Finding Israel’s Soul At The Movies
Many Jewish artists pride themselves on having empathy for the “the other,” even — especially – for Palestinians.
For example, “Miral,” a film released earlier this year, shows a Palestinian girl living under an Israeli occupation depicted as absolutely brutal. The director, Julian Schnabel, a Jew, was quoted as saying that he had “a personal Jewish responsibility” to make such a film, which was distributed by Harvey Weinstein, who’s Jewish, too.
Rabbi Irwin Kula, president of CLAL, has said of “Miral,” in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, that what’s missing in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a “lack of empathy on both sides.” Miral “is fundamentally a meditation on empathy.”
That only begs the question: In recent years, how many films have been made — anywhere — with empathy for, say, West Bank settlers? Of all the Jews in the film business, how many ever felt “a personal Jewish responsibility” to make films empathetic to Orthodox or old-school Zionist lives?