Dr. Mordechai KedarDr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.
Israel's Channel 1 broadcast the first chapter of a two-chapter film titled "The Curse of Hadrian" this week. The idea for the movie's production was raised about ten years ago by my dear friend, the late Tsafrir Ronen, who hoped to disprove the narrative – or, more accurately, the lie – concerning the existence of a Palestinian nation.
Tsafrir was a fighter for the Land of Israel and the Jewish People who came from the mainstream secular left. A founder of the secular nationalist Nahalal Forum and of Kibbutz Gilgal in the Jordan Valley, he served as advisor to Prime Minister Rabin in the 1992 elections, but changed his views after the Oslo Accords.
The name Palestine, he said, had nothing to do with the people who call themselves Palestinians today. The name was given to the land of Judea by the Roman Caesar Hadrian (reigned 117-138 CE), the emperor who put down the Bar Kochba Rebellion with great cruelty.
He destroyed Jerusalem and built the city of Ilia Capitolina on its ruins, forbade observance of Jewish tenets such as the Sabbath, prayer and circumcision, and killed the "Ten Martyrs", the renowned Talmudic Sages whose deaths are mourned in a dirge said on Yom Kippur. It was in order to humiliate Judea and its sons that he called the country Palestine in honor of the Philistine nation, as these were the Jewish people's historic enemy. In order to turn the land desolate, Hadrian also commanded that all fruit trees be cut down.
Tsafrir Ronen wished with all his soul to produce a full length movie, "The Curse of Hadrian", in which the lies of the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians would be exposed, since there is absolutely no connection between them and that [Philistine] nation that hailed from the Grecian Isles. He collected archival materials and interviewed people, but in order to produce the movie he needed funding. He used his own money and sank into debt which led to heart failure at the premature age of 53.
Tsafrir's friends decided to make his dream come true and produce the movie, in which I appear several times. I watched the entire film and I am shocked to the depths of my soul, because the movie is exactly the opposite of what Tsafrir wanted. All his life, Tsafrir said that the "Palestinian narrative" is based on lies and falsehoods, bluff and inventions, while Jewish history in the land of Israel is solidly entrenched in biblical documentation and in the stories of other nations (Greece, Rome) and on unassailable archaeological findings.
In modern times, the Jews' right to the land of Israel is based on international law starting with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and continuing to the San Remo Conference of 1920.
The movie, whose first part was shown this week on Channel 1, is a betrayal of Tsafrir's memory and life's work, because it presents "two narratives", the Israeli one and the Palestinian one, as equally worthy, as two truths, exactly what Tsafrir fought his entire life to refute.
After viewing both parts of the film, I phoned one of the people involved in its production and asked him to explain this distortion. He gave me a strange answer: "In Israel one cannot get a budget to produce movies that present only the Zionist view in a positive fashion and do not reflect the existence and rights of the Palestinian people."
So Israel, the land that claims to be the country of the Jewish people, digs its own grave by funding the false narrative of those who wish to establish their country on the ruins of the Jewish state. Is this why we have the Israel Broadcasting Authority? Is this the reason we pay a television tax ?
It makes one want to hide his head in shame. The name of the destroyers of Zion who participate in it are listed at the start and end of the movie. Had I known what the final product was to be, I would not have taken part in it.
I have discovered, just in the past few days, that Tsafrir did produce a first version of his film, but did not have the time to edit it, calling it "The Curse of Hadrian" as well (there is a dispute about whether he took that title from someone else, ed.). I hope that we will merit seeing this movie someday, and I am quite sure that it is entirely different from the one funded by the Broadcasting Authority.
Tsafrir initiated the idea of establishing a satellite TV channel to broadcast to the world in English, French and Arabic. He prepared a business plan that cost him a good deal of money and tried to interest investors, as the plan showed that it would be a profit making venture. Investors, however, were hard to come by, despite Tsafrir's expending time and energy on the attempt to find them. I was involved in this project and Tsafrir's untimely death stopped it in its tracks.
Tsafrir used all his strength to fight those sectors of the public who swallowed the story of the "Palestinian narrative" as equal and parallel to the "Jewish narrative"', and in our heart to heart talks, he was often on the verge of tears at the thought of the depressing reality. He would say over and over that if we adopt the Palestinian lies and give them life, we will soon see the end of the Jewish state.
At the time I thought he was exaggerating a bit, viewing the problem through a magnifying glass even though it was not that bad. Today, I agree wholeheartedly with Tsafrir's opinion, because the Palestinian golem has overcome its Israeli creator: what began in Oslo as "Gaza and Jericho first" today threatens the very existence of Israel by creating a parallel Palestinian state from Dimona and Beer Sheva in the south up to Afula and Beit Shean in the north, running along the coastal cities – including Tel Aviv and its suburbs.
European parliamentarians, one after another, recognize a Palestinian state, despite the fact that they have no way of ensuring that this country will not be run by a terrorist organization – Hamas . This would not have come to pass had Israelis not supported the "legitimacy" of the Palestinian narrative" because the Europeans say to themselves: If the Israelis, the Zionists, adopt the idea of a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people, why do we have to be more extreme than they?
This is how the "Palestinian narrative" was adopted and established a terror state on the hills of Judea and Samaria, the cradle the people of Israel in biblical times and its natural milieu today.
The state of Israel will eventually be reduced to the coastal plain, the area that was conquered by the Philistines, invaders from the Greek Isles. That is how the goddess of history laughs at those who do not learn about themselves from history, that is how she avenges the sins they commit against themselves.
Tsafrir, my dear friend, who can equal you? You saw back then what those who are considered brilliant have still not envisioned. Rest in peace, friend, because we are on our way to a terrible war with a terrorist entity that the world is establishing against us – because of us – and because we did not learn from you what you so wanted to teach us. May your memory be blessed.