Globe win for suicide bomber film

Palestinian film-maker Hany Abu-Assad was perhaps the most surprised man at the Golden Globes on Monday as his drama of suicide bombers crossing into Israel, “Paradise Now,” was named the year’s best foreign language film.

Not surprisingly, no one expects any bookings for the film in Israel

I googled for reviews and considering I am not heavy into alternative movies the first one I looked at will suffice. IMDb provide a generally positive review on the film but I think the reviewers rose coloured spectacles has some sympathy for the Palestinian cause.

I guess if you review films for a living or hobby and seldom touch the real world, like actors, you will have some bias. On the face of it, one might have some sympathy for the Palestinians.

I don’t.

The general subject is one which has become a focus of world attention in the last few years, particularly since 9/11: young Muslims suicide bombers who destroy themselves and others around them based on their warped interpretation of passages in the Koran which guarantee entry to paradise for martyrs who die in the defense of Islam. While many viewers may wonder whether a religion that involves terror, murder, misogyny and repression deserves to be defended, for Palestians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip the issues have a more secular basis. They see Isreal as the occupier of their land and an oppressor which treats them unjustly.

Reasons for the sense of injustice are both given in the dialogue as well as shown: third world conditions in the Palestian area where even water needs filtering contrasts with the glitzy tall buildings in Tel Aviv where beautiful girls in bikinis walk along the beachfront promenade. However, the viewer isn’t preached to, the issues get presented and contemplated thoroughly. The two recruits in the film are equipped with plastic explosives around their waists under suits and get to cross the Isreali border but things don’t go as planned. They both grapple with the ethical, moral and religious implications of what they are doing and change their minds more than once. Finally one of the two seems to have decided that even if, as his female friend tells him, there is no paradise, he is dead anyway and may as well extract revenge on the Isrealis. There is plenty of tension from the start to the finish and the script, directing, acting and cinematography are all superb. I rarely give scores of 10/10 but there is nothing I can fault about this.

One attempt at rationalization of their suicide;

….third world conditions in the Palestian area where even water needs filtering contrasts with the glitzy tall buildings in Tel Aviv where beautiful girls in bikinis walk along the beachfront promenade.

And for that we blow ourselves up. Could I suggest a better path to paradise; ignore the local Hamas and Mulah advocates, seek some education, get rid of your victim mentality and do something with your life. Maybe, after you became acceptable to civilized society, you might be able to go over and chat up the Israeli bikini clad girls.

I note they see Israel as the occupier of their land and an oppressor that treats them unjustly. Given that if the Palestinians, Syrians, Iranians and a few other were disarmed the Middle East would be a little more peaceful. Unfortunately it is also a given that if Israel alone was disarmed she would cease to exist.

One says oppressed, the other; defending my right to exist.

I wonder if this viewpoint was presented in the film.

If you listen to the Arabs; from Palestine east to Iran, it’s all about Israel and/or the US support of Israel.

In VIEW OF THE ARAB WORLD BY AN ARAB by Haim Harari, he says;

Yes, there is a 100 year-old Israeli-Arab conflict, but it is not where the main show is.■ The millions who died in the Iran-Iraq war had nothing to do with Israel.

■ The mass murder happening right now in Sudan, where the Arab Moslem regime
is massacring its black Christian citizens, has nothing to do with Israel.

■ The frequent reports from Algeria about the murders of hundreds of civilian in
one village or another by other Algerians have nothing to do with Israel.

■ Saddam Hussein did not invade Kuwait, endangered Saudi Arabia and butchered
his own people because of Israel.

■ Egypt did not use poison gas against Yemen in the 60’s because of Israel.

■ Assad the Father did not kill tens of thousands of his own citizens in one week in
El Hamma in Syria because of Israel.

■ The Taliban control of Afghanistan and the civil war there had nothing to do with
Israel.

■ The Libyan blowing up of the Pan-Am flight had nothing to do with Israel, and I
could go on and on and on.

The root of the trouble is that this entire Moslem region is totally dysfunctional, by any standard of the word, and would have been so even if Israel had joined the Arab league and an independent Palestine had existed for 100 years.

The 22 member countries of the Arab league, from Mauritania to the Gulf States, have a total population of 300 millions, larger than the US and almost as large as the EU before its expansion.

They have a land area larger than either the US or all of Europe. These 22 countries, with all their oil and natural resources, have a combined GDP smaller than that of Netherlands plus Belgium and equal to half of the GDP of California alone.

