Friday, March 03, 2006

Abu-Assad: Ich wär gerne Märtyrer

Der Regisseur des Films "Paradise Now" wurde Yedioth Ahronot befragt, was er mit seinem Film sagen wollte. Hier ein Artikel über das Interview, der ebenfalls bei Little Green Footballs veröffentlicht wurde.

In an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, the Israeli-born director of the Golden Globe award winner for Best Foreign Film emerges as no less controversial than his recent production. At the beginning of our talk he demands that when quoting him I would refrain from using the term "terrorist" to describe people sent to explode themselves in buses and markets.

This is an act of terror, but this terror derives from another terror, Abu-Assad explains. Suicide bombings are a reaction to your terror, he says, and suggests the most accurate term to describe a suicide bombing would be "a counter-terrorist act."

The occupiers and the occupation are the real terrorists. The real terror is stealing the Palestinians' right to live free on their land, Abu-Assad claims.

Confronted with the statement that his words seem to come close to justifying the bombers' actions, Abu-Assad says that in order to stop terror, there is a need to look at the full picture.

'Jews forget they were victims'

Abu-Assad deeply resents Linor's article, which stirred a row of its own upon publication. Articles like this make it harder for me to fight prejudice against Jews, he says.

Someone dares speak up against your movie and already it's hard for you to avoid being critical toward Jews?

They are not just opposed to my film; they also claim to represent all Jews, he states. This is why such an article is "racist and fascist," he says.

Abu-Assad says Linor truly believes people who belong to another nation are different than her. She thinks people who don't accept the fact the occupation is the source for suicidal acts in effect says the Palestinian culture is the root of terror, evil, he explains.

It's hard to see the way Jews, who were once the victims of prejudice and paid a heavy price for anti-Semitism, today act the same, he states. "It makes you want to stop believing in humanity."

Even during the Holocaust, people did not strap on a bomb and set out to kill innocent people.

This was a different situation that only lasted six years, Abu-Assad replies, adding that in the first 30 years of occupation there were no suicide bombings. Who knows what would have happened in Germany had the oppression continued for 30 years, he asks rhetorically.

Abu-Assad stresses he is a pacifist who believes any killing is wrong, and that he advocates a non-violent struggle as the right method for obtaining one's goals. However, he states, while he currently has the privilege to make such a stand, in a different situation his moral position may have been different.

In other words, had you been living in the territories, you would have become a shahid (martyr)?

Abu-Assad hesitates for a second before replying, "yes." He recounts an episode in which he was humiliated by a soldier at the Kalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem, and says this was what made him realize what runs through the heads of people who later become suicide bombers.

You feel like such a coward it kills you, he describes, saying this cowardice makes people start hating life and feel impotent.

I realized, Abu-Assad explains, that when a man systematically goes through such humiliation, he chooses to kill his own impotency by carrying out an act of "let me die with the philistines."

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