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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Tevet 17, 5766, 1/17/2006

      Hollywood Applauds Suicide Bombers


      When I woke up this morning and checked the news, I could not believe what I was reading: a Palestinian film that glorifies suicide bombers had won a major Hollywood award.

      “Paradise Now”, which tells the tale of two Palestinians who are recruited to become suicide bombers, was named the year’s best foreign language film at the annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles.

      Applause_1 Mideast expert Daniel Pipes has described the film as “propagandistic”, saying that it “whitewashes Palestinian suicide bombing”, while Entertainment Weekly highlighted “the dignity bestowed on a pair of prospective Palestinian suicide bombers” by the movie.

      Now, we all know that Hollywood does not seem to share the value system of most sane and rational human beings, as the antics of various celebrities make abundantly clear.

      But to celebrate a film that “humanizes” bloodthirsty killers? To confer even a shred of legitimacy on the use of human explosives against the innocent?

      Are they out of their minds?

      The award given to “Paradise Now” only underlines the extent of the challenge that Israel and the West are confronting in the war on terror. It is a battle of ideas, a struggle between worldviews, and there are still far too many on the home-front who have yet to realize, or even to comprehend, the danger that our societies face.

      Every pair of hands that was raised, every applause that was sounded for “Paradise Now”, was a betrayal of morality and human values, and a slap in the face to those who have suffered at the hands of the terrorists.

      Shame on Hollywood – but more importantly, shame on all of us, for feeding this industry and for giving it so much influence over society and its norms.

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