Within this meager GDP, the gaps between rich and poor are beyond belief and too many of the rich made their money not by succeeding in business, but by being corrupt rulers.

We don’t need to ‘understand’ the suicide bomber anymore than we need to understand any other weapon of war. We need to understand the societies that produces them…and we do.

They are, simply put, disfunctional and Israel is only a part of their problem.

I wont go and see the movie should it be released in Australia. It will not teach me anything I don’t know already and, I suspect, will only reinforce my opinion that Hollywood has lost some balance.

28 comments

  • I wont go and see the movie should it be released in Australia. It will not teach me anything I don’t know already…..

    I will ignore the opposing view….

    I will continue to adhere to the beliefs I already have….

    One could almost be Moslem with those attitudes…

    …Could I suggest a better path to paradise; ignore the local Hamas and Mulah advocates, seek some education…

    Perhaps the opportunities for education aren’t as available as you might suggest…. not that I know…. but I will not pass judgement on the conditions of their existence from half way around the world….

    I will seek to understand…. I will form my opinions once I have both sides to the story…. I will remove my blinkers….

    And I will acknowledge that if I am not seeking to identify a solution which is satisfactory to the silent majority of both sides (rather than the vocal minority extremists), then I am contributing to the unsatisfactory status quo

  • The beliefs I already have have been formed over a many years of reading, studying languages and cultures, living in foreign lands and getting to know the people. I don’t have to be currently living in a land to have an opinion.

    I have identified a solution and it involves education as we know it. All my writings reflect that point.

    You are right. the chances for education is lacking and that is one of the benefits of democracy that the Anglosphere and Iraqi’s are bringing into existance as we write.

    I will ignore the opposing view

    I’m not ignoring it. I have studied it and found it based on ignorance and religious propaganda and don’t throw back Christian propaganda at me. The Christians (at least the Catholics) have alter boys; The muslims have suicide bombers.

    And answer this if you can, Barry. If we agree that education could be a key, how would you suggest it should happen.

  • For a start, education is more likely to prosper in a functional society…. as indicated, those in Gaza do not even have access to clean water… I’d imagine that if I lived in a s**thole with sub standard hygine while observing those across the border living in opulance, I’d expect I might get a little angry…. if I had no opportunity to get a job and participate in capitalism to build my wealth and saw no hope or future for myself, then what would be lost by killing myself for the sake of others in a similar situation…. If I saw the negligable value which is placed upon my life by my oppressors, then I might be a wee bit inclined to think that my life will only be of value in maryterdom….

  • With all the riches of the Arab world, particularly Saudi Arabia, the Palestinians could be living in relative comfort. The fact that they are not is a direct consequence of how useful, politically, this situation is for other Arab countries. Plenty of money for suicide bombers though.

  • PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES FROM THE BIBLE AS IT HAS IMPLICATIONS ON THE WAR AGAINST TERROR/ISLAM and the claim of Israel that god gave them the land. If the child is an infant than the Judeo-Christian version becomes null and void and we are wasting our time and resources i.e. we could save trillions of dollars and create a more peaceful world rather than fighting against Islam the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

    For background info on the future religion of mankind see the following websites:

    MUHAMMAD IN THE BIBLE
    Quran and Science
    Hurunyahya
    Barnabas
    Answering Christianity
    Islamic City, and
    Islamonline

    Bruce, I’ve had to edit your comments. Too long…..try something short and pithy as I don’t wish to subject my readers to a long sermon. I have left your links for those interested but please note that if you wish to comment in future, use a real email address.

    Kev

  • Sorry for trespassing on your site I think I will annex it just like the west bank.

    No you wont.

    Gee, I just love this moderation facilty. For other readers info Bruce posted a seven page, 3200 word comment.

    Again…….short and pithy Bruce.

    Kev

  • Are you suggesting Saudi Arabia has an obligation to give money to other countries ? So I guess we have an obligation to had out our mineral wealth to poor countries too…. I bet the poor Pacific Island countries cant wait to get their hands on the Pilbra !

    I expect Saudi Arabia does provide allot of aid to Palestine…. that fact is that as an independant country, it should be allowed to function as one if society is to prosper

  • Good on ya Kev – maintain your ignorance

  • It’s not ignorance! Ignorance is not informed.

    I am dry reaching at the thought of you people, possibly Australians, sympathising with suicide bombers.

    and Barry, Palestine is not a country.

    AND for your information we do hand out plenty of freebees to the pacific islands

  • I know how to stop suicide bombers, give the palestinians all the same weapons that the Isralies have and let them at it.

