Franti’s film skewed and incorrect | AspenTimes.com
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Franti’s film skewed and incorrect

Dear Editor:Michael Franti was in town Saturday, March 25, for a sold-out concert/film at the Wheeler. In my opinion, his film about his recent travels to Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian territories as a musician-turned-“peace activist” was one-sided, filled with propaganda and exhibited his lack of historical perspective and knowledge of the facts.Generally, the film portrays Israelis as aggressive and land-grubbing, while Palestinians are painted as the peace-loving victims, tries to pass off the security fence built by Israel as a sinister apartheid wall, and emphasizes the plight of the Palestinians while ignoring relevant history that led to the present situation and doesn’t touch on the continual attacks on Israel since 1948. I would ask Mr. Franti, if Israel is so land-grubbing, why, with all its military might, is it approximately the size of New Jersey ,while Arab nations surrounding it take up an area the size of North America? Why did they give up the Sinai desert in exchange for a “cold” peace with Egypt? Why, since the signing of the Oslo Accords, have they consistently been willing to offer land to the Palestinians in exchange for nothing? And why did they just last summer pull out of Gaza, displacing thousands of Jews?In contrast, the Palestinians, portrayed as peace-loving, have three times been offered a state of their own and three times have refused and responded with violence. Most recently, they have chosen to put the terrorist organization Hamas, which refuses to even acknowledge the existence of Israel, into power. As to Israel’s aggressive nature, while the goal of Palestinian suicide bombers has been to target and kill as many Israeli civilians as possible, the Israeli army, in its response, has gone through great pains to avoid civilian casualties. Although the film made it seem as if the Israeli army is in the habit of demolishing Palestinian homes, these demolitions have been targeted as a defense measure. Although his film is long and tedious, Mr. Franti neglected to include even one inch of footage covering the terrorist attacks to which Israel has been subjected in recent years – bombings that took over 1,000 Israeli lives and injured over 7,000. If he hadn’t left this detail out, viewers would have seen the reality of blown-up buses, discotheques, restaurants, university cafeterias and shopping centers. Then they might have understood that the fence may have been built by the Israelis, but the necessity was created by the terrorists. During a question-and-answer period following the film, I got up to make some of these points and one of the kids in the audience yelled out to me that I needed to “study my history.” As a Jewish woman and the daughter of Holocaust survivors, when it comes to Israel, in addition to living some of this very history, I’ve devoted a lot of time over the past years to just that pursuit. My wish is that some of the audience, instead of showing up to film’s like Mr. Franti’s with a lack of knowledge of the history and facts, do the same. Judy S. KavaSnowmass Village


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