Challenging the Rhetoric of those who are Right

The War on "Munich"
20 December 2005, Spiegel Online

Michelle Goldberg of explores the controversy surrounding Munich, the new film directed by Steven Spielberg (written by Tony Kushner). The film opens on December 23.


JJ Goldberg, the editor of the Jewish newspaper the Forward and an unequivocal supporter of the Jewish state, called the movie "as close as I've seen to an American film that's inside the Israeli head." He's somewhat baffled by the attacks on "Munich," including a negative review that appeared in his own paper, which called the movie "little more than a stylish bumper sticker -- well meaning and eye catching but ephemeral, a deceptively slight work that dissolves in its own seriousness."

Speaking of the consensus emerging around the film, Goldberg suggested it's a kind of knee-jerk response by people used to defending Israel against its global legions of denouncers. Describing their thinking, he said, "The world has condemned Israel, the world is blaming Israel for the rise of Arab terrorism, there's this conventional wisdom out there that Israel's treatment of the Palestinians has created this international wave of jihad terrorism, and so they're looking for it" -- "it" being anti-Israel sentiment. "They see the name Tony Kushner, and it's like the script is written before they even get in the theater."

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