  • I know how to stop suicide bombers, give the palestinians all the same weapons that the Isralies have and let them at it.

    Ha ha ! ! Good thinking 99 ! !

  • Barry, the reason the Palestinians don’t have clean water etc is nothing to do with the Israelis. All the money that could have built and funded all the water, sewerage, hospitals and schools that the Palestinians could possibly want was spent instead on semtex and Swiss Bank accounts for Arafat and his cronies.

  • It is good thinking 99 but I have been reluctant to state it. Of course what would happen if Palestine had the same equipment as Israel is they would be enboldened to attack. Palestine would then cease to exist after, at the most, seven days.

  • that is because the yanks would come in and bomb the crap out of them.

  • Eddie, Not at all. Read some history on the subject. The US sells them munitions but Israel fights her own battles.

  • Barry, The poor Pacific nations virtually exist on the largesse of Australia now.

    I fail to understand how you can argue in support of suicide bombers. It’s a lose-lose for both parties.

  • It is good thinking 99 but I have been reluctant to state it. Of course what would happen if Palestine had the same equipment as Israel is they would be enboldened to attack. Palestine would then cease to exist after, at the most, seven days.

    Dunno Kev – If they each had exactly the same arms, I’m guessing it’d be an interesting battle… I wouldn’t have thought you’d get Israeli’s prepared to be suicide bombers to the same extent at the Palestinians….

    Throw Iran into the equation and that would really be fun to watch !

  • I fail to understand how you can argue in support of suicide bombers. It’s a lose-lose for both parties

    Not supporting them….. just trying to understand them Kev…. Isn’t this how the whole discussion started ??

  • #17 …interesting battle
    Not likely.

    One…read some history – it doesn’t back up your theory

    Two…Just look at the two societies…totally different…first world….third world.

    #18 OK, Not supporting them….I reiterate my original point;
    We don’t need to ‘understand’ the suicide bomber anymore than we need to understand any other weapon of war. We need to understand the societies that produces them…and we do.

    Throw Iran into the equation.
    What do you think Israel is doing while the world talks about Iran going nuclear and taking out Israel? There not trying to understand anyone I can assure you. As we speak they have a squadron in training to take out Irans nuclear ambitions. If Iran postulates much more her scientist will all be vision impaired by afterburner glare.

  • Kev, you must be a patient man, comment page of comment page filled with non-stop tripe from the usual IQ challenged brigade is an exercise in enduring the tedious which would exceed my patience.

  • Dear Kev,

    Why is it wrong for Iran to have nuclear research when Israel denies that it has nuclear weapons. Do you believe them Kev when they say that they don’t.

    Why turn a blind eye to their illegal activity.

    Once more double standards and hypocrisy.

    I don’t think that Israel has the moral high ground when it oppresses the Palestininas.

    Why do you think that want to blow themselve up and Israelis with them. They can’t fight a conventional war against Israel with its weaponry and support from the US.

    Don’t just think of them as blind fanatics.

    Try and understand them and this might help fight the war against terror and the spread of the fanatics.

    I thought your background was in military intelligence. I thought that they taught you to understand the enemy and get into their minds so that they could be fought. Perhaps those lessons have been lost since the days of Vietnam. Then again Kev it was not a war that was a “winner”.

  • Israel isn’t signatory to any none proliferation treaty so its not illegal.

    The reason for it to have them is to offset the numeric advantage of its enemies. And it’s worked. No attempts to wipe it of the map since.

  • Wrong, wrong, wrong, petey. Vietnam War was won militarily, the war lost was the propaganda war in the West.

    The communist were thoroughly defeated. The majority of their forces had been smahed by the end. Next, the U.S.S.R. financed Ho Chi Minh’s Army up until th e 70’s. The Soviet regime could not maintain that and stopped funding it, the reaon is real enough, war requires market driven production for war is consumption. The U.S.S.R econically a smokinmg stinking heap, despite leftoid propaganda asserting otherwise.

    China was the major source for war supplies. The carpet bombing did work. The Ho Chi Minh trial at first was a river for equipment and ordnance, purchased by the Coomies in Hanoi from Peking using the funds supplied by the U.S.S.R. By before USSR stopped funds, the bombing of the trail had reduced supply of materials to a useless trickle.
    So, let’s see, the North’s fighting forces destroyed
    Funds to continue paying for the war non existent
    Supply of war materials cut off.

