Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Zionist propaganda

The Insult: Six points toward clarification

Note: I watched the talk of Ziad Doueiri on ARTE, but didn’t have the opportunity to see the movie

 on 

Controversy has arisen in recent weeks over the 2017 film, The Insult [Qadiat raqm 23(Case #23)], Lebanon’s submission to the 2018 Academy Awards.

The film’s director, Ziad Doueiri, who also directed West Beirut [À l’abri les enfants] (Sheltered Children)] (1998), is a proponent of Israeli normalization, a political strategy by and large rejected by Palestinians and their allies because its position concerning the Israeli occupation of historic Palestine entails an unacceptable compromise with Zionism.

(Israel is a colonial State, created by our existential enemy the US Evangelical Zionists)

Normalization not only accepts a Jewish presence in the region–something to which most proponents of either the one- or two-state solution would agree–but consents to its continuation in the form of Zionist hegemony.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) supporters, who reject normalization, are calling for a boycott of The Insult, not only because, in line with normalization tactics, it was made with Zionist funding, but because Doueiri “previously lived and worked with Zionists while making [his 2012 film] The Attack (Mada Masr, 1 Feb. 2018), a pro-Israeli take on suicide bombers, and used an Israeli production company to help fund it (Dina Abumaria, 29 Oct. 2017).

For these activists, boycotting The Insult is consistent with the divestment aspect of the BDS Call.

The Insult presents us with a sophistical narrative structure.

Its story is self-consciously organized into multiple allegorical layers, the meaning and significance of which are intentionally obscured and bound up with specious reasoning that distorts and exploits the historical record.

In an attempt to counter the resulting confusion, I supply below six straightforward, interconnected analytic points regarding the film. 

These points are meant to underscore, through clarification, the dual fact that The Insult is a vehicle of Zionist propaganda (hasbara) and that director Doueiri has collaborated with Zionists in its making, in an effort to forward the normalization agenda which he evidently supports.

1) Although The Insult is structured as an allegory, the moral of its story turns on the Damour massacre of 1976, the film’s attribution of which to Palestinian forces, who were in fact operating in concert with the Lebanese left during an active military conflict–the Lebanese Civil War–is presented completely out of historical context.

In turn, the massive Israeli bombing of Palestinian-controlled Damour in 1982, eight months prior to the genocidal Sabra and Shatila massacre perpetrated by ultra-nationalist Maronites with Israeli approval and support, is never mentioned.

As a result, the Sabra and Shatila massacre implicitly becomes an understandable act of Maronite revenge for the Damour massacre, while Maronite collaboration with Zionism in this crucial context is downplayed.

By this tack, Palestinian refugees and ultra-nationalist Maronites are positioned as moral equivalents, while the right-wing view is retained of Palestinians as foreigners who are prone to instigate violence and who should therefore be deported from (or at least not permitted socio-economic integration into) Lebanon–rather than as loyal opponents of fascism who in fact struggled historically in solidarity with the Lebanese left against the disproportionately overwhelming violence perpetrated by Maronite ultra-nationalists and their Israeli allies during the period in question.

2) This positioning of the two main parties to the film’s narrative conflict as morally equivalent is easily belied by the film’s own dramatic structure, in which the right-wing Maronite character, protagonist Tony Hanna (Adel Karam), is portrayed as three-dimensional and psychologically complex, his personal struggle positioned at the film’s dramatic center, while the Palestinian character, antagonist Yasser Abdallah Salameh (Kamal El Basha), serves basically as his foil and as such is portrayed in a more simplified manner.

3) Likewise in typical hasbara fashion, The Insult reinforces the stereotypical view of excessive violence as somehow inherent to Arab men, and of an exotic passivity as inherent to Arab women.

Both Yasser and Tony are portrayed, albeit in differing ways, as irrational and unable to control their tempers, whereas their wives, Manal Salameh (Christine Choueiri) and Shirine Hanna (Rita Hayek), are portrayed as sympathetic and emotionally intuitive.

Likewise, the female attorney, Nadine Wehbe (Diamand Bou Abboud), who defends Yasser in a lawsuit brought against him by Tony, is portrayed as calm and receptive, while Tony’s male attorney, Wajdi Wehbe (Camille Salameh), is portrayed as verbally abusive and interruptive.

Similarly, a group of Palestinian males depicted protesting the trial outside the courthouse are depicted as immature and thuggish–in this instance as no better than the Maronite ultra-nationalist males with whom they spar; moreover, women play no role in such apparent political spectacles.

