Gideon Levy: Waltz with Bashir

 Since this movie has been much talked about, on this list and among Oscar buzzers, today’s review by Gideon Levy in Haaretz offers a perspective I’ve not seen elsewhere:

 “…the film is infuriating, disturbing, outrageous and deceptive. It deserves an Oscar for the illustrations and animation – but a badge of shame for its message. It was not by accident that when he won the Golden Globe, Folman didn’t even mention the war in Gaza, which was raging as he accepted the prestigious award. The images coming out of Gaza that day looked remarkably like those in Folman’s film. But he was silent. So before we sing Folman’s praises, which will of course be praise for us all, we would do well to remember that this is not an antiwar film, nor even a critical work about Israel as militarist and occupier. It is an act of fraud and deceit, intended to allow us to pat ourselves on the back, to tell us and the world how lovely we are.” 

PS — many of us who experienced pre-war Lebanon will remember swimming at Cite Sportive, the iconic stadium complex on the south side of Beirut.  It became a regular backdrop for news reporters when Israel invaded in 1982.  The mass grave for those killed in the Sabra and Chatila massacre is just a stone’s throw from where we munched our hamburgers and laughed at the naked Palestinian children playing in the green effluent of “our” sparkling playground.  My apathy and social myopia then still haunts me now…

PPS — since some you reading this have military and/or intelligence backgrounds, can you corroborate the story that the US Navy, perched a few miles offshore at the time, intercepted radio communications between the IDF and its Phalangist proxies during the entire massacre?  If so, were we silent (and thereby complicit), or were those communications transcribed and published?

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