Israel, and the AJC, try to shut down Miral US premiere tonight at the UN

Miral is having its US premiere tonight at the United Nations, and the American Jewish Committee is (of course) trying to shut it down. Here is a letter from AJC Executive Director David Harris to UN General Assembly President Joseph Deiss:

Dear President Deiss,

I write on behalf of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) to express profound concern about the planned showing of the film “Miral” in the General Assembly Hall on Monday.

To say the least, we were surprised to learn about this highly unusual premiere under the auspices of your office. The film has a clear political message, which portrays Israel in a highly negative light. Permit me to ask why the President of the General Assembly would wish to associate himself — and the prestige of his office — with such a blatantly one-sided event.

AJC has had a long and productive association with the UN that dates back to the world body’s founding in San Francisco in 1945. Indeed, historians have credited our organization with a key role in achieving the human-rights provisions in the Charter. Moreover, the Barbara Hepworth sculpture in front of the Secretariat building was a gift from our president, Jacob Blaustein, to then Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold as a tangible gesture of support. Today, we enjoy consultative status at the UN.

It is in that spirit of deeply-rooted connection to the UN that we voice the earnest hope, even at this late date, that you will reconsider your decision about the film. Otherwise, you will only serve to reinforce the already widespread view that Israel simply cannot expect fair treatment in the UN.

Thank you for the consideration of our view.

Cordially,

David Harris
AJC Executive Director

The AJC press release adds another quote from Harris complaining that “the Israeli Mission to the UN was not even given the minimal courtesy of being consulted in advance about the wisdom of showing such a film”. As per usual, the AJC is only echoing the Israeli government, which has called the premiere “scandalous” and is protesting it within in the UN.

From the Jerusalem Post article “Israel incensed pro-Palestinian film to show at UN“:

A member of the Israeli delegation to the UN who had seen the film told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the film is “scandalous.”

“There’s no historic context, not at all, nothing,” the diplomat said, noting that the film was laden with instances of Israeli cruelty to Palestinians. “You can see us bombing a house in the film, but you don’t see why – maybe this was the house of a suicide bomber that killed 30 Israelis. We don’t know.”

Sources said that invitations were sent out on Thursday afternoon for the Monday night screening. Members of the Israeli delegation said the decision to screen a feature film in the General Assembly hall – especially such a dramatically pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli film – was a “horrible” one.

The decision seems to have been made unilaterally by Switzerland’s Joseph Deiss, the General Assembly’s president.

Asked whether the showing would be particularly inappropriate following the slayings in Itamar on Friday night, UN spokesperson Jean- Victor Nkolo told the Post Sunday that Deiss condemns “in the strongest possible terms the murder of the Israeli family in the West Bank.”

However, Nkolo said, it is the UN’s hope that the film “will show the state of children in conflict.”

Nkolo said Deiss had seen the film and thought it would be “conducive to a discussion of children in conflict.”

Nkolo said he believes other films have been shown in the General Assembly hall, recalling one on child soldiers in Africa. He did not know if a nondocumentary feature film had ever premiered there.

On Friday morning, Israel’s delegation to the UN sent a letter of complaint to Deiss, protesting his decision to host the US premiere of Miral.

In the letter, Israel’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Haim Waxman wrote, “We find it very troubling that the UN has chosen to feature this film in the GA Hall. We are not aware of any other films with such contentious political content that have received this kind of endorsement from the president of the GA.”

The event, according to the Israeli delegation, “will mark a rare occasion in which the UN’s GA Hall is used for a movie premiere. This is clearly a politicized decision of the UN, one that shows poor judgment and a lack of evenhandedness.”

According to members of the Israeli delegation, various offices at the UN denied having any knowledge of the event beforehand, including the office of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. His office did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.

Waxman said that Deiss, as president of the General Assembly, in some circumstances is independent and therefore has the prerogative to make decisions such as these.

“But the hall of the General Assembly is not his own property,” Waxman continued.

“This is the main hall of the global community and belongs to the countries of the world. Anything that happens there has to be decided with great care. We find ourselves arguing about commas here and there on every document – so how can this screening happen?” Waxman said members of the Israeli delegation met with Deiss staffers on Friday.

“We gave them a very strong piece of our mind on why we think it’s completely out of place, why this is almost bizarre and a very strange decision [that] the only time they’re sending a political movie [is] when it deals with us,” Waxman told the Post.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 116 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Kathleen says:

    And from what I have heard about the film it is lite compared to what has been going on for decades in regard to the humiliation, stealing of land, killing of Palestinians, torture of Palestinians, bulldozing of homes, destruction of olive trees and other agricultural output.