Together, these tactics serve to reinforce the moral equivalency discourse, in this instance along conventional gender lines, while naturalizing the film’s core conflict through racist ideology.

4) The Insult nonetheless purports a feminist sensibility, in that Nadine ultimately wins her legal case.  Yet the film’s feminism is  contradicted not only by the elements in point #3 above.

Nadine wins her case with the surreptitious help of Wajdi, who early on is revealed to be her father.  Wajdi’s male pride will not permit him to lose his case, so he decides to manipulate the proceedings, at once bringing about the “realization” of moral equivalence and the acquittal of his daughter’s client.

His paternalism not only reinforces patriarchy but a sense that the moral high ground belongs to the political Right:  Wajdi is a well-known litigator on behalf of the Maronite ultra-nationalist cause.

5) In line with this right-wing slant, when political-economic factors in The Insult‘s narrative conflict are raised, they serve merely as background for dissimulating the film’s Zionist undercurrents rather than for genuinely analyzing the situation in Lebanon. 

For example, we are given to know superficially that Tony is unemployed and cannot find affordable housing under neo-liberal conditions of urban gentrification, whereas Yasser works for a construction company that is actively facilitating that gentrification–a symptomatically unexplored allegorical reference to the situation of economically challenged Israeli settlers, on the one hand, and the Palestinians whom they are displacing, and who are often compelled, under such conditions, to work for Israeli construction companies, on the other hand, that is never made explicit in the context of the trial which comprises the film’s central drama.

 In effect, The Insult projects an Israeli predicament onto Lebanon–and resolves it ideologically in a direction amenable to Zionism and condescending, damaging–insulting–to Arabs.

6) None of the above is surprising.  At least two of The Insult‘s production companies, Cohen Media Group and Ezekiel Film Productions, are of dubious ideological-political origin. 

Both produce slick “world cinema” fare intended primarily for international film festival and art house audiences and not for populations indigenous to third and fourth world countries in which many of their films’ narratives are set.

Making films for distribution on the world cinema circuit is a common tactic of hasbara tactic, the aim of which is to persuade international audiences of the correctness of Zionist perspectives.

Cohen Media Group is a New York-based company whose founder, real estate magnate Charles S. Cohen, was awarded the 2002 Israel Peace Medal for having raised an all-time record $52.4 million in donations to the State of Israel Bonds, and was also honored for his “humanitarian” and community service by the pro-Zionist organization, B’nai Brith International.

Ezekiel Film Production’s main website is devoid of transparency, and its secondary website lists it as yet another U.S. company based in Los Angeles, where Cohen Media Group also has offices.

Another of the film’s production companies, Rouge International, is based in France and produces world cinema fare, as does Tessalit Films, which is listed as both based in France and as a Weinstein company with offices in New York City, as well as Scope Pictures, which is based in Brussels.

Insofar as the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rarely honors films from the Arab world on (prejudicial) account of their presumed anti-Zionism or that of their makers, it is little wonder that The Insult was selected for submission to this year’s competition. 

One wonders who will fund Doueiri’s next film project, which is rumored to be an all-out condemnation of BDS.

Comment:  Why Doueiri believed he needed to shoot a short section in Israel? Because in bad times, al tatbee3 shi thanaweh wa ma bte7rez al tafkeer? The fact that Israel (our existential enemy) allowed Ziad to shoot there means that he and the film serve its propaganda interests

 Refuting the “there was no Palestine”: Pictures Don’t Lie

One of the common assertions one finds in Zionist propaganda is that there “was never any Palestine.”

This odd allegation is simply not true. Palestine has been refer to the geographical area south of Tyr (Sour) and north of the Sinai for thousand of years.

There are medieval Muslim coins from a mint in that area with “Filastin” (Palestine) written on them. In the nineteenth century, diaries survive of locals who visited Damascus and wrote about how they missed “Filastin”.

At the Versailles Peace Conference, the Class A Mandate of Palestine was created, and in 1939 it was scheduled for independence within 10 years.

British colonial administrators believed there was a Palestine and that it would soon become an independent country (as happened to similar Class A Mandates in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq).

There is currently an ironic Twitter meme by Palestinians,‪#‎there_was_no_Palestine‬, to which people are contributing visual evidence of Palestine.

In 1920, when the League of Nations created the Palestinian state, it had a population of 700,000, of which about 76,000 were Jews.

