April 16, 2009, - 2:20 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Recently, I told you about the anti-Israel propaganda film “Waltz with Bashir” ["Vals Im Bashir"]. As I noted, that piece of high quality Bin Laden cinema was made not by HAMAS or Hezbollah’s Nasrallah or the Saudi Royal Film Commission, or even madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It was made by Israelis.
And as I noted then and many times on this site, the most anti-Israel, most pan-terrorist filmmakers are not in the depths of the Islamic world and the Arab street. They are in the heart of the discos of Tel Aviv and the beaches of Eilat. They make our America-hating Hollywood left look like red-blooded patriots. And unfortunately, they receive a ton of tax-funded money from the Israeli government and its film commission. Let’s see if new Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has the guts to put an end to that, but don’t hold your breath. It’s like our PBS. No-one will kill the monster, once and for all.
As a movie critic, I recently received notice from Mark Cuban’s Landmark Theaters about upcoming movies, which they periodically send me. And in that latest e-mail missive, there was word that the following movie was coming to Detroit on May 15th, to be shown at the Landmark Maple in the heart of an area largely populated by secular Jews–you know, the 78% of my fellow co-religionists who voted for Obama and eat up this propaganda.
I would ask you to guess the religion and nationality of the director/co-writer of this celluloid propaganda fiction, the latest high quality Bin Laden cinema, but I think it’s too easy. The Muslims and the pan-Islamist Arabs are HAMAS-green with envy over this “cinematic splendor.” And all the better that it debuts in Detroit on Israel’s birthdate of May 15th. But it’s been making its way around U.S. arthouse theaters for the last couple of weeks.
LEMON TREE / MAPLE / 106 Mins / IFC
Hiam Abbass (The Visitor) won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Actress for this film. She plays Salma, a Palestinian widow who stands up against her new neighbor, the Israeli Defense Minister, when he moves into his new house opposite her lemon grove, on the green line border between Israel and the West Bank. The Israeli security forces are quick to declare that Salma’s trees pose a threat to the Minister’s safety and issue orders to uproot them. Together with Ziad (Ali Suliman), her young Palestinian lawyer, Salma goes all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court to try and save her trees. Her struggle raises the interest of Mira (Rona Lipaz-Michael), the Defense Minister’s wife, who is trapped in her new home and in an unhappy life. Despite their differences and the borders between them the two women develop an invisible bond, while forbidden ties grow stronger between Salma and Ziad. Salma’s legal and personal journey lead her deep into the complex, dark and sometimes funny chaos of the ongoing struggle in the Middle East, in which all players find themselves alone in their struggle to survive. Directed and co-written by Eran Riklis (The Syrian Bride, Cup Final). (Partially subtitled)
Let’s here it for Grrlpower! It’s like a bad episode (redundant phrase) of Oprah where the sistaz are doin’ it (America’s moral and cultural destruction from within) for themselves.
It gets worse. Watch the trailer, below, for “Lemon Tree” (“Etz Limon) and its “Israelis as the new Nazis” imagery–a common theme of HAMAS, Fatah, and other Islamic anti-Israel propaganda (and, of late, of Israeli film garbage like this and “Waltz with Bashir”). The evil Zionists erect concentration camp-style guard towers in the poor, disheveled, widowed Muslim Palestinian woman’s lemon tree grove. The Israeli Gestapo-like soldiers target innocent, old, poor Palestinian Muslim Arabs as they meekly walk through the lemon grove. The propaganda is so thick, you could cut it with an Islamic sword.
Do you think our government would hesitate to chop down a lemon grove if Defense Secretary Bill Gates’ next-door neighbor’s backyard was an entry point for Al-Qaeda terrorists out to assassinate him and kill more innocent Americans? Gimme a break. Just ask Susette Kelo, whose home wasn’t taken for the noble cause of protecting us from Islamic terrorists bent on our destruction, but for the greed of New London, Connecticut driven by a proposed condo and townhouse development.