    Thank goodness it is coming out…so many films about this critical issue have been shut down and out for decades.

  2. Chaos4700 says:

    I suppose now we’ll have Anthony Wiener raising a sturm and drang about how the UN are our “former allies,” the same way he did with Turkey.

  3. Colin Murray says:

    Moreover, the Barbara Hepworth sculpture in front of the Secretariat building was a gift from our president, Jacob Blaustein, to then Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold as a tangible gesture of support.

    Translation: Please censor the unpleasant truth on our behalf. We gave you a statue! You owe us.

    I couldn’t make this stuff up. ROFLMA

    • bijou says:

      LOL – it’s a pale, pathetic version of the “we pay, you will therefore behave accordingly” chokehold that AIPAC has on the US Congress…

    • Chaos4700 says:

      I think it’s unfortunate that the term “Indian giver” was vastly inappropriately targeted.

    • MRW says:

      I read that and had the same reaction. Ditto this

      Indeed, historians have credited our organization with a key role in achieving the human-rights provisions in the Charter.

      Achieving the human-rights provisions in the Charter? Must be some mystery historian on the dole working in a basement somewhere in Israel, because the AJC does not figure in any official UN documents. It was the violations of the Charter that created the first UN mission in 1948 in Palestine, which is still there today.

      Jesus, I get tired of this lying, this self-righteous sanctimony. Have these people no shame?

    • munro says:

      odd bc zionists loathe Dag Hammarskjold (thrown from a plane to his death) as they do Folke Bernadotte (gunned down in Ben Zion Guini Square by Stern Gang aka Lehi).
      link to dissident-net.info

      • fuster says:

        I attended a school where the head of the school was a Zionist.

        When she heard that Hammarskjold had died, she gathered everyone together in the auditorium and bawled as she announced the news.

        you seem a little odd

        • munro says:

          I’ve had opposite experiences, like the zionist grande dame who surprised me with the depth of her contempt for Hammarskjold as we walked by his statue around the corner from the UN. What do you think about Prime Minister Begin’s connection to the assassination of Folke Bernadotte? Odd no?

  4. Ismail says:

    Although I don’t know a syllable of Hebrew, I believe I can offer a correct translation of the Israeli delegate’s remarks:

    “This film presents a perspective which we find politically uncomfortable. Accordingly, we would like both to suppress its presentation and, in an effort to misdirect the public’s attention, remind everyone that only powerful antisemitic impulses could animate such critical representations of our policies.

    To these ends, we shall propose a series of profoundly silly standards that the film in question fails to meet; all works of art must encompass every possible viewpoint, no artist shall privilege her own interpretation of the events she describes, the correct artistic stance is the absolutely uninflected one, et al.

    In this manner, we hope to conceal that our objections basically come down to:

    “Wah! No fair!” “

  5. ritzl says:

    With objections like this:

    ” “You can see us bombing a house in the film, but you don’t see why – maybe this was the house of a suicide bomber that killed 30 Israelis. We don’t know.” ” (i.e. post-hoc house demolitions as banal and completely unproductive behavior solely designed to punish the families)

    It’s easy to see how the UN gets to this:

    ” “This is the main hall of the global community and belongs to the countries of the world. Anything that happens there has to be decided with great care. We find ourselves arguing about commas here and there on every document – so how can this screening happen?” Waxman said members of the Israeli delegation met with Deiss staffers on Friday.”

    The world is tired of the first mentality, which leads to the US being Israel’s only friend at the UN, and the obvious answer to the second.

  6. Donald says:

    Don’t be too quick to assume the film is good because these hysterics hate it. Remember that to some Israel defenders the NYT and Tom Friedman are fanatically pro-Palestinian.

    Not that I know one way or the other about the film. I read the negative review in the electronic intifada that some others linked to in an earlier thread. I hope it’s wrong or overstated.

    • Shmuel says:

      It came out months ago in Italy (I have not seen it), and got pretty lousy reviews. For example (from the centre-left daily l’Unita):

      “… Hind Husseini is played by Hiam Abbass, the stupendous actress from The Lemon Tree: Seeing her in action is the only reason to see this film… Very poorly written and possibly even more poorly directed in gratuitously ‘poetic’ style … Miral is a film in which PC and ideological preaching – as noble as they may be – come across as Hollywoodian colonialism of the worst kind.”

      Of course it may just be Eurosnobbery. Schnabel’s not particularly well-liked, and the highbrows never took Rula Jebreal seriously while she lived here.

