Independent daily Newspaper


 Old Archive RSS Feed    Advertise



 Of Horses And Jews (Dead Versus Live)… 

 Analysis - Opinion
  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.


Of Horses And Jews (Dead Versus Live)…  23.1.2012
By Gerald A. Honigman 

Share |

Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral studies in Middle Eastern Affairs. He has created and conducted counter-Arab propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated many Arab spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in dozens of newspapers, magazines, academic journals and websites all around the world.
Read more by the Author

January 23, 2012

I'm upset.

My wife, Elisabeth, was a 4-H owner of horses; my daughter-in-law, Isabelle, still loves to ride; and I have always admired them as one of G_d's magnificently noble creatures.

I really wanted to see Steven Spielberg's movie, War Horse.

Unfortunately, after what I've recently learned, I won't.

No doubt, Steven won't miss the cost of my and my wife's theatre tickets--as he didn't when I refused to see his earlier Munich as well. Still, I don't have to support such stuff.

I'm getting ahead of myself, however, so please let me explain…

Like millions of other Jews around the world, I'm a "survivor."

I'm one of those who escaped the Holocaust--the predictable endpoint of a road carefully paved and prepared for millennia. Indeed, scholarly estimates place the number of Jews massacred--often for "holy" reasons--prior to the 20th century to be at least that of those slaughtered in the age of Zyklon B gas.

No, I didn't live in Europe during the 1940s…I was born in the U.S.A. on President Harry Truman's birthday in 1948--just several days before Israel's own rebirth.

On my Dad's side (of blessed memory), we've been in America since the late 19th century. My Grandfather and Father were vets of World War I and II respectively (along with many other members of my family).

But, on my Mother's side, her Mother--my Grandmother--escaped the pogroms of Eastern Europe just before the rise of Hitler in Germany. Most of her family stayed behind and became Nazi statistics. Had Grandma not made it here, I would not be writing this essay right now…

Despite the deniers seeking to murder the victims yet a second time--like Israel's alleged "peace partner," Mahmoud Abbas, and Iran's Ahmadinejad--it's legit, in most circles, these days to cry at least crocodile tears for Auschwitz' dead Jews. Even school curricula now often include Holocaust studies. I've been nervous about this and expressed my fears to a friend, a non-Jewish lady teaching the subject.

Too many folks, you see, want to hear that the Nazis were from Mars instead of being real people who went to church on Sundays and turned Jews into lampshades and soap on Mondays.

No one wants to know that all that Hitler had to know on this subject was taught to him in Luther's Second Treatise on the Jews centuries ago, and that the Nuremburg Laws had their precedents in church law and other religious teachings for millennia. Church Fathers such as St. John Chrysostom came right out and called for the Jews' slaughter.

The problem is exacerbated in that those same schools teaching the Holocaust increasingly are adopting textbooks which promote much of the Palestinian narrative as "Gospel" when dealing with the study of the Middle East. So, while it's not proper to be an anti-Semite, it's now fine to be an anti-Zionist. The Jew of the Nations--rather than individual Jews--is now the preferred, or at least acceptable, target.

So, the Holocaust was really not unique.

Indeed, the Jews themselves have allegedly become the new Nazis and the "Palestinians" (Arabs) the new Jews in this thinking.

Sympathy for dead Jews is kosher, but empathy for admittedly imperfect live ones struggling to survive is not.

Israel is subsequently held up to standards and expectations demanded of none others--certainly not the so-called "Arab" world which surrounds it and routinely subjugates, deliberately massacres, and has waged literal genocide against millions of non-Arab peoples in its midst.

Now, this is not to say that suffering has not occurred outside of the Jewish experience…among Arabs too. Look what the latter routinely do to each other (let alone to non-Arabs) in places like Iraq, Syria, and so forth. Of course it has…horribly so.

But, to compare the plight of Arabs at the hands of Jews resisting Arab attempts to wage another Final Solution, to that which Jews have faced--in the Muslim East as well as the Christian West--for millennia is to simply tell a lie or to be ignorant beyond excuse.

Yet, Jews themselves have indulged in this themselves--including prominent ones whom you and I have both come to admire…which brings me back to the first part of this essay's title, horses.

Look, there's plenty of talent out there amongst writers. Given a timely break and the right opened door, many a book would make a great tale to tell on the silver screen.

So, please tell me why one of Tinseltown's current main Hebrews, Steven Spielberg, can only manage, far too often, to discover such worthiness in the likes of folks who spout such anti-Israel venom as the author of the book for which his latest movie was made, War Horse?

I'll let Richard Millett from Great Britain explain what I mean. Follow these excerpts from

Michael Morpurgo claims that Israel shoots Palestinian children “like a video game.”

The film of War Horse, adapted from the novel by Michael Morpurgo, has just been released in the UK, but as well as horses being killed on screen there is something else for filmgoers to cry into their popcorn over. Morpurgo is happy to repeat vicious lies about Israel without seeming to bother checking facts.