Almost all of the Jews had immigrated in the previous 70 years.

In 1850, only 4% of the population had been Jewish.

In 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte found only 3,000 Jews. There had been hardly any Jews in Palestine since about 1100 AD.

So not only was there a Palestine, full of hundreds of thousands of people, over millennia, but there was a very long period of near-absence on the part of Jews. This absence was not because of a forcible expulsion.

Rather, Jews in Palestine had converted to Christianity, and then many of those converted to Islam.
If what is being alleged is that there was no nation-state called Palestine, at least before the League of Nations created one, that is banal. There were no nation-states until the 19th century.

There was no “Italy” before 1860. Venice was Austrian, Genoa French. There was no “Germany” before 1870.

Lots of small principalities, some of them under other rule or influence. It is common for Romantic Nationalists of the early 19th century variety to imagine that the Greece that came into being in the 1820s (after having been an Ottoman province for some 300 years) was somehow a revival of the ancient land known as Greece. But it isn’t.

That is a naive “Sleeping Beauty” theory of nationalism. There was no nation-state of Israel before 1948. That some ancient tribes might have been called that is irrelevant. Ancient tribes were also called Philistines, a form of the modern Palestinian.

Checkpoint between Lebanon and Palestine in the 30s so‪#‎there_was_no_Palestine‬ ? pic.twitter.com/On35Tbuo2u

Instantly connect to what’s most important to you. Follow your friends, experts, favorite celebrities, and breaking news.
TWITTER.COM|BY ELIAS KHOURY

In essence, the assertion by Zionists that there “was never any Palestine” has to be seen as a cruel boast, since it was their ethnic cleansing campaign of 1947-48 that forestalled British and League of Nations plans to see an independent country of Palestine created, and which made most Palestinians refugees and stateless.

Yazeed Aldigs added 2 new photos.
Old Palestinian newspaper<br /><br />
So how do u say :<br /><br />
#there_was_no_Palestine ?!!
Can someone read the name of the<br /><br />
Country and the date out loud for the<br /><br />
Ones who say #there_was_no_Palestine !

Here’s a sample of the Twitter campaign, embedding the tweets and accompanying photos:

Retweeted Haitham Sabbah (@sabbah):

‪#‎there_was_no_Palestine‬ collection http://t.co/dkhu4Yg6TD a wedding at‪#‎Ramallah‬‪#‎Palestine‬ 1900 http://t.co/a57ofMiLcZ

Israel’s policies  encouraging pogroms

“We lost again. Peasants won” said the leader of the surviving samurai.  Elite classes claim their privileges as emanating from a God who divided mankind into two major groups: the governing and the slave classes.

In aristocratic Europe of the last century, elite classes resented a religious sect living in ghettos: the Jews proclaimed to be the select race in face of the European elite classes who considered themselves the select class.  Pogroms after pogroms and the Jews refused to learn and relent on their myths, on the ground that it was this myth that kept them united over the years.

Then pogrom was elevated to holocaust:  Now it was a whole nation claiming to be the select and purest race.   Nazi propaganda convinced most Germans that they are the purest race of all, and they must dominate. There is no doubt in my mind that most Germans implicitly knew of the holocaust perpetrated on Jews and other lower “races”, and that genocide was at work. Nazi Germans opted to play it dumb as long as they were winning battles after battles.

I also believe that Nazi Germany didn’t care for the Jews in the Arab world: they didn’t exhibit any threat to the purity of their race.  It was the Jews in Europe, citizens in European States, which were to be exterminated.  Either the myth or the de-facto power was to win in this race among select races!

The Jews still refused to learn and relent after this first terrible holocaust.  After the war, the US and European States decided that the best way to hold off the resumption of pogroms in their elitist culture was to ship the Jews to Palestine and create a State for the Zionist Jews.  The European elite classes knew that pogroms will recur since they staunchly clanged to the ideology of being the crème of the crème among races.  Europe aristocrats and elite classes sent the Jews packing to Palestine with plenty of financing, arms. and political support in the UN.

For over 60 years, Israel has been emulating the western mentality of being “the select people much better of the neighboring masses.”  The Palestinians, consistently labeled Arabs by the Zionist propaganda, have been humiliated as only fit for labor work.  Millions of Palestinians have been massacred and now their descendants want revenge.  Millions of Palestinians have been chased out of their villages and towns to live in ghettos of refugee camps in neighboring Arab States and in Palestine; they want revenge.  The Palestinians demand that the UN applies the right of return voted on in 1948.  Ironically, Israel is still pursuing “transfer” policies with the tacit agreement of the US and many European States.

