Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal print edition provides some answers to the question of why the “pro-Israel crowd” hates Munich.
Here’s one among many:
Steven Spielberg wants you to know one thing about “Munich,” his just-released, semi-historical, instantly controversial account of Israel’s efforts to avenge the massacre of its athletes at the 1972 Olympics: “I worked very hard,” he says, “so this film was not in any way, shape or form going to be an attack on Israel.” So why is his movie raising such hackles among Israelis and those generally known as the “pro-Israel” crowd?
Maybe it has something to do with his choice of a screenwriter, Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright brought in by Mr. Spielberg to rework the original screenplay by Eric Roth. Mr. Kushner (who, like Mr. Spielberg, is Jewish) believes that the creation of the state of Israel was “a historical, moral, political calamity” for the Jewish people. He believes the policy of the government of Israel has been “a systematic attempt to destroy the identity of the Palestinian people.” He believes that responsibility for making peace between Israelis and Palestinians lies primarily with the Israelis, “inasmuch as they are far more mighty.” He believes Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is an “unindicted war criminal.”
Stephens quotes Kushner:
“If you start with an ax to grind,” Mr. Kushner recently told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, “then you write a bad play or movie.” To watch “Munich” is to recognize the truth of that statement.