    Yup, Petey, that was a comprehensive victory over the north vietnamese commie bastards. Only the proganda in the U.S. and Oz was lost and, thus, in perspecitve, what a disgusting shocking betrayal of all involved including the Vietnamese thus handed over to Stalinist masd murdering butchers.

    Yup, petey, your grasp of warfare and victory is zip of zip.It was won where it counted, Petey boy on the battle field by the allies through overwhelming miltiary and economic superiority simple as that Petey Boy..

  • Dear D,

    How was the war won when the Yanks withdrew and the South was overthrown.

    I must have missed the footage of the victory parade you are talking about.
    disaster.

    Did you march in it?

  • D I think you are mistake. First there were no winners in Vietnam War. But Northerners marched into Sai Gon in 1975 and took over everything. Everyone lose homes, jobs and business and still do. South did not win. America did not win – ofcourse. But Vietnam did not win also – many reason. Also war is not consumption. I think you talk about consumption theory – it a perspective

  • I want say more to D. Ok communista win victory for sure. But story not about communista. That is american, australian story. I not know why that is. Your problem I think. Vietnam story about china, france, japan and america too. you must peace with your country i think.

  • The point made is surely clear enough, Peter wrote,

    `I thought your background was in military intelligence. I thought that they taught you to understand the enemy and get into their minds so that they could be fought. Perhaps those lessons have been lost since the days of Vietnam. Then again Kev it was not a war that was a “winner?. ‘

    He is plainly wrong. Yes, the war was lost to the communists, but it wasn’t lost on the battlefield.

    Huy, war requires the acquisition of goods which are expended and that is, by definition, consumption. The point is plain enough, I was lifting out the economic dimension of war. It shows up in, for example, why the entry of the U.S. into WW1 was critical. It was not simply that the U.S. supplied fresh forces to strengthen the Allies’ position, but, the U.S. brought its economic strength, an engine of production, still not sapped by the demands of a war on that scale. The economic drain on the Germans, due to the command consumption entailed in maintaing forces and war on such a scale, by contrast, was a crucual factor in the defeat of Germany – as in economically they collapsed under the burdens.

    Now, as I pointed out, that was crucial to the ovewrwhelming defeat of the communist forces on the battlefield, as the mention of Russia and the cutting off of supply of materials – the shut-down of the ho Chi Minh trail.

    Next: No winners… no losers. Well, the Vietnamese were the losers, as, on the withdrawal of the Allies, they faced life under a pack of mass murdering butchers, and the deprivations and worse suffered.

    Yes, the background to the war is complicated. Britain, for example, should not have agreed to France resuming control of Vietnam at the end of WWII. Ho Chi Minh and his cronies used the desire for independence and liberty and thus the resentment of the French in order to pursue their real aims, the establsihment of a communist regime.

    There-in is what the war devolved to, and it cannot be detached from what the cold war was about. The `Domino theory’ was mocked in the west by the left, as they also ridiculed concentrated hot and cold war by the major commuinist regimes in order to subjugate other countries. Certainly , the communist regimes were not a monolith, bu they were allied in certainly this respect, supporting communist insurgency and, in the case of the Vietnam war, supplying the North.

    Devolved into, it did reduce to a fight for freedom, freedom for the Vietnamese.

    I did not say, Victory soley rests on the capicty to wage war and the economic capacity to conduct war. As I said, the war was lost, but on the domestic front, by the propaganda war. Things like conscription did not help, to the contrary, consription fuelled the propaganda war and the `protest movement’ recieved momentum from that, shown up in: when conscription was ended the numbers involved in the `protest movement’ collapsed.

    So,Huy, I wasn’t trying to simplify, I was just observing Peter is mistaken.

    ` it was not a war that was a “winner?. ‘ is wrong on the score of what the allies actually acheived, overwhelming defeat of the communist forces on the battlefield. Secondly, that statement is dubious as best, a particular affirmative resting on determination, which has no place, for example, in the study of history. Even distinguished scholars are prone to the grammatical mistake of saying,for example, `it was invevitable’. Nothing is inevitable. The conclusion to a war is not inevitbale, as the end to the Vietnam war showed.

    So, basically, that was what I picked up on.

  • hmmn: determinism – to say something was inevtiable, is sloppy reasoning. which confuses, as in history, what has occurred is certain, it can’t happen again.The teleological mistake, therefore, is a confusion which can be summed up as substituting hindsight, wise after the fact and thus asserting, x was inevitable. A very solipsistic indulgence as well as a fallacy – petitio princippii.