Dare To Inquire: HBO's Documentary "Death In Gaza"--A Review    
 HBO's Documentary "Death In Gaza"--A Review9 comments
13 Aug 2004 @ 15:44, by Bruce Kodish

Dear HBO,
For what it's worth, here are my thoughts having just finished watching your documentary "Death in Gaza."

To me, the propaganda element of the film depends on its not showing the Israeli side, Israeli lives, fears and sufferings, the historical context, etc.

But the incitement in the Palestinian Arab school, the Palestinian Arab culture of martyrdom, the Palestinian Arab contempt for Jews, etc. come through clearly enough despite that.

Two Palestinian Arab boys are shown preparing crude grenades packing them with explosives. One boy serves as look out and helper for the militants. (Using children like this is considered a war crime under international law.) There are rallys calling for shahids and glorifying death. By the way, when you showed Gazan Muslims at prayer, why didn't you include at least part of the sermon, where usually these days the mullah will likely be calling for death to all the Jewish dogs and pigs? Well, I guess that would somewhat reduce the dignity of the protagonists, wouldn't it?

Saira Shah, the reporter in the film, states at the end of the film that Israeli gunfire was responsible for the death of the film-maker James Miller while he and Shah and another journalist were walking toward an Israeli APC with a white flag.(They are filmed by another crew member from the house they were staying in.)

But in the dark, with militants all around who could have shot Miller, and under fire herself, how could she know for sure who was doing the shooting? In the dark, we only see some of what might be the white flag in the distance, hear gunfire and someone (Ms. Shah?) yelling that they are British journalists. But in the dark and under fire, Shah has no trouble placing the blame on the Israelis. Hmm.

So her Pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli bias seems clear enough.(At least it does get announced at the end of the film that no one has been found responsible for the shooting.) Well, the Israelis shouldn't take responsibility--certainly not without thorough investigation. Since it seems at least as likely, if not more so, that Miller was killed by Palestinians, shooting in the dark, perhaps on purpose to create another martyr for their cause.

Anyhow, yes the film shows great sympathy for Palestinian lives and Palestinian suffering and the film-makers show clear bias in favor of Palastinian Arabs in Gaza in various ways. But the film also shows quite clearly a dysfunctional culture focused on hate and blame.

Die-hard leftists (the hard-core of those whom Thomas Sowell calls "the annointed") will find it easy to conclude that the Gazans are victims and that Israelis are to blame. I, not being one of the annointed, watch these lives with some sympathy for the individuals, some very likable individuals, and think of the old Lithuanian saying, "If you live in an asshole, all you know is shit."

Gaza is a society turned into an 'asshole'. The 'shit' is the Palestinian Arab-Muslim culture promoted under Arafat's regime. The 'shit' is NOT the individuals, especially the children, who deserve something better than to get twisted by a singularly hateful culture.

Hopefully, some of those individuals will find a way to transcend the 'shit of Gaza', like the mother you showed who doesn't want her son to become a shahid. Otherwise, a hell of alot more of them are going to end up as martyrs, because my Israeli brothers and sisters are not going to lie down and die when attacked.

Please don't get offended. If you do, you won't realize how much respect for individual Palestinian Arabs is reflected in the above statements. Most Jews and Israelis, who care about Jewish survival and the state of Israel, feel for the Arab people and know they don't have to live in a shit hole. It's their leadership and education that keeps these Arab people as victims.

Most Jews and Israelis, I believe, attempt to follow a principle at the core of Judaism, that we are all--Arabs, Jews, etc.-- made in the image of the Most High. Nonetheless, we are not commanded to open our throats to those who want to cut them. That is what much of the so-called 'progressive' world still does not appear to understand.



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9 comments

13 Aug 2004 @ 16:59 by jmarc : the annointed
You know, i read quite a bit on the net about politics,and peoples opinions on such things, and when i venture onto a left leaning site, i often hear Republicans and Bush described as frightful because some of them dare to profess a religious belief, as if being someone who believes in Jesus Christ as their personal savior is just the worst possible person to be involved in politics, because they will be totally under the influence of the very worst of those who profess the same. Then i hear the same people describing themselves as "Light Bringers" (as if they have a monopoly on light), and now this term, the "annointed" also implying glorious wisdom from above, and i think to myself that as they point the finger, they actually do the the things that they say others WANT to do. So i see that those who shout FANATIC are on both sides(or any side)and sometimes the fanatic and the pointer are one and the same, and i hope that there is some discernment growing as a seed from all sides, and maybe one day we can separate the use of religion as a weapon in politics. Maybe this is off on a tangent, and it is a terrible run on sentence, lol, but i thought i'd give voice to the thought. Sometimes i see glimmers of hope, other times darkness, but the world has always been this way eh? I hope you publish the response from HBO if you get one Bruce.  


13 Aug 2004 @ 17:58 by vibrani : Death in Gaza
I watched the film last night, and afterwards we talked about it and Bruce posted a good assessment of the film and our discussion about it.

