Here is Justin Raimondo confessing his love for the music of Exodus and the story that film (1960) told of exiles finding a home, the triumph of the outsider. Few American films have had such power, says the cinematic friend who tipped me to this. “The movie really may have been half as influential as The Birth of a Nation (but over a longer period, by now).”
Of course, now that story is dead to Raimondo, he writes, in “Israel: The End of the Dream From “Exodus” to the apartheid state. ” The new rightwing coalition is further evidence, the bullied have become the bullies.
When I was very young, I thrilled to the strains of “Exodus” – the music that accompanied the popular movie depicting the Israeli fight for independence. I played it over and over, every night, falling asleep to its crashing chords of defiance and deliverance. But it wasn’t just the music. As I grew older I was enamored of the Israeli narrative: a nation of exiles who forged for themselves a place that could be called home. For a somewhat alienated teen-ager, such as myself, who didn’t feel at home anywhere, the Israelis represented the outsider triumphant, a long-persecuted people who, in spite of everything, had carved out a place for themselves in the world.
This is the image that burned itself into my brain, and, like many Americans, Jews and non-Jews alike, I felt a bond with the Israeli people that could almost be called spiritual. Today, however – almost fifty years later – I have quite a different view of the Jewish state. Not even the musical score written by Ferrante and Teicher can erase the reality of a nation that systematically oppresses its Palestinian helots, a ruthless Sparta armed to the teeth (courtesy of my tax dollars) that is now engaged in a propaganda campaign designed to drag the United States into yet another unnecessary and horrifically destructive war in the Middle East.
I’ve often said that non-Jews were thrilled by the narrative of the ’67 War that our media gave them. My wife was moved to tears by the drama of a people reborn post-extermination, when she first visited Israel through the Rabin crossing from Jordan 3 years ago.