Will there be an auto-da-fé?

This morning, I heard on the French news that an Israeli movie supposed to be shown in June, was cancelled in most movie theaters where it had been scheduled.

The movie is «5 hours from Paris» by Leon Prudovsky. It is not a political movie but it is a moving love story which could happen anywhere. It is set in Tel Aviv, of course since Leon Prudovski is a young Israeli film director.

This ‘cultural auto-da-fé’ is happening in France.

People, wake up.

Israel is blockading the Gaza Strip after trying to destroy it. Why? Because Hamas is the main political force in Gaza after defeating Fatah in... lawful elections. I won’t go on discussing Gaza’s choice, probably because Fatah had become useless and somewhat corrupted. But there were elections. Not eveyone in Gaza voted Hamas. Enough of them did.
That’s all.

In 2009, Israelis voted lawfully for their own governement. Due to their own election process, ‘hawkish’ Netanyahu became Prime Minister. We all knew then that the peace process was in great danger. But again, let’s not forget that not all Israelis were extremely happy about this appointment.
‘Operation Cast Lead’ was not as popular in Israel as media tended to let us think it was.
That’s all again.

So now, we have to deal with an escalation of violence, once again from Israel in less than two years and this time, against international pacifists, in a very unlawful and criminal way.

The world leaders are reacting. I’m tempted to say: ‘At last.’

How do you get very angry and violent children in the same family to behave and make peace?

I have many answers which have all proved wrong since our Semitic brothers were often very close to a peaceful agreement and then for some reason (always a good one depending on which side you are), everything fell apart and life in the family became uglier and uglier.

Being such a tiny insect on earth, there isn’t much I can do.
Except one thing: I will say and repeat: ‘Let us not enter into a new auto-da-fé era!’ This century is already becoming very harsh. Let’s not repeat our errors.

It’s one thing to demonstrate, one thing to weigh on our leaders in every lawful way we can.

But it is very, very, very dangerous to start using cultural means to retaliate upon unlawful and violent acts.

It is ugly and it stinks, to be true.

Nazis did it. The Inquisition did it. Please, let’s not do it.

In 1972, after the Munich Massacre, or in 2001, after the attack against the Twin Towers, did I feel like burning the Qur’an? Did I quit going to Le  Louvre and its Islamic Art section? Did I destroy my Umm Kulthum records? And what about watching Youssef Chahine’s movies? Or reading  Mahmoud Darwish?

Now should I burn my priceless Primo Levi’s books or maybe Anne Frank’s Diary? Should I quit listening to Arthur Rubinstein or Eugene Ormandy’s recordings? Should I turn away from my Israeli friends?

It stinks.

And it won’t help.

In the XXth century, Jules Romains, a great French writer, wrote a cycle of works called «Les Hommes de bonne volonté» (Men of Good Will), a pacifist literary monument. In 1927, he signed a petition against a law that was calling for the abrogation of intellectual independence and all freedom of expression in time of war.

This time, more than ever, we need ‘Men of Good Will’. Don’t you think so?

After all, anything and everything can happen. I’ve heard that  ‘fries’ are once again ‘french’ in America the Beautiful. It makes me feel soooooo good!

French people are so proud of their culinary gifts that we did feel bad... except that thank goodness, we never insisted in getting back the Statue of Liberty. (At least I hope we never did... seeing what we are capable of doing right now in the name of whatever you call it.)

Let’s hope you don’t sleep well, all of you, people filled with hatred.

Oh my God, am I getting violent? Is it infectious?

@TareX who left me an interesting comment... it’d be nice to let me know who you are. I’d rather communicate than put up with ‘anonymous comments’.

1 comment:

Patrick Layton said...

Something that I learned when I went to Isreal last year. The people them selves. The jews as it were, don't really care about these issues. It's the government that is doing it to the Palestinians and that is the part that makes me sad. They have a war museum there (we couldn't take pictures or I would show them to you) that show what happened to them in WW2, can't they see what they are doing to the Palestinians is exactly the same thing that happened to the Jews during WW2? I can see it, they can't, and yet because of their ignorance I can't shed any tears for them... This is turning into a sad world :(