“Lemon Tree” is very tangentially based on a true story. A Palestinian woman did take a fight all the way the Israeli Supreme Court to keep her tree grove that was, indeed, a pathway for terrorists to enter Israel and attack innocent civilians. But other than that skeletal set of facts, the rest of the movie is just conjecture and slanted propaganda. The movie very apparently doesn’t stress the important part: that a Palestinian Muslim woman could actually go all the way through the Israeli court system to protect her terrorist shielding backyard.
Do you think a Jew (or anyone else) could go to court in an Islamic country to protect his house, which wasn’t a strategic entry point for terrorists? Fuhgedaboutit. They wouldn’t live to see another day, and they’d be cut down along with the trees.
A million Jews were not only kicked out of Arab and Islamic countries, but their homes and property were seized by the governments and their Muslim countrymen, no questions asked. My friend Jeff’s family members’ homes in Libya and Iraq were seized from them. My friend Sherri’s mother’s home in Tunisia–taken, because the family were Jews. Newsflash: They didn’t get to go to court to get their homes and property back. They barely escaped with their lives. Where is the Israeli movie about that?
Don’t expect “Lemon Tree”‘s Israeli director/co-writer Eran Riklis to make a movie about that. He’s more concerned with portraying Arab Muslim terrorists and aggressors as victims and good people. Take his 1992 piece of ap-cray, “Cup Final” (“Gmar Gavi’a“) about a group of Israeli soldiers who are taken captive in Lebanon and connect with their captors over a shared love of world soccer.
Do you think the horribly tortured, mutilated, disfigured Israeli soldiers captured and murdered by Hezbollah in Lebanon were thinking about their “shared love of soccer” as their lives were snuffed out and their penises were cut off and inserted into their mouths? Some of the bodies of the Israelis captured by the mutually “soccer-loving” terrorists have never been found nor returned by these Lebanese “soccer lovers.” One of them, Ron Arad, is certainly dead, and his body has been missing for decades, “shared love of soccer” or not.
And it’s no coincidence that “Lemon Tree”‘s star, Muslim Arab Hiam Abbass, was also a star in “The Visitor” (read my brief commentary on this movie), which as I’ve noted on this site is a BS propaganda film about how bad we Americans are because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents actually deport a Syrian Muslim illegal alien squatting in some guy’s New York apartment. The nerve.
Yup, Ms. Abbass, has made a career of making anti-Western, Muslim victimhood movies. It’s ironic (and hypocritical), since Abbass, who insists on identifying as Palestinian (she was born in Nazareth, ISRAEL), has the privilege of being an Israeli–where as a Muslim woman, she is treated far better than she (or any Jew, for that matter) would be in any Islamic country. She even won the Best Actress award from the Israeli Film Academy (Israel’s Oscars). She makes a better living from Israel than most Israelis–Jew or Arab–could ever hope to make.
It’s also no surprise that another anti-Israel Muslim Arab actor, Ali Suliman, stars in the film. He was one of the stars of “Paradise Now,” the pro-homicide bomber, anti-Israel movie also funded by Israel. He is also from Nazareth, Israel. Like I said, the Israelis have made these two actors wealthy beyond their wildest dreams, funded by Israel, attacking Israel from within.
The bottom line, apparently not shown in this movie, is that if Palestinians–with whom Ms. Abbass now identifies after years of saying she was an Israeli Arab–stopped supporting and committing terrorism and using their land to shield and harbor cold-blooded killers on their way to blow up pizza joints and kill toddlers and babies, there would have been no need to go after this woman’s lemon grove. But why dwell on that fact, when we can have critical thinking-free propaganda films against Israel?
Forget Hollywood’s anti-Israel viewpoint in films. Hollywood has nothing on Israel’s film industry. I await the day when I will actually see a pro-Israel–or even a balanced–film coming out of Israel.
But it’s pretty likely that I’ll be waiting forever. The Muslims don’t need to make anti-Israel–and frankly, anti-Semitic–films. They have the Israeli Jewish left and its film industry doing it for them.
Neither Bin Laden nor Nasrallah, Ahmadinejad, Haniyeh, Abbas, Qaddafi, and the King Abdullahs need to open a studio. They already have several in Tel Aviv “Hollywood.”