Friday, June 09, 2006


The other night I watched the movie "Munich" about the Jewish hostages at the Munich Olympics, and the men who were hired by the Israeli government to kill all those who planned the hostage-taking. It was a really violent movie, unfortunately, and in some ways more slanted toward seeing the situation from the Israeli perspective, but the movie was well done. I think the people who made the movie were honestly trying to show both sides, and to show the futility of violent retaliation.

One of the ideas that stood out to me was when the main character realized that there were people replacing those they killed--and most of the replacements were even worse than the ones who'd been murdered. He has a conversation with a Palestinian who doesn't know the other man is a Jew, and they're talking about the situation, and the Palestinian talks about what people will do when they're desperate for a place to call home. The main character realizes this is the same aching feeling as his own people have had for centuries. He knows what people will do because of that feeling--they'll do exactly as he's doing.

It's so sad to me that people can do this to one another. How can anyone ever convince themselves that a whole group of people has to die in order for their group to have a homeland? I know, it's easy for me to say--I'm comfortable in this country that was taken from another group of people. But I don't know why anyone would do that to another people group. It doesn't fit inside my perception of what makes logical sense. Can't people see that if they attack someone, the other person will feel they have the right to attack back, and do more damage? Can't they see that retaliating violently against others doesn't increase their security but destroys it? And even though it worked for Americans to completely obliterate the way of life of the Native Americans, don’t people realize yet that other cultures as just as valuable, intricate and civilized as our own?

After assassinating a bunch of people, the main character is too paranoid to sleep in his own bed and walk down the street, because he knows others have reason to hurt him back. How has this solved anything?

And how can people think they are doing the right thing? How can Israel think it's doing the right thing in exterminating the Palestinians, building walls around them, keeping food from them, when it received this land as reparation for the Germans doing these same things to them? How can they not see they are becoming the same as their oppressors? How can we as Americans think we can force freedom on the people of Iraq by invading their country, when we know very well that if anyone invaded our country we would do everything in our power to resist? How can people convince themselves that it is logical to use violent force?

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