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A New Movie about the Entebbe Hostage Rescue Drowns Its Subject in Leftist Platitudes

March 21 2018

The recent film 7 Days in Entebbe portrays the daring and successful Israeli raid to rescue over 100 hostages held in Uganda by Palestinian and German Communist terrorists. To Liel Leibovitz, the movie—despite its made-for-Hollywood source material—is an artistic and intellectual failure:

No matter who’s doing the talking, the question pondered [by the characters in 7 Days in Entebbe] is the same: how long must we fight? The answer, to all but high-minded screenwriters intent on making serious movies about moral conundrums, is not too complicated: as long as there are bad guys with guns trying to kill us. In 7 Days, however, the bad guys aren’t that bad—they’re German intellectuals, which means that, periodically, they must put aside their AK-47s and debate the dialectical nature of history.

The villain-as-grad-student paradigm isn’t inherently terrible, nor is it historically inaccurate. Wilfried Böse and Brigitte Kuhlmann, the plane’s two German kidnappers, were, by many survivors’ accounts, prone to lengthy conversations about justice and virtue and other abstractions. . . .

Like much of Hollywood these days, [however], 7 Days believes that a movie’s primary responsibility is to make progressive statements, not unfettered art. The message . . . is best delivered in bursts of political speechifying. Sadly for the bien pensants, however, we unwashed masses go to the movies to be entertained, not educated, which leaves the film in a bind. . . . The film’s climactic scene, for example, the raid on the terminal, is shot in infuriating slow-motion and cross-cut with a modern dance performance, forcing you to embrace its sophomoric war-as-metaphor theme one last, frustrating time. . . . Catharsis is not permitted. Neither is fun.

Which is not only an artistic failing but also a moral and maybe even a theological one. . . . The movie opens with a title card that explains that while some see the hijackers as terrorists, others view them as freedom fighters. It ends with more title cards, informing us that the nice soul-searching prime minister we’ve come to admire, [Yitzḥak] Rabin, was assassinated by a religious Jewish zealot who did not share his enlightened views about the futility of the fight. These bookends are not incidental; they are the film, and everything else that happens in-between is just there to serve the vapid and vacuous statement that the film chooses to make.

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More about: Arts & Culture, Entebbe, Film, Israel & Zionism, PFLP, Terrorism

Germany’s Bid to Keep Israel off the UN Security Council

March 21 2018

The Jewish state has never held a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council. For the first 50 years of its existence, it was denied membership in any of the UN’s regional groups, which control candidacies for these rotating seats. Then it was finally admitted to the Western European and Others Group, which promptly agreed to wait another twenty years before approving Jerusalem for a Security Council candidacy. Now, Benny Avni notes, Germany is poised to block action:

As a good-faith gesture, the Western European and Others Group promised Israel that it and Belgium would run uncontested for the two open 2019-20 [Security Council] seats. Then, in 2016, Germany announced it would also run—even though it already served as a council member [multiple times, including] as recently as 2011-12. . . . [U]nless Belgium yields, Israel’s hopes for UN respect seem doomed for now—and maybe for the foreseeable future.

Why? Diplomats have been telling me Israel violates too many Security Council resolutions to be a member—as in the one passed during the last weeks of Barack Obama’s presidency, which marked Jewish holy sites as occupied Palestinian territory. But is building a porch in [the West Bank town of] Ma’ale Adumim really such a huge threat to world peace?

How about, then, a report released last week by UN experts on the Security Council’s North Korea sanctions? It found Germany violated a council ban on sparkling wines, exporting $151,840 worth of bubbly and other luxury goods to Kim Jong Un’s cronies. Or how about, as the Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Weinthal reports, German companies exporting to Iran banned materials that were later used in chemical attacks in Syria?

Never mind. Germany (and Belgium) will surely benefit from the UN’s habit of magnifying Israel’s violations beyond all proportion. Thus, Israel’s petition to join the most prestigious UN club will likely be rejected, thanks to a late entry by a shameless [and] cynical German power play against the Jewish state.

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More about: Germany, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-German relations, United Nations