Harvey Weinstein, a sopping bag of grease and evil, has done many terrible things in his life. Here's one of those things that most people have forgotten about.
In 2011, Weinstein brought Miral, an anti-Israel flick for a special screening at the United Nations General Assembly Hall. (Because the UN just isn't anti-Israel enough.)
Phyllis Chesler wrote up the disgusting spectacle at the time.
Scenes that depict Israeli life (e.g., classic footage from Israel’s declaration of independence and the celebrations that followed, etc.) are in black and white. All of the scenes depicting Palestinian life of any era are in lush and living color. Both Israeli soldiers and Israeli civilians are depicted as despicable, including an Israeli buffoon who drunkenly accosts Miral’s mother in a bar and an Israeli woman who calls her an “Arab whore.” All of the Palestinian characters are warm and physically beautiful.
The American Jewish Congress, hardly a right-wing group, condemned it. In response, Harvey Weinstein rolled out his usual sleazy bag of media smear tricks. The ones that his victims feared.
The right-hand page of the two-page spread is devoted to a reprint of an article titled “Why is the American Jewish Committee Afraid of ‘Miral’? ” from the Jewish Journal. The AJC protested last week’s showing of the film at the United Nations, and the implication is that the film’s opponents are mainly Jews lacking an open mind on the Palestinian issue.
Critics from a variety of ethnicities are far from taken with “Miral,” which is rating a 45 out of 100 at Metacritic — a perilously low score for a serious movie courting an adult audience.
The Jewish Journal article was by Danielle Berrin. Berrin is currently riding the anti-Harvey train, but back then she approvingly quoted his spin.
it should be remembered that there were collaborators in Harvey Weinstein's abuses of women and Jews. And that his lefty positions on matters like Miral helped gain lefty collaborators for his abuse of women.
I remember Miral quite well because it came after the brutal Islamic murder of the Fogel family. It occasioned one of my angrier articles.
On the same day that a family of five were being murdered in their home in Israel, Harvey Weinstein ran a self-congratulatory promotional piece for his company's terrorist propaganda flick, Miral. The photos stand out. The fat smirking face of Harvey Weinstein contrasted with the sleeping baby, the smiling little boys and the earnest couple who were their parents. They are all dead, and a Harvey Weinstein lives on to smirk another day. So it is with perpetrators and victims. The innocent children and the fat ugly men who profit from trafficking in the narrative of their killers.
And yet, there is a reckoning. Justice came for Harvey.
All his wealth and power, his connections and his arrogance, couldn't save him. There is something powerful in the recognition of the inevitability of evil's fall.
In my open letter to Harvey Weinstein, I wrote...
While they die, you have scored a coup. Your propaganda flick, Miral, will be the first movie screened in the UN General Assembly's main hall. No word on whether it will be part of a double feature with Der Ewige Jude. And if the scene feels a little too much like the conclusion of your own studio's Inglourious Basterds, with all the elite lining up to attend the showing of an anti-semitic propaganda flick, then that's just irony. An irony you are unaware of, because surely you have nothing in common with the toadish little men who catered to the bigoted appetites of the Third Reich.
"Unless the Palestinian narrative is finally understood and acknowledged by Israelis and their American supporters, there will never be peace in the Holy Land," you say. As if peace were in your hands to give. But we understand the Palestinian narrative all too well. The real one and the fake one.
If you want to know the real narrative, then put Miral on a shelf and ask where the Christians of the region have gone. Where have the Zoroastrians gone? Why are there so few left? The answer would make for a much better movie, but it is not a movie that you will ever make. It is not a movie that any theater would ever show. It is a story of bigotry and genocide. It is an old story and a new one. You can find its oldest chapters in the Koran, along with the graves of the Jews of what is today Saudi Arabia. Its latest chapters are being written in Europe, where Jews once again flee European cities, not from men in uniforms, but in long robes. And unless that narrative is understood, there will be no peace in the Holy Land, or anywhere else.
I know that none of this will move you. Controversy is your bread and butter. The more you hear cries of pain, the more you count the cash. Miral will make you money. Just as Der Ewige Jude made money. And you will protest that there is no comparison between the two. Miral is only giving the Palestinian narrative, just as Der Ewige Jude gave the Aryan narrative. It is more subtle, I'm sure. The audiences you count on are liberal and sophisticated. They won't be taken in by gutter propaganda. A hint of controversy ads savor to their intellectual appetites. They are eager to confront the other in themselves. That part of them which would kill and maim with enough justification. The shadow side of their hearts which their minds use to explain the actions of men who burst through living room windows to slash children's throats.
You have chosen a side. Our 'Them' is your 'Us'. Soon that girl will leave the house again, along with her younger brothers. Three children who somehow survived. Look her over carefully. She is your 'Other'. The story you do not want to hear. The face you do not want to see. She survived tonight. So did two of her brothers. Next time they might not. No movie is needed to tell her story. Her life is her story. Her survival a testament.
The Prime Minister of Israel and the Knesset Speaker have vowed revenge for this attack. Their revenge is of a wholly different brand that that of the Palestinian Authority terrorists. "We will live, we will continue to build and to plant". So too the surviving Fogel children will go on living. They will be 'settlers', obstacles to the terrorist peace that slits children's throats at night. And we know which the world hates more, the builders or the throat slitters. Even know as children are being lowered into the earth, the world fumes at this particular Hebraic vengeance. Its constructive perversity. To build in the face of destruction. To defy death, not with murder but with life.
This has always been our revenge. To survive. Not yours, Harvey. You are the second son at the Passover Seder. The one left behind in Egypt. The one we forget about as the generations march on. Whose name turns to dust and blows away on the wind. That is our revenge on you, but it is you who carry it out. Who go in search of the 'other' and find nothing there but the hole inside yourself.
And, as it turned out, the hole inside Harvey was deep and dark. And it was no wonder that he was drawn to celebrating evil. That was what he was.