Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Spielberg’s Munich and the Truth about Palestinian Terrorism and Israeli Counter-Terrorism

Spielberg’s Munich provides lucid accounts of vicious cycle of violence in aftermath of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at 1972 Munich Olympic Games. It plainly expresses the feeling of majority of his audience that either terrorism or counter-terrorism are pointless, and that they eventually result in killings of innocent bystanders. The fierce reaction in world media with regard to Munich show that there are many who do not share the opinion that lives lost in terrorist or counter/terrorist operations for “higher” political aims, are, in truth, lives lost in vain. Munich's main point is that counterterorism only incites more terrorism. The last shot of the movie rests on the twin towers of World trade Centre. probably indicating the similarity of the American reaction against al-Qaeda to the Israeli response to the Munich massacre. This undermines the saying that the essence of history is to learn from the past it to avoid future mistakes, which could result in heinous consequences for world society.

Spielberg’s Munich follows a Mossad death squad that is assigned the task of assassinating the planners and perpetrators of the 1972 kidnapping and murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. The film follows the journey of a fictional assassin, Avner, as he grows more and more disillusioned with the Mossad’s extralegal counter-terrorism campaign. However, he never expresses his disillusionment with his colleagues, and fights his battle only on the inside. In the end, he leaves the Israeli secret service embittered and choosing his new home in in Brooklyn.

In the final scene of the movie, Avner asks his Mossad connection why Israel killed the Black September terrorists instead of arresting them. The answer is never given in the movie, but some suggest that arrest always had failed therefore Israel had not choice but to opt for death squad. That kind of explanations are childish and in no way justify the killings merely for political causes. The discussion about Munich is set to continue on these pages in next days.

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