After 60 years of establishing the State of Israel, now the “orthodox” Jews want Israel to be constituted of pure Jews; Mosques and churches have to be demolished and the Pharisee laws applied over the land. The Western States are tired of their monster Frankenstein creation.  The Moslem/Arab World is running out of patience.  Secular Jews in Israel have got to get organized and united and win the next election! Either a secular Israeli State and equality to all citizens or the next holocaust is imminent.

Note:  The current mass revolutions sweeping the Arab and Moslem States should be a strong indication that humiliation and indignities will no longer pass unpunished.

Otherwise, the next holocaust is imminent; (Apr. 9, 2010)

A month ago, I saw an old Japanese movie “The seven samurais”.  You have this village of rice growers experiencing yearly raids by a gang of 40 robbers as the crop is harvested and stored.  The village leaders decided this year to hire a few samurais to defend the village on the expected date of the raid. The leader suggested hiring four samurais to be fed expensive rice though he knew perfectly well that the village needs at least seven samurais: the leader wanted to lure the village into accepting this proposition to circumvent their miserly attitude.

The first hired samurai was to select the other six samurais but he found only five willing to die for just food and lodging just to defend land growers. The village idiot let the secret to the samurais that the village has hidden plenty of food and expensive condiment and just acting poor and starving.

The samurais trained and disciplined the villagers to taking arms and defending the village; the samurais were the squad leaders at the major entrances of the village.  As the samurais arrived to the village all young girls were rounded up and hidden out of sight. Males believed that girls will instantly fall in love with samurais and then flee the village at the first occasion; the main excuse extended by men was that customs of class distinctions forbade land growers into marrying with noble men.

Finally, the samurais successfully defended the village and 5 of them died in that endeavor.  The next day, the villagers were back growing rice and harvesting fields as routine way of life.  The leader of the surviving samurai said to the young samurai in training: “We lost again. Peasants won.”  Elite classes claim their privileges as emanating from a God who divided mankind into two major groups: the governing and the slave classes.

In aristocratic Europe of the last century elite classes resented a religious sect living in ghettos: the Jews proclaimed to be the select race in face of the European elite classes who considered themselves the select class.  Pogroms after pogroms and the Jews refused to learn and relent on their myth on the ground that it was this myth that kept them united over the years.

Then pogrom was elevated to holocaust:  Now it was a whole nation claiming to be the select and purest race: Nazi propaganda convinced most Germans that they are the purest race of all and must dominate. There is no doubt in my mind that most Germans implicitly knew of the holocaust of Jews and other lower “races” and that genocide was at work: they opted to play it dumb as long as they were winning battles after battles.   I also believe that Nazi Germany didn’t care for the Jews in the Arab world: they didn’t exhibit any threat to the purity of their race; it was the Jews in Europe, citizens in European States, which were to be exterminated.  Either the myth or the de facto power was to win in this race among select races!

The Jews still refused to learn and relent after this first terrible holocaust.  After the war, the US and European States decided that the best way to hold the resumption of pogroms in their elitist culture was to ship the Jews to Palestine and create a State for them.  The European elite classes knew that pogroms will recur since they staunchly clanged to the ideology of being the crème of the crème.  Europe aristocrats and elite classes sent the Jews packing to Palestine with plenty of financing, arms. and political support in the UN.

For over 60 years, Israel has been emulating the western mentality of being “the select people much better of the neighboring masses.”  The Palestinians, consistently labeled Arabs by the Zionist propaganda, have been humiliated as only fit for labor work.  Millions of Palestinians have been massacred and their descendants want revenge.  Millions of Palestinians have been chased out of their villages and towns to live in ghettoes of camps and they want revenge and that the UN applies the right of return voted on in 1948.  Ironically, Israel is still pursuing “transfer” policies with the tacit agreement of the US and many European States.

After 60 years of establishing the State of Israel, now the “orthodox” Jews want Israel to be of pure Jews; Mosques and churches have to be demolished and the Pharisee laws applied over the land. The Western States are tired of their monster Frankenstein creation.  The Moslem/Arab World is running out of patience.  Secular Jews in Israel have got to get organized and united and win the next election! Otherwise, the next holocaust is imminent.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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