Friday, October 4, 2013

O JERUSALEM! What Nonsense!

This is trash.
There are so many unbelievable items that this film gets wrong regarding the nakba, and relies so heavily on the double-whammy of the heroine being a death camp survivor that images of emptying death camps are transposed everywhere.  The role of the British is totally misrepresented, the Palestinians are reduced to faceless hordes, the Arab best friend of our Jewish hero is the one petitioning the King of Transjordan to collaborate with Ben Gurion....aye yaye yaye.

It's all a congealed, slimy mess of half-truths and outright lies, all the way down to the 'Arab radio broadcasts' that Christopher Hitchens (!) debunked 25 years ago.  The racism towards Palestinians drips from the jaws, including an obvious adoption of the Benny Morris thesis in his 1948 book that jihadism drove the Arab states and a scene where Golda Meir tells a whole bus load of people that Jewish girls are not safe in prison with Arab rapist animals.  This film is only able to pass muster in the English world, the recent French CARLOS miniseries, about the infamous Jackal terrorist from France, proves that not all Europeans are idiots regarding Palestinian history.
O JERUSALEM is an update of Leon Uris's EXODUS, both in terms of ideology and racist outlook.  Yet again, we have the hilarious yekkes and the heroic sabras.  The alteration between the Taha character in Uris and the Said character in O JERUSALEM is also notably ridiculous.  The Bobby-Said borderline homoerotic relationship is truly absurd.  As for the invocation of the Holocaust by the romantic lead, it takes on a whole new level of uncomfortable when she gets into the gritty details.  It's both gratuitous and unnecessary.

The film in fact is a portrayal, in a convoluted and misbegotten fashion, of Plan Dalet (תוכנית ד'‎), described by Ilan Pappe as an "ethnic cleansing", which implemented the 'transfer' protocol inherent in Herzl's program of action and was executed by David Ben-Gurion, Yigael Yadin, Moshe Dayan, Yigal Allon, Yitzhak Sadeh, Moshe Kalman, Moshe Camel, Yitzak Rabin, Shimon Avidan, Rehavam Zeevi, Yitzhak Pundak, the Haganah, Irgun, the Stern Gang, and the Israeli Defense Force.  The Deir Yassin massacre is a mere sideshow to the true nakba of 1948, but in this cinematic universe it is the climax and culmination of plans that were counter to those of Ben Gurion, here played by Ian Holm with all the charisma of a hobbit 'vit a hard speech infwection'.  The only shame is he fails to call Eretz Yisrael 'my precious'.

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