      • MRW says:

        I heard that too. It was panned. I heard they rewrote it as a result, but don’t hold me to that.

        Preaching in film or on the stage is the sign of an amateur screenwriter or playwright…a problem that exists way before colonialism has its say. The writer has his (her) elbows, tits, and ass in there directing emotional traffic and destroys the real stakes of the story. So, we’re bored.

        It’s not Eurosnobbery. Europeans recognize a great story when they hear it, just as easily as a Somalian or Angeleno.

      • Avi says:

        Shmuel March 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm

        as noble as they may be – come across as Hollywoodian colonialism of the worst kind.”

        That’s what bothers me with such movies. The recipe is rather simple, take a spoonful of Palestinian ‘moderates’ (Palestinians who are ‘minding their own business and just want to get along), add a dash of platitudes, throw in a pinch of Israeli soldiers, half a cup of a suicide bomber, mix until the cliche turns creamy and bake for 90 minutes so we can all get along.

      • Potsherd2 says:

        It was panned by EI, too.

        • annie says:

          i was really turned off by his description of the palestinian male characters in the film. why does the father have to be a sexual abuser? how prevalent is that in palestinian society? i mean there are reams and reams of true stories about haredi pedophilia but not one movie about it. and the first possible blockbuster about palestine.. i don’t know, turned me off.

          i want mornings in jenin to be made into a movie. now there’s some awesome character development.

        • Potsherd2 says:

          I was underwhelmed by Mornings in Jenin. Too manipulative.

        • annie says:

          in what way did you find it manipulative?

        • Avi says:

          how prevalent is that in palestinian society?

          Quite prevalent. One cannot be both a decent family man and an Arab at the same time.

        • Citizen says:

          Yeah, not all cultures are equal, as Ms Bachmann tells us Americans.

  7. Its innappropriate to propagandize in the name of the UN.

    It should not be shown as a UN sanctioned event.

    The UN’s stature is diminished by partisanship.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Bullshit, Witty. You haven’t seen the film and now you’re spouting bullshit about it being propaganda. It’s like you and your kind crucifying Goldstone all over again.

      It’s not propaganda to document war crimes. Not unless you put yourself on the wrong side of the law.

    • Saleema says:

      UN stature has been undermined by the US and Israel for decades. So stop with the lies.

    • James North says:

      Richard: Why are you wasting time here, dabbling in film criticism, when you could be over at Arutz Sheva warning them that the latest wave of new “settlements” just announced jeopardizes your 2-state solution?

    • Citizen says:

      Witty, the partition and recognition of Israel by the UN was accomplished in the main by the economic power of the US over the swing voter states; the Palestinians did not even have their own reps there; it was accomplished in the dissenting face of every country in the Middle East, the very states that would be most effected by the UN decision. Further, Israel never lived up to the conditions subsequent attached the UN recognition, and still do not do so to this day. The UN’s stature was diminished there and then too–so at least this time it’s much more a majority UN vote than the very recognition of Israel in the first place–remember Obama-Rice’s lonely vote so recently?

      • Mooser says:

        That, Citizen, is one heck of an in-a-nutshell description of the founding of Israel!

        • How is it proper to present a fictional film at the UN general assembly, a film with partisan content.

          Is there any precedent at all?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Agreed, Citizen’s summary deserves kudos.

        • James North says:

          Richard: What did you comment over at Arutz Sheva, about the latest dangerous increase in “settlements”? Surely that takes priority over correcting the UN?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Why not, Witty? Israelis have been presenting fiction to the UN General Assembly for sixty years running. And then, of course, there was Colin Powell’s PowerPoint. Remember that?

        • North,
          The one time I looked at the site, the content didn’t relate to any interest of mine, nor did I find a realistic path to comment.

          This site is designed for commentary. You don’t like that, and prefer that it be only a broadcast medium, or censored by content, go talk to Phil and Adam.

          I asked for other relevant sites that you thought my voice might be relevant, but you didn’t respond.

          I don’t believe that you are in earnest about your request, more that you find me a bother and desire that I “not exist”, or become “invisible”.

          Of course, stated in the name of democracy.

        • MRW says:

          Is there any precedent at all?

          Movies and cultural events play at the UN all the time.

        • Is there any precedent to showing a partison film at the UN General Assembly hall?

          A simple question.

          I hope to see the film and learn from it, including the zeal to support Palestinian human rights more effectively.