The film is anti-Israeli propaganda - the nerve of them to say that the posters of the shahids on the wall on the streets are "innocent victims." The people whose faces are plastered on the walls are of those who were murderers of innocent people going about their business. They chose to become suicide bombers and die in the process so their families would have money and they would further the cause of the Palestinians. The kids they're showing are all brainwashed how NOT to be human, how not to feel, not to think, just to murder, and to deny their humanity and hate...and lie. They are shown in their schools reciting prayers of martyrhood and pain and suffering. It is a rare person who can break out of that conditioning mold.

They had this one little girl talking - she said she saw Jews (only on tv) and they were wearing helmets and firing Kalishnikov rifles. Now who told her to say that? Israel doesn't use Russian weapons - the Arabs do! How would this girl know the difference? She calls Jews dogs. Amazing how brainwashed and prepared they are for this film. Young boys talking about the Muslims knowing the ONLY right way to pray and putting down Jews for not praying the right way, with their asses in the air to Allah. I wish those who see this film will see the truth in it and how the education of Arab children is abuse and a crime.

One young boy is being trained by cowards who hide their faces in scarves not to be identified (and they call Israelis cowards) and they say this young boy is not too young to be trained to be a shahid. And when he dies, there are a thousand other kids. This is what they raise their children to be. They raise them to hate and kill, their lives have no other value.

This same boy was talking about a friend who was killed by the Israelis. Why was he killed? He threw a grenade at them, so the Israelis shot him in the head. The boy doesn't get that message at all! He doesn't understand the consequences of the actions of throwing a grenade! He thinks it's justified and that poor man was killed for nothing. At the end of this film, this boy says he wants to be a camerman and not a shahid. Time will tell.

I do like that they showed one woman/mother who tried to talk her son out of being a shahid. She was very honest about it - and believing there could be peace.

One thing the film won't show you is how Israelis don't like what's going on in Gaza - they don't want to be doing this awful work, either. They don't want the Arabs living like this because it hurts everyone.

What the Palestinians are finally beginning to see, for the first time now, is that their leadership is largely responsible for their condition and conditioning....and they want a change.  



13 Aug 2004 @ 20:08 by vibrani : UN Petition
stop attacking Israel - sign the petition to the UN
[link]  



24 Jul 2007 @ 16:42 by John Cambece @24.61.38.178 : You have to be kidding me
Come on guys.

"Death in Gaza" is not anti-Israeli propaganda. As a non Jew I saw a people that are in pretty bad shape and deserve some sympathy for the situation they are in. I thought at the start of the film it was mentioned that the director wanted to do a film on Israeli children but, was shot.

They are Kids!!! They are living a freaken war zone!!!

Who cares about how we got there. It is what it is and people have a right to see it through more than the Jewish perspective of how we got there.

For the record I think both sides are nuts and think you deserve one another.  



25 Jan 2009 @ 00:57 by Alan Hague @173.69.13.147 : hardly anti-Israeli propaganda
What about all the unflattering portrayals of the militants and their near-brainwashing techniques of Ahmed? The film is anti-insanity.

Anything that comes across as anti-Israel is because they're in the wrong - not because the filmmakers are framing it that way. Same thing for the militants - they're not heroes here.

The occupation must be ended.  



26 Jan 2009 @ 17:20 by bkodish : Alan-
Your last sentence gives you away.

The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true.
— H. L. Mencken  



26 Jan 2009 @ 17:28 by bkodish : I'm not kidding, John--
"Who cares how we got there?"

I do. The enemies of Israel do. They certainly believe it is important to press their view of what happened on the world and they have to a large extent succeeded.

The Arabs in Gaza have convinced a large portion of the world that they are there because they are victims of the Jews of Israel. Many of them believe their own propaganda. But whomever believes that is part of the problem.  



26 Jan 2009 @ 22:18 by ursula : Hamas bears the full responsibility
Hamas bears full responsibility for the war in Gaza, a top EU official said Monday in the Strip, calling the group "a terrorist movement."

Palestinian students stand in a damaged classroom at the Balqis school for girls in Gaza City on Monday.

"At this time we have to also recall the overwhelming responsibility of Hamas," Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, told reporters.

"I intentionally say this here - Hamas is a terrorist movement and it has to be denounced as such," Michel said as he visited the town of Jabalya in northern Gaza.

"Public opinion is fed up to see that we are paying over and over again - be it the (European) commission, the member states or the major donors - for infrastructure that will be systematically destroyed," he said.

Michel announced that the EU would transfer 59 million euros to the Palestinians, half of which would go to Gaza organizations and to rest to the West Bank and to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

He stressed that the funds would not be transferred via Hamas.  



8 Jun 2010 @ 03:32 by objective observer @98.223.153.14 : bias in the review
Your review is falling under the same tragic complaints you had about the film. I do not think this is a pro pala documentary. But i do think your review is pro israel. Showing those kids making bombs and those sick men putting them up to it is not "glorifying" them. It is showing their desperation to fight a 1st world country with 3rd world means. ANd israel bulldozing the palastnians homes in Gaza and the WB are also CRIMES under International law.

get you head out of your ass Bruce. is Kodish a jewish name by chance? I wonder why the author was so quick to condemn Palestine. oh im sorry there isn't a palestine it was illegally given to israel...

again head out of you ass bruce.  



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