Putting ‘Munich’ in context | AspenTimes.com

Putting ‘Munich’ in context

Dear Editor: Film critic Roger Ebert (Aspen Times, Jan. 6) praises “Munich” for “questioning Israel’s policy of swift and full retribution for every attack.”The Spielberg film has spawned a host of homilies about the futility of the cycle of violence, a pat sentiment that does not answer the question of how a nation handles attacks on its citizens from those committed to its destruction. The Israeli government’s decision to launch its counterattack campaign to track down those responsible for the Munich massacre and disrupt their terrorist network was made in the following context:1. Prior to the attack, Israel had been denied a request to post a security detail with the Israeli Olympic team despite threats against the team.2. After the team was taken hostage, Israel was denied the opportunity to deploy a veteran hostage rescue unit.3. The Munich massacre was only one in a worsening series of terrorist attacks against Israel in 1972.4. Less than two months later, West Germany freed the surviving Munich massacre terrorists in a trade for a Lufthansa jet hijacked by Palestinians.It’s easy to deplore a retaliatory attack but a lot harder to posit an effective alternative response. Today, of course, the knee-jerk response is to blame all enmity toward Israel on the settlements, a movement which only got seriously underway following the Yom Kippur War in which Israel was attacked by neighboring Arab states, and that occurred the year following the Munich massacre.Judith KingValley Voices for Mid-East PeaceGlenwood Springs

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