          But, I still don’t think it should be aired in the UN General Assembly.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Considering you equate ethnic cleansing and mass murder with “democracy,” Witty, you really have no room to criticize on that account.

        • Do they? What has been aired in the general assembly hall?

          Munich? The Piano? Schindler’s List? Exodus?

        • James North says:

          Richard: Go to Haaretz, the English-language site. Talk to the Israelis and Israeli sympathizers who comment there. Warn them that the increased settlements that Netanyahu just announced make the 2-state solution even less likely. Make “the better argument.” Encourage them to form new political parties, to promote the 2-state solution — just as you regularly admonish us to do.
          Why waste your time here, quibbling about the UN’s film policy?

        • Thanks for the encouragement.

          I don’t post in the inter-slime arguments there.

          My original intent in posting here, ever, at all, was to comment on the original articles.

        • Saleema says:

          There was no fucking precedent to create Israel. It all had to do with colonialims and the power of the veto. UN doesn’t need any precedent to show any film.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Your original intent at posting here, Witty, was to slam a film you’ve never seen before because it exposes Zionist violence to a wider audience.

          You had to be schooled on the fact that films were showed at the UN at all and now you’re grasping at straws. Witty, you’re just making yourself look more and more like an idiot.

          But please, do continue. It’s vaguely amusing.

        • It creates a new precedent is the problem.

          Now, rather than a deliberative body, the UN general assembly hall will devolve further to a fight over which partisan film gets hall airtime.

          You don’t think that is a devolution of its mission?

        • Cliff says:

          Lazy witty, find out on your own

        • fuster says:

          Saleema, how was Jordan created and how was India partitioned into separate states?

        • Cliff says:

          Witty palestinians deserve the spotlight. Meanwhile ur polluting the blog while bibi expands settlements even more.

          Bds!

        • tree says:

          Is there any precedent at all?

          After a very limited and quick perusal through google I’ve found two fictionalized movies shown at the UN within the past five years.

          The first I found was Clint Eastwood’s “Invictus”, shown in March 2009 shown as part of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

          link to un.org

          The second I found was the Hungarian film, “Fateless” shown in January 2006 as part of Holocaust Remembrance Week.

          link to un.org

          There are probably more precedents out there.

        • Mooser says:

          “desire that I “not exist”, or become “invisible”.

          Gosh Richard, I searched in vain for the words of James North you quoted in you comment, but I can’t find them. This troubles me. Can you recommend a good optometrist?

          Witty, do you understand that to attribute words to someone in quotes which are fabricated is to lie? Why do you feel you have the right to do that? And how many times do you get to do it (they are in fact, legion) before somebody has the right to conclude you are worthy only of contempt and as the butt of jokes.

          You know, if you need ‘scare quotes’ around something, try using a single quote. ” ‘ ” and ” ‘ “.

        • James North says:

          Mooser is right. On the contrary, I want Richard to “exist” and to be very “visible” — over at Haaretz, where he can “make the better argument” for his 2-state solution.
          Richard says he hesitates because he doesn’t like what he calls “the inter-slime arguments” at Haaretz. All the more incentive for a calm, rational person like him to jump in.
          Instead, he wastes time here, quibbling over movies.

        • MRW says:

          World Premier of Bryan Single’s “Children of War” on Oct. 12 at UN General Assembly Hall, NY
          .
          We are pleased and honored to announce the World Premiere Event of “Children Of War” to be screened within the historic and symbolic venue of the United Nations General Assembly Hall, New York City, on the date of October 12, 2010 at 7:00pm.

        • Saleema says:

          We can thank colonialims for creating many fake states. What’s your point?

          Thankfully though Europeans didn’t stay on to colonize every fake state that they created with white people, exception being Israel, of course. But Israel is always the exception to many things, that’s why they require everyone to treat them above all others.

        • seafoid says:

          It’s the fakest state in the world, fid dunya kulha

        • seafoid says:

          Keep it up, Saleema. I’m lovin’ the ghadab

        • piotr says:

          Richard, I do not dismiss your opinions automatically, but how such minor matters as screening a movie to “impressionable diplomats” change the mission of UN? Surely it is not a matter for Assembly vote.

          As a minor matter, it was within prerogative of Assembly president. Can the matter “devolve further to a fight”? How THAT may happen? By Israeli delegates heckling the screening?

          Should superpowers exercise veto over screening movies in General Assembly Hall? Or minor power? I bet that many Muslim delegates are aghast over immodest dress of female characters. Did Israel try to get their cooperation?

