Thursday, December 15, 2005

Munich: Spielberg, terrorism and moral equivalence

I haven't seen Steven Spielberg's new movie Munich, but The New Republic's Leon Wieseltier has:
It is soaked in the sweat of its idea of evenhandedness. Palestinians murder, Israelis murder. Palestinians show evidence of a conscience, Israelis show evidence of a conscience. Palestinians suppress their scruples, Israelis suppress their scruples. Palestinians make little speeches about home and blood and soil, Israelis make little speeches about home and blood and soil. Palestinians kill innocents, Israelis kill innocents. All these analogies begin to look ominously like the sin of equivalence, and so it is worth pointing out that the death of innocents was an Israeli mistake but a Palestinian objective.
Update: Here is the New York Sun's Mitch Webber:
Liberal writer Leon Wieseltier concurred: "Munich prefers a discussion of counterterrorism to a discussion of terrorism; or it thinks that they are the same discussion. This is an opinion that only people who are not responsible for the safety of other people can hold."

If both sides of the political spectrum can agree that a nation is not only right, but obligated, to act as Israel did, why does "Munich" try so hard to say otherwise?

A large part of the blame belongs to the screenwriter, Tony Kushner, whose literary accomplishments ("Angels in America," among other brilliant plays) are too often overshadowed by an extreme left-wing political agenda. Why on earth would anyone entrust a script about Israel to someone who declared, "I wish modern Israel hadn't been born?" (So much for impartiality.)