

  13. SarahRoche-Mahdi says:

    How sad to remember how helpful Chesler’s 1972 book was to women of my generation, and to see the madness revealed in writings such as this review. And one would think she might be able to spell “Ostjuden.”

  14. How sad to remember how helpful Chesler's 1972 book was to women of my generation, and to see the madness revealed in writings such as this review. And one would think she might be able to spell "Ostjuden."

  15. How sad to remember how helpful Chesler's 1972 book was to women of my generation, and to see the madness revealed in writings such as this review. And one would think she might be able to spell "Ostjuden."

  16. How sad to remember how helpful Chesler's 1972 book was to women of my generation, and to see the madness revealed in writings such as this review. And one would think she might be able to spell "Ostjuden."


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