        • Citizen says:

          Oh Dick Witty, please “stay, thou art so fair!” We need you; you serve the same purpose as this jesus-freak I know who believes the Jews have a right to the holy land because God gave it to them, and that Islam seeks to murder all infidels. She’s not particularly fond of Jews, and most certainly she’s not fond of the US government, or lawyers, for example, or “the intellectual crowd,” but she believes she has her priorities straight. She knows what she knows, she says, but she says she doesn’t look down on those who simply have not experienced what she has, which is The Trinity, The “living Bible,” and she thinks the nefarious political and governmental leaders “just don’t care” about the little people. Teaches me just how impenetrable & impervious millions of people are on the subject matter discussed on Mondoweiss. If you’re not impenetrable, impervious, Dick, nothing is. We have about three years of your comments here on Mondoweiss to prove it.

        • Citizen says:

          Well, Dick, you’ve certainly given a good reason why Miral should be given the same support in the USA that the films you mention have been given.

          Otherwise, the film is based on an autobiographical novel by Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal that traces the Arab-Israeli conflict after 1948 from a Palestinian perspective. Vanessa Redgrave is in it. She’s known for being both a great actress and one not given to caving in to the jewish face of Hollywood.
          General Assembly spokesman Jean-Victor Nkolo denied there was any “political link” to the film, which is a French, Israeli, Italian, Indian coproduction. “It is just a venue,” he said. “Several films have been shown at the UN.” link to artforum.com
          For one, the UN has screened a film by a Jewish woman on Holocaust Art–it includes interviews with Jewish and Israeli artists about how they see and create their perspective on the subject through their art:
          link to un.org

        • Citizen says:

          The first devolution of the original UN mission was caused by the US economic bullying of swing votes regarding both the partition and recognition of Israel, and Israel’s continued breech of the original condition subseqent to its recognition by the UN has
          seriously negated the UN’s reputation since 1948 right up to 2011.

        • Mooser says:

          “Mooser is right.”

          Ha! So there! Just don’t tell my wife. It’ll turn her entire world inside out. A person needs verities, you know.

    • Cliff says:

      Anyone notice the desperation in richards post? This guy regularly ignores un declarations, but now is up in arms

      Ur shameless richard and transparent

      • In contrast Cliff,
        I notice the shamelessness of noone standing up to say “I see his point, even if I disagree. Law is not served by partisanship. Law should be color-blind.”

        • tree says:

          Law should be color-blind.

          Except for that “self-governance” thing, right? Or have you suddenly seen the light and agree that Israel should be a state of all of its citizens rather than just a State of the Jews.

          And, BTW, were aren’t talking about “law” here. This is about the screening of a movie. You want it banned from the UN because you disagree with it. That’s partisanship.

        • seafoid says:

          Law should be blind to religion. There is only one country in the world with 2 sets of law which are applied on the basis of a person’s religion.

        • pjdude says:

          can’t see a point if it doesn’t exist. that you label a film that you have never seen that documents the horrors of Israel’s crimes as propaganda and partinsanship is terrible. Witty true information is never partisan.

          yes witty you have heard from you that you want the law to be colorblind but only if supports you. you want to rig the system to get your crimes absolved.

        • Citizen says:

          “Israel as Israel” is definitely not color-blind.

        • Mooser says:

          “Except for that “self-governance” thing, right?”

          Of course “Jewish self government” is color-blind. I mean aren’t Jews white people, too? And you better not say “no” unless you want to be condemned for a bigot!

    • talknic says:

      Richard Witty March 14, 2011 at 11:52 am

      “Its innappropriate to propagandize in the name of the UN”

      Read Netinyahu’s speech at the UN have you? Littered with blatant, easily shown lies.

      Peres? Pure Hasbara

    • Colin Murray says:

      I will agree that the UN is an odd place to screen it. Perhaps HBO would be a better venue.

      • Citizen says:

        Wonder how BIG LOVE did on Utah’s HBO? Finale of the last of five seasons is on 9PM EST next Sunday. Now we need a new HBO series on Brooklyn orthdox Jews, ha?

    • pjdude says:

      and it wasn’t diminished by the violation of its charter in the wish to partian a people’s land because they didn’t want to give up their rights to alien invaders and the fact it accepted naked agression as valid even though not a single shred of international law comes close to supporting such an act?

  8. Potsherd2 says:

    How will they stop it from being released in theatres?

  9. hophmi says:

    This gets a big whatever from me. Nobody thinks the UN likes Israel. The film will be lucky to do $5m dollars of business in the US; The Diving Bell and Butterfly, Julian Schnabel’s last film, highly critically acclaimed and pretty highly publicized, did a little under $6m, according to IMDB.

