[Marxism] Israeli Voices of Dissent and the Washington-Tel Aviv Axis

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Jul 30 09:18:35 MDT 2006

30 Jul, 2006

Israeli Voices of Dissent and the Washington-Tel Aviv Axis




They don't want to listen to them; they don't like what they have to
say or how they say it, because they break from the monolithic unity
between the "to be" and the way "it should be."

The Washington-Tel Aviv axis propaganda machine paints Israeli
society in total unity, setting aside any differences to embrace the
idea that war is just against Hezbollah, against the Palestinians,
against Lebanon, Syria, the Iraqi resistance and everything that
doesn't fit with the Pax Americana concept in the Middle East. This
requires that all dissenting voices be silenced, like those of
filmmakers Avi Mograbi and Eyel Sivan, who continue to demonstrate
their rejection to the genocidal practices of their government.


Forty female and male filmmakers sent a message to their colleagues
in Paris for the Eighth Biennial of Arab Cinematography, in which
they set forth their "categorical opposition to the brutality and
cruelty of Israel's policies that have reached new peaks during
recent weeks."

Mograbi, who also signed the document, became a controversial figure
for the Israel government media when in 1996 he released, "How I
Learned to Defeat Fear and Love Arik Sharon." Long before Michael
Moore filmed his acute documentaries about the Columbine massacre and
Fahrenheit 9/11, Mograbi used a similar filming strategy when
covering the figure of the Zionist general Sharon during his election
campaign. The seduction exerted by the politician among his followers
has its counterparts in the memory brought by the filmmaker about the
Sabra and Shatila refugee camp massacres ordered by Sharon.

A son of the filmmaker, Shaul Mograbi-Berger, Avi declared himself in
2004 as a "conscientious objector" by refusing to serve in the Israel
armed forces that repress the Palestinians.

Eyel Sivan, who is in his forties, is one of the most internationally
well known Israeli documentary filmmakers. Born in Haifa to Uruguayan
parents he was brought up in Jerusalem and now lives in Paris. His
first film, titled "Agabat-Jaber a passing life," also generated
severe criticism from the Israel government because it exposed the
terrible situation of the Palestinian refugees.

Since that first film, he has made about ten more documentaries
dealing with the topic of the political use of memory, civil
disobedience and the way the Holocaust is represented and

One of his most important films is Route 181, marginalized from
showing by the transnational cultural industry, co-directed with
Palestinian filmmaker Michel Khleifi, in which the Middle East
conflict is crudely exposed. When this film was shown in Montevideo,
during a retrospective of Sivan's films, Argentinean journalist Hugo
F. Sanchez commented the following:

"There is a direct link between colonialism and capitalism. If we
accept Route 181 as a vision of what the colonialist mechanism is all
about, then we are talking about capitalism; they can not be
separated from each other. The capitalism on the side of the army and
its sacred unity with the force of the money that comes from the
United States, which has made Israel the leading recipient of US

"Israel lives in an exceptional paradox situation, the great majority
of its budget comes from other countries, and it has almost no
external debt, because they pay us to be the West's army. They don't
lend us the money, the pay us. Israel is the wall of contention
against the Arabs, it is the border of Western culture. We are six
million people and the whole world talks about us, although we have
the size of the Argentinean province of Tucuman."

Sivan's film was shown during the summer of 2004 by the French-German
Arts TV network. The reaction came immediately. The film was defamed
and called anti-Semitic, and the filmmaker received several death
threats. An envelope with a bullet inside was delivered by mail with
a letter that said: "The next one won't come in the mail."

Hardly an honest and sincere voice was heard among the chorus of
condemnation. It came from the prestigious French doctor of Jewish
origin Roger Solomon, who said: "All the hypocrites that speak about
anti-Semitism each time that Israel is criticized make the Jews
appear like a truly irrational and blind pressure group."

At that time Sivan told IPS news agency: "The self proclaimed friends
of Israel attempt to intimidate all political adversaries by accusing
them of being Nazis in order to stop them from speaking out on
Israel's criminal policy against the Palestinians. This verbal
violence, blackmail and harassment with accusations of anti-Semitism
reflect Israel's present day policy, that sees itself above and
beyond any principle or international law."

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