A Film That is Obscene

Israel?s Supreme Court reversed a ban on public screenings of an Israeli Arab director?s film about one of the most controversial and hotly debated military confrontations during the three-year long Arab ?Palestinian? intifada.

Gary Fitleberg

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Israel?s Supreme Court reversed a ban on public screenings of an Israeli Arab director?s film about one of the most controversial and hotly debated military confrontations during the three-year long Arab ?Palestinian? intifada.

Jenin, Jenin is described by the filmmaker, Mohammed Bakri, as a fact-based documentary. In reality, it is a mockery of reality. The controversial film is a false portrayal of fabricated facts as to what really took place in Jenin. Bakri is a director and instrument in one of the most effective P.R. efforts by Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority.

Goebbels and Himmler could not have done a better job putting together such a film.

The controversial film examines an intense battle in close quarters in the city of Jenin. Arab ?Palestinians? claimed a massacre of thousands. The massacre should be called, honestly, ?The Jenin Massacre that never, ever took place?. It is only a small part of a larger, overall ?big lie? by Arabs.

What is even more remarkable is that Israel enjoys such a degree of democracy and freedom, especially freedom of the press and freedom of speech, that the Israeli Supreme Court has guaranteed the voice of this propaganda to be heard. This, despite the fact that it is patently a false portrayal of events as they actually occurred.

In weighing the case, the High Court did not attempt to reconcile conflicting claims about the film. It only sought to decide whether the country?s film censorship board had overstepped its bounds last year when it banned public screenings of the work in Israel.

The unanimous verdict of the three judges was that the censors went too far.

Justice Dahlia Dorner wrote, ?The ban unnecessarily violated freedom of speech, and contradicts basic principles of human liberty. The censorship board isn?t authorized to decide what is the truth and what is a lie.?

Bakri, who had appealed the film board?s ruling, called the decision a victory for free speech.

In reality, the film itself goes too far and the decision of Israel?s Supreme Court goes too far. Free speech is not hate speech. According to America?s Supreme Court, one cannot yell ?Fire!? in a crowded room. There are limits to free speech. The decision is a victory for the Arab perpetuation of political propaganda. This is not a victory for facts and truth.

Bakri had the audacity to further say, ?I?m proud that justice was done and truth came to light. Every truth has two sides ? our side and your side ? and the two truths are one big truth.? That statement is one big lie.

?Came to light?? What light? There is only one truth. It would be nice if Bakri would be honest and tell the truth in his film.

The film Jenin, Jenin portrays soldiers hunting for terrorists as murderers killing innocent civilians. Israeli military reservists who took part in the eight-day battle actually bravely and courageously put themselves in harm?s way fighting an intense battle in close quarters in narrow allies in a house-to-house search. The fighting came in the final days of a massive military operation in response to a rash of homicide bombings in Israel. The battle left 23 Israeli soldiers and 52 Arab ?Palestinians? dead. Homes hiding terrorists and used in attacks on Israeli soldiers were also reduced to rubble.

Arab ?Palestinians? insisted at the time that a massacre of hundreds of civilians had taken place in Jenin, immediately seeking out the media to promote and publicize the massacre that never, ever occurred. The media bought in to the lie and published the lie as if it were the truth.

Jenin, Jenin adds insult to injury, and the freedom of speech granted to its producers only contributes to hate speech, incitement, terrorism and violence against Israel and Jews internationally.

Jenin, Jenin will not win any awards for accuracy as a documentary that is fact-based, but perhaps it will as a dramatization or fictional story.

Bakri?s film prompted Israeli filmmaker-reservist Gil Mezuman, who was present during the battle, to issue a cinematic retort, in the form of his own documentary, Jenin Diary: The Inside Story.

I wonder if any Arab/Islamist nation would allow Jenin Diary: The Inside Story to have public screenings in their lands. Let?s pray for that day.