    In my view, the AJC should stay out of it; it is not worth the AJC’s time, and this will only give the movie free publicity.

    • seafoid says:

      But you had to jump in didn’t you ?

      Israel is losing its control over how the occupation is presented. It all comes down to there not being enough Jews in the world to make a settler colonial state work.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Oh indeed. Why did hophmi feel compelled to make as much noise as possible about how nobody should hear about this film? :)

        • AM says:

          Well to be fair, someone might have called him out for saying nothing; at least he gave his (super predictable) perspective.

          I haven’t seen the movie but I’m curious. Hope they have a release somewhere around where i live. Even if it is subpar, I’d see it just to provide financial support to these projects that try to bring push forward the Palestinian Cause

        • Citizen says:

          You could ask for it in your Netflix que? Or ask a friend who has Netflix to do that.

      • Mooser says:

        “It all comes down to there not being enough Jews in the world to make a settler colonial state work.”

        Bingo! But of course, that really doesn’t matter if Zionists can fool enough Jews to keep it going for a few years, and stay at the top.

      • Citizen says:

        Just more than enough Jewish moneybags in the world to make the settler colonial state work quite effectively, right up to the present time.
        OK, OK, some credit due to all those Americans in fly-over land who literally believe the land in question was given by their god to the Jews. Ever try to argue rationally with one of them? You will quickly realize the limits of the power of reason and fact.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          I should rightly be offended by that, considering I live in “fly-over” land… but really, can I disagree with you? *cough* Governor Scott Walker *cough*

          Do you know, my union factory worker dad voted for Walker? Sigh.

        • Mooser says:

          “Do you know, my union factory worker dad voted for Walker? Sigh.”

          Ever try to argue rationally with one of them? You will quickly realize the limits of the power of reason and fact.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          I had a rather poignant conversation with my father about how Bush was the most anti-union President we’ve had since Reagan. My father voted for Bush both times.

          To be fair? I don’t think this rampant ouroborus logic is confined to the Midwest. But I can’t deny that it isn’t thoroughly entrenched here, whatever else goes on elsewhere in the US.

        • fuster says:

          Don’t be offended. Everyone makes mistakes and your dad certainly isn’t an exception.

        • Colin Murray says:

          Chaos4700, your comment about your Dad reminded me of an old housemate who ranted against liberalism, especially liberal spending. He was broke and literally dying of obesity and its myriad complications and was only alive because of publicly funded health care, but just couldn’t make the connection that if his political vision (or rather, his brainwasher Glen Beck’s) came true, he would be left out on the street to die.

          There is perhaps some truth in his viewpoint: the food stamps/card he got enabled him to buy staggeringly unhealthy food which contributed to his decline. I’m 100% for the food stamp program, but its managers really need to tighten up on what is permissible to buy. I have no doubt that there is considerable corruption initiated by various food corporations to make sure that their products make the approved list.

        • Citizen says:

          Hey, I lived in fly-over land for most of my long life.

    • Citizen says:

      The UN liked Israel enough to recognize it as a member state of the world represented by the UN. Does the UN have to like everything Israel does?
      Same for whatever any other UN member state does? If not, why not?

  10. RE: “The film has a clear political message, which portrays Israel in a highly negative light.” – David Harris, AJC Executive Director

    MY COMMENT: It is Israel that portrays Israel in a highly negative light! Also, I would hardly consider David Harris and the AJC to be apolitical.

  11. Gaius Baltar says:

    Some of those involved with the film are Jews. The attacks on the film thus are anti-semtism, or actions of self-hating Jews. Only by crushing anti-semitism such as attacks on this film will the world be made from this cancer, this racism, this pure and unadulterated evil.

    For the government of Israel to condone such anti-semitism is truly disturbing.

    • Citizen says:

      And they had to verbally fight with other Jews to get the rating desired–indeed they had to edit the film considerably to make sure there was no
      pretext available to cut down a potential wide-spread audience.

  12. matter says:

    Harris demonstrates clearly that he’s an Israeli tool and a traitor to the USA.

  13. eljay says:

    >> Nkolo said he believes other films have been shown in the General Assembly hall, recalling one on child soldiers in Africa. He did not know if a nondocumentary feature film had ever premiered there.

    If there’s no precedent for the screening of movies that are not documentaries / non-fiction, “Miral” should not be screened in the GA hall.

