Spielberg's "Munich"

Posted: Dec 07, 2005 12:05 AM

Steven Spielberg's new movie, "Munich," is all set to premiere on Dec. 23. No one has seen the movie yet except for Time Magazine, which sycophantically granted its Dec. 12 cover to "Spielberg's Secret Masterpiece."

Spielberg reportedly wants to keep this $70 million movie under wraps until audiences finally get to see it.
I can't criticize the movie itself until I've seen it, but this film has all the hallmarks of a high-handed, elitist, Hollywood view of foreign policy. Tony Kushner, the virulently socialist playwright and author of the homosexual propaganda piece "Angels in America," penned the screenplay to "Munich."  Kushner, who laughably stated in the Time piece that he "never like[s] to draw lessons for people," calls the establishment of the State of Israel "for the Jewish people a historical, moral, political calamity … I wish the modern Israel hadn't been born." He slanders the Israeli Defense Forces, snootily declaring, "I deplore the brutal and illegal tactics of the Israeli Defense Forces in the occupied territories … Jews, of all people, with our history of suffering, should refuse to treat our fellow human beings like that." Allowing Kushner to write what will probably be seen as the definitive movie on the slaughter of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics is somewhat like allowing Ramsey Clark to write the definitive account of United States foreign policy in the Middle East.

 Kushner's mindset -- and presumably Spielberg's, since the latter hired the former -- denotes a marked foolishness with regard to good and evil. Spielberg told Time that "Tony Kushner and I and the actors did not demonize anyone in the film. We don't demonize our targets. They're individuals. They have families." This is the problem: Today's left, and the Hollywood left in particular, sees everyone as human. Hitler was an individual; Hitler had a family. Presumably, Hitler's mother was fond of him as a child. Hitler had a woman who loved him. He liked animals. Does this make Hitler less of a demon?

Does it make him more worthy of sympathy? It does not. Certain people deserve to be demonized, because demonization is simply an accurate portrayal of their evil. The terrorists who slaughtered 11 Israeli Olympic athletes deserve no sympathy -- they deserve the hatred of moral people the world over.

 But to Spielberg and his ilk, hatred of evil is the problem. "Somewhere inside all this intransigence there has to be a prayer for peace," Spielberg explained. "Because the biggest enemy is not the Palestinians or the Israelis. The biggest enemy in the region is intransigence." In a sense, this is true -- but only in the same sense in which Polish intransigence in failing to immediately surrender to Hitler was the cause of World War II. The Arab-Israeli conflict is not all that complicated, despite the "nuanced" gloss leftists like Spielberg wish to place upon it. One population, the Jews, wish to live in peace and security in their homeland -- and they have repeatedly demonstrated, to the point of insanity, their desire to be left alone (see Oslo Accords). Another population, the Arab population, wishes to throw the Jews out of their homeland and into the sea, and will brook no compromise in pursuit of that goal. 

 Are there human beings on both sides? Of course there are. But every human conflict involves human beings. Only human beings are capable of moral evil, because only human beings are capable of moral choice. Evil doesn't make someone subhuman -- it makes them all too human in their decision to exercise free will in pursuit of wickedness. Just because we are all human does not mean all of our behavior deserves the same moral treatment.

 Spielberg and Kushner disagree. In their view, everyone, no matter how evil, deserves moral respect. To that end, "Munich" includes a completely fictitious scene wherein Israeli hit squad leader Avner Kauffman chats with the head of the Arab terror squad. Naturally, the head of the terror squad is given the opportunity to wax eloquent on the need for yet another Arab homeland. "That scene means everything to Kushner and Spielberg," Time reports. Of course it does. Sitting down across the table from Hitler meant everything to Neville Chamberlain, too.

 There comes a time when the idle luxury of humanizing all forms of evil, reserved for elite members of Western countries, must come to an end. There comes a point when a moral choice must be made. When we stare into the face of a Hitler, a Stalin, a Palestinian terrorist bent on murder, we must make that choice. If we do not, we fall into the same trap as Kushner and Spielberg -- for at some point, sympathy for evil is, in and of itself, evil.