Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Mighty Heart: Why was Danny Pearl killed?

I saw A Mighty Heart two nights ago. Angelina Jolie was outstanding. Having said that, there was a theme that disturbed me greatly. Marianne Pearl seems to steadfastly refuse to recognize the fact that Danny Pearl was made a target not just because he was an American or a reporter but because he was Jewish.

There is also a spot on observation in the review on Beliefnet. The paragraph that jumped out at me was
Unfortunately, the impact of Pearl's final words, caught on the horrific videotape of his death--"My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish"--is beyond the scope of this movie. With their echo of Jewish martyrdom throughout the ages, those words, whether forced or volunteered, instantly became both a point of pride for Jews worldwide and a sobering reminder that, in the eyes of anti-Semites, a Jew is just a Jew, no matter how secular and untraditional they are, no matter how liberal and open-minded and worldly they are, no matter how much they embrace multiculturalism and diversity.
It's not that this theme is beyond the scope of the movie. It's beyond the scope of people with the world view of Marianne Pearl. The way she is portrayed in the movie [I have not read the book], Marianne does not "get this." She reminds me of Rodney King's plaintive question in the wake of the LA riots: "Can't we all get along?" Jews recognize that it ain't so simple when it comes to antisemitism.

There will be those, I have no doubt, who will attack me for this view. But it seems so clear to me....

There is also an interesting critique on it in the Washington Post


acadia said...

I am disgusted by the notion that anybody could kill another person simply because of that person's ethnic affiliation. Indicted Serb fugitive, Radovan Karadzic, became 'famous' for his words that "Muslims will disappear" in Bosnia if they move towards independence. It's sickening.

Disgusting idiots who killed Mr Pearl are one of the filthiest garbage on this planet. They killed a man who was a friend of Muslims and who was there to help.

As a person who was born in Muslim family, I condemn all types of radicalism. Radicalism, extreme forms of nationalism, religious extremism, etc, is a cancer that plagues our world.

I am sick of many things, I am sick of Holocaust deniers, I am sick of Genocide deniers, I am sick of war crimes apologists, I am sick of moral equivalists who morally justify crimes etc.

May peace rest upon Mr Pearl's soul,

Keep fighting Deborah!


Editor of Srebrenica Genocide Blog

Anuj said...

Interesting view point but a pint i wanted to ask cant a sweeping change happen in peoples mentality after all in a decade of so concentrated combat of antisemitism is possible along with other racist ideas? Is it impractical to do so after all slavery was defeated. Only then we can avenge the lives of people like Mr. pearl,through peace not violence.

Moot Pt said...

Hey Deborah,
Marianne Pearl was on NPR the other day, and by god I can't quote the show, but I think she does get that Danny Pearl was persecuted for being Jewish. Perhaps there are reasons for not acknowledgeing this in the film.

Incognito said...

The obvious reason they do not address the issue of Pearl being murdered for being Jewish, is being you are dealing with Hollywood. Plain and simple. It would be too inflammatory and un-PC. Sickening how they pander.

Peter Salomon said...

Prof. Lipstadt,

As an Emory Alumni, I have always been a big admirer of your work! In trying to decide if I was going to so see this movie I looked up some movie reviews and was wondering if you had seen this one, by Debbie Schlussel:

Keep up the great work!!!!

JR said...

Prof. Lipstadt,

Thank you for this blog. It is a useful tool to illustrate the insanity of our world. I had no doubt the instant I heard he was a Jew by birth that he would be murdered by the Islamofascist who had kidnapped him. His "merits" as a pro-Islamic reporter never entered into the equation. The radicals in the Islamic world do not care who you are only how you can be used by their plan for total world domination through their idealogical fascism.

As a man who has grown up in a genuflecting politically correct society that believes in equivocating on all issues of truth and morality. I am not surprised to see the insanity that we are witnessing each day. We are forced to endure the denial that we face a radically fascist enemy in the Islamic world. We are forced to endure the insanity; At least we have your voice decrying the insanity!

Thank You!

Gratefully Submitted by the editor of the We Hold These Truths... Blog

hockey hound said...

Is Lake still a Muslim? If not, then telling everyone how he is so disgusted with all the nasty ideologies and religiously inspired hatred and violence out there, why would he not repudiate Islam, a religion which is anti-Jewish, racist and manifestly malefic? That is the question I would like to ask Lake.

I repudiated Christianity (I'm now a Noachide) because I believe this religion precipitated the Holocaust. I see in both Islam and Christianity (after decades of study)grave similarities in the efficacy of these two "traditional" religions toward fomenting anti-Jewish hatred. Does Mr. Lake see this? Hopefully.