    >> However, Nkolo said, it is the UN’s hope that the film “will show the state of children in conflict.”
    >> Nkolo said Deiss had seen the film and thought it would be “conducive to a discussion of children in conflict.”

    Ridiculous. Did all the news footage and documented evidence available from governmental and non-governmental (e.g., human-rights) organizations around the world suddenly disappear, that a movie is required to promote “discussion of children in conflict”?

    —————————-

    I have to say, though, I’m impressed that the AJC managed to produce a press release that didn’t contain “anti-Semitic” or “Holocaust”. It must’ve been tough to do. ;-)

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      >> Nkolo said he believes other films have been shown in the General Assembly hall, recalling one on child soldiers in Africa. He did not know if a nondocumentary feature film had ever premiered there.

      If there’s no precedent for the screening of movies that are not documentaries / non-fiction, “Miral” should not be screened in the GA hall.

      You’re mixing apples and oranges here. There is a difference between a premiere and a screening. Nkolo only said that no non-documentary feature premiered there; didn’t say that there’s never been a screening there.

      • eljay says:

        >> Nkolo only said that no non-documentary feature premiered there; didn’t say that there’s never been a screening there.

        Fair enough. I retract my reference to Nkolo’s statements, but my comment still stands: If there’s no precedent for the screening (premiere or otherwise) of movies that are not documentaries / non-fiction, “Miral” should not be screened in the GA hall.

        If, however, there is a precedent, then there’s no reason to exclude “Miral”.

        (Even though, in my opinion, non-documentary / fictional movies are not appropriate tools for serious investigation, discussion or decision-making.)

        • Citizen says:

          What was the precedent for the UN’s partition and recognition of Israel? And what was/is the precedent for the UN’s ignoring of the fact that Israel has not honored the UN’s condition subsequent attached to UN recognition? Seems to me in that context the showing of Miral is a tiny UN step towards resurrecting its original mission.

      • tree says:

        And check my post above at 2:35pm here. Other non-documentary films have been screened at the UN before.

        • eljay says:

          >> And check my post above at 2:35pm here. Other non-documentary films have been screened at the UN before.

          I checked both your links. Neither one indicates that a movie was screened in the General Assembly Hall. “Fateless” was shown in the Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium (which is not the GA Hall), and there’s no mention of which room “Invictus” was shown in.

        • tree says:

          So it really matters to you which auditorium at the UN a film is shown at? They are all under UN auspices. This sounds like a difference without a distinction to me.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          I would actually say eljay has a point. If this is a precedent then it is a precedent. Would be nice to know one way or the other.

        • eljay says:

          >> So it really matters to you which auditorium at the UN a film is shown at?

          Given that a perfectly good auditorium exists in which movies are regularly screened, I see no need to give preferential treatment to this movie.

          And I see no need to show any movies at all – but especially not non-documentary / fictional movies – in a room designated (ideally) for serious and significant discussion, deliberation and decision-making.

          That’s the extent to which it matters to me. Anyway, that’s just my 2¢… :-)

        • tree says:

          OK, I can see your point. But at this point I don’t think we really know whether it is a precedent or not.

          Another quick perusal of google shows that musical and other events are held in the Hall on what looks like a regular basis. I noticed a Concert for Pakistan in September of 2009. a “special event” held in the Hall in December 2010 on the anniversary of “the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples”, and in January of this year there was the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony and Concert.

          It looks to me like the General Assembly Hall is regularly used for cultural events, especially when the UN GA is not in session, which it is not at the moment. (regularly September to December, other times as required.)

        • tree says:

          And not to beat this to death, or anything, but apparently the DH Auditorium has 200 seats and the General Assembly Hall has 1800 seats. Quite a big difference in size.

        • Colin Murray says:

          I don’t care if there is a precedent or not. What are we, blocks of stone who can’t do anything new? Sure its a film with political ramifications, but the last time I checked politics was what the UN was all about. The blowback from Israeli ethnic cleansing and colonization is an international security problem: it is completely appropriate to screen the film at the UN.

          People who don’t want it screened there don’t want it screened anywhere because it will focus more attention on Israeli ethnic cleansing and colonization and they don’t want to see more pressure on Israel to stop stealing. End of story.

    • Ellen says:

      The AJC should have ignored it and be happy that a relatively poorly written movie (with an Indian actress playing a Palestinian) is being shown and not a real documentary.

      Its’ press release brings attention to the movie and gives the appearance of being on the defensive against what by most accounts is not a very good film.

      Next time there will be a real documentary, perhaps a very good one, one that is not a movie drama. The AJC has wasted its powder on nonsense.

