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Oscar Nomination

'The Gatekeepers,' directed by Dror Moreh
'The Gatekeepers,' directed by Dror Moreh 

Anti-Israel festival

Op-ed: Israeli films' Oscar nomination related to international obsession with vilifying Jewish state

Hagai Segal
Published: 01.14.13, 10:31 / Israel Opinion

The Oscar Award which may be heading to Israel should not fill our hearts with joy. It should fill the Palestinians' hearts with joy, not ours.


The two documentaries selected to represent us at the Hollywood Olympics slander Israel. While the films are well-made, we can suspect that their nomination does not stem from international recognition of the Jewish state's filmmaking abilities, but from an international obsession with shaming it. The films blend in nicely with the ongoing condemnation of Israel festival abroad. Behind the compliments and the gold statuettes hides a desire to smear Israel.

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In the case of "5 Broken Cameras," one does not need to exert too much effort to prove that it does Israel a disservice. The film portrays as heroes those who protest against the fence the Jews built to protect themselves. Naturally, this is not a very photogenic project, as even the most talented architect would have a difficult time building an esthetic fence.


The fence's horrible appearance overshadows the justice behind its construction. This is why the Palestinians have been fighting it – from the beginning - in front of the cameras. It's a shame that Israelis with a camera decided to help them.


The Israeli film industry could have produced movies about exploding buses or a settler family that was massacred in the middle of the night by a Palestinian, but it chose to support the other side.


The second nominated documentary, "The Gatekeepers," is a bit more complex but just as damaging. The six former Shin Bet directors who are interviewed in the film give a moral boost to goys who like to vilify Israel. Their patriotism cannot be called into question, but patriots can also find themselves in the wrong film, at the wrong time – a week and a half before the elections.


With a little effort the filmmakers could have found top former security officials who would justify the manner in which Israel fights its enemies, but director Dror Moreh chose to focus the lens on security officials who have their doubts.


Regrettably, such films have an advantage in international competitions. In the cultural market of the 21st century, awards are not given to works of art about exploding buses or senior Israeli officials who justify Israel's wars. By the way, when was the last time you saw an Arab depicted negatively in an Israeli movie?



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