Last February Morpurgo was given the honour of reciting the richard Dimbleby lecture,which has been delivered by an influential figure every year since 1972, and he chose to speak on the lack of childrens’ rights around the world… He pointed out that 8 million children a year die before the age of 5… Most of those 8 million children die from AIDS, war, malaria, malnutrition and other diseases in Africa. But Morpurgo failed to say anything about that instead choosing to spend a large portion of this high profile speech on the darlings of the left, the Palestinians, and invoking the modern day version of the anti-Semitic blood libel. He relied on statements of those with an anti-Israel agenda.

As Millett pointed out, Spielberg's buddy did make some afterthought comments about Israel's predicament as well, but his attacks and venom were saved for Jews…those imperfect live Jews--not the "okay" dead ones of Spielberg's apparent preference.

Nowhere does it seem to bother folks of Morpurgo's ilk that the real barbarians here are those who commit the double war crime (the Perfidy Clause, etc.) of using their own children as human shields while deliberately attacking the children of others. He simply dismisses all of this as inconsequential in the other comments which Millett cites.Just for the record, however, see what the Geneva Conventions have to say about this below…

Article #51/7:
The presence of the civilian population shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attack...
Article #58b:
The parties to the conflict shall...avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.
The rats' dens are typically set up in or adjacent to civilian apartment buildings, hospitals, schools, etc., as America learned for itself in Iraq.
Article #51/2:
The civilian population...shall not be the object of attack. Acts of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited...Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited.

Arabs typically target Israeli civilians.

These details do make the difference--regardless of what the Morpurgos say and what the Speilbergs choose to present in their "moral equivalence"-type movies..

The deal is that it's easier to demand perfection from live Jews--something not expected elsewhere--than to confront the real sources of such tragic problems.

Indeed, while Morpurgo's counterparts sail on flotillas on behalf of Hamas's Gaza--which wants both Israel and its Jews dead (and maybe then meriting the world's sympathy again)--I don't see them afloat on behalf of many different victimized folks in Syria, Copts in Egypt, Kurds in Turkey, Berbers in North Africa, black Africans in the Sudan, or elsewhere right now. With few exceptions, if Israel is not the alleged villain, such enlightened "Progressives" care not.

While Morpurgo is not a Jew, Spielberg is. And Jews too have long been in the forefront of demanding perfection from Israel in an extremely imperfect world. Now, to an extent, that's a good thing…but it should be done with eyes wide open, not to the point of suicidal expectations. When the great rabbi, Hillel, said two thousand years ago to care for others, he did not demand to do so at one's own demise.

Related to this current episode, when Spielberg came out with his movie about the Israeli attempt to eradicate the perpetrators of the Munich massacre at the Olympics a while back, he also had many choices to select from with regards to the movie he was making on this subject.

For the all important position of screen writer, he went with Tony Kushner--a well-known, anti-Zionist Jew. I dealt with this issue at that time, and I was told by a friend and prominent writer herself, who frequents Steven's mother's restaurant in California, that she personally hand-delivered copies of my articles to Mom so they would get to her son.

Here they are. This version of Can Kushner was sent to Los Angeles's Independent Media... . Here's one of Steven Meet Mahmoud... . And here's another of Steven--Say It Isn't So...

While I don't expect simply a whitewash when such films are made, moral equivalence between victims and victimizers is not the ticket either.

If Arabs suffered tragedy because of the fact that, to date, they "only" possess almost two dozen states carved mostly out of scores of millions of truly stateless, non-Arab peoples' lands, then what, indeed, should those latter victims claim?

Here's an idea…why don't the Three Amigos--Tony, Michael, and Steven--team up to do a blockbuster movie about the plight of the region's 35 million Kurds, another 35 million Berbers, tens of millions of black Africans, Copts, and so forth? If tragedy on the screen is what they seek, there's plenty of it there…real tragedies--not mostly self-inflicted ones which resulted from the Arabs' own attempts to deny Jews any justice at all and their attempts backfired.

And while we're on the subject, why does it take an anti-Semite like Mel Gibson to announce that he intends to do a film about Judah Maccabee (Judah the Hammer…the hero of Chanukah and the fight against Judea's Greco-Syrian conquerors), but Jews like Spielberg don't seem to be interested? And who is finally going to put the amazing story of Masada on the big screen?

See the pattern here?

If it does not involve dead Jews and Jewish victimization, the Spielbergs won't touch it with a ten foot pole.

You'd think the sire of the movie, Schindler's List, the Shoah Foundation, and such would have learned the ultimate lesson from those very endeavors. But perhaps that was part of the least for Jews like Spielberg.

Should any nation's raison d'etre be simply its perpetual victimization...even if, as in terms of the Jews, it has been the bloodiest and longest recorded in history? I had earlier come to expect this sort of thing from the Woody Allen types, but I thought the man who also brought the world