      • seafoid says:

        They can’t afford to let anything pass. Zionism requires full spectrum media dominance. It is too brittle for anything else.

        I can’t find it now but there was a Zochrot video on youtube that showed a walk to the site of a destroyed village near Nazareth. The Zochrot crowd wanted to plant a sign giving the arabic name of the village and the Israeli police wouldn’t even allow that. Because Zionism does not have the moral legitimacy to allow any sign of parity of esteem.

  14. Mooser says:

    When I heard about the tsunami headed toward Hawaii, I had great fears of a Hulacaust.

  15. eljay says:

    >> When I heard about the tsunami headed toward Hawaii, I had great fears of a Hulacaust.

    LOL!! You can be sure that I will never forget to “Remember the Hulacaust!” :-D

  16. “Indeed, historians have credited our organization with a key role in achieving the human-rights provisions in the Charter.”

    … and our organization never intended for those human rights to be applied to dem Jewhating Arabs!

  17. ***********************Palestine Film Festival***********************

    **************in 25 plus cities across the USA Spring 2011**************

    ******contact AAPER to help organize, publicize, fundraise/ donate******

    Salt of This Sea
    With God On Our Side
    Private
    Family in Gaza
    Something to Prove

    ***************http://www.americansforpalestine.org/ **************

    *********to donate: link to palestinefilmfestival.eventbrite.com *******

    *******AAPER, American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights*******

  18. tree says:

    Adam,

    You might want to add Schnabel’s and Weinstein’s responses to the AJC in this post or another one.

    Schnabel, director of the Cannes-winning The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, is himself Jewish. In the past he has spoken about the importance of a Jewish American director telling the story from the Palestinian perspective.

    “I love the state of Israel,” Schnabel said in response to the criticisms. “I believe in it and my film is about preserving it, not hurting it. Understanding is part of the Jewish way and Jewish people are supposed to be good listeners. But, if we don’t listen to the other side, we can never have peace.”

    He added: “Instead of saying ‘no,’ I ask the AJC to say, ‘yes,’ see Miral and join the discussion.”

    Miral, which also stars Willem Dafoe and Vanessa Redgrave in cameo roles, is based on Jebreal’s book of the same name. It is being distributed in the US by the Weinstein Company, whose directors Bob and Harvey Weinstein are also of Jewish origin.

    Harvey said: “As a Jewish American, I can categorically state that I would not be releasing a film that was flagrantly biased towards Israel or Judaism. Miral tells a story about a young Palestinian woman, but that does not make it a polemic. By stifling discussion or pre-judging a work of art, we only perpetuate the prejudice that does so much harm.”

    The film centres on the experiences of two Palestinian women, beginning with the establishment of the Dar al-Tifl orphanage by Husseini in 1948. It continues until the Oslo peace accords of 1993. Along the way, it shows how one of the orphans, Miral, is forced to grow up fast when she falls in love with a Palestinian activist. The film was first screened at the Venice film festival in September.

    link to guardian.co.uk

  19. Avi says:

    Hearing Tom Waits singing toward the end in that trailer, I recalled his song, Road to Peace What do readers think of it?

  20. RoHa says:

    “Today, we enjoy consultative status at the UN.”

    Wow! Hand over a Barbara Hepworth, and you get “consultative status”!

    What actually is consultative status? Is it really enjoyable?

  21. Potsherd2 says:

    Mind closed shut:

    Yet it seems King himself continues to resist any opposing viewpoints, as the Daily News reports on his refusal to attend the US premiere of a movie on Muslim radicalization at the United Nations.

    Rep. King was invited by the Golden Globe-winning director Julian Schnabel and writer Rula Jebreal to see the film, “Miral,” and to participate in a Q&A session after the screening, but the Congressman stated he was too busy and had to “get back to Washington.”

    link to gothamist.com

  22. De Niro and Penn back Palestinian film at UN
    “UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – Sean Penn and Robert De Niro joined stars who appeared at the UN headquarters for the US premiere of a contested movie on the Middle East conflict that Israel tried to get cancelled.

    Penn, De Niro, Josh Brolin and Steve Buscemi on Monday turned out to support award-winning American-Jewish director Julian Schnabel at the premiere of “Miral,” the story of two Palestinian women after the creation of Israel in 1948.

    The Israeli mission to the UN had said that showing the movie in the UN General Assembly hall was “clearly a politicized decision” that “shows poor judgment and a lack of even-handedness.”
    link to news.yahoo.com