Sunday, March 05, 2006

Brava Brave Nonie Darwish

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Nothing tells you more about Hollywood than what it chooses to honor. Nominated for best foreign-language film is "Paradise Now," a sympathetic portrayal of two suicide bombers. Nominated for best picture is "Munich," a sympathetic portrayal of yesterday's fashion in barbarism: homicide terrorism.

But until you see "Syriana," nominated for best screenplay (and George Clooney, for best supporting actor) you have no idea how self-flagellation and self-loathing pass for complexity and moral seriousness in Hollywood.
So writes Charles Krauthammer in his column Oscars for Osama.

Thank God there still are people in this world who stand up for moral courage - instead of the complex moral quagmire of relativism so prized by the Hollywood click.

One of those people is Nonie Darwish, herself the daughter of a Gazan "martyr" and a very brave woman.

Last Friday she presented a petition with 36,000 signatures on it to the Academy, denouncing its selection of Paradise Now, a film that glorifies suicide bombers and the culture that produces them. That's the petition I had earlier mentioned here.
Nonie Darwish harshly criticized the Palestinian film about two suicide bombers for "putting a human face on the murderers of children."

She warned that if Paradise Now, one of five nominees in the best foreign film category, wins an Oscar at Sunday evening's ceremony, "it will send a message to young Arabs that we are accepted in the West and we have won."
I have no idea if this film will win. But undoubtedly the idiots who vote for it think they are being brave and subversive.

Meanwhile Hany Abu Assad, who made Paradise Now, implies that the Palestinian occupation is worse than the Holocaust, which is why Palestinians behave so much worse than did Jews during the Holocaust:
Even during the Holocaust, people did not strap on a bomb and set out to kill innocent people.

This was a different situation that only lasted six years, Abu-Assad replies, adding that in the first 30 years of occupation there were no suicide bombings. Who knows what would have happened in Germany had the oppression continued for 30 years, he asks rhetorically.

Abu-Assad stresses he is a pacifist who believes any killing is wrong, and that he advocates a non-violent struggle as the right method for obtaining one's goals. However, he states, while he currently has the privilege to make such a stand, in a different situation his moral position may have been different.

In other words, had you been living in the territories, you would have become a shahid (martyr)?

Abu-Assad hesitates for a second before replying, "yes." He recounts an episode in which he was humiliated by a soldier at the Kalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem, and says this was what made him realize what runs through the heads of people who later become suicide bombers.

You feel like such a coward it kills you, he describes, saying this cowardice makes people start hating life and feel impotent.

I realized, Abu-Assad explains, that when a man systematically goes through such humiliation, he chooses to kill his own impotency by carrying out an act of "let me die with the philistines."
So you see, feeling impotent is a perfectly valid excuse for murder and suicide bombing.

I suppose this is also the excuse for honor killing. This woman in my family had sex in a non-controlled setting. I feel impotent. Now we will kill her.

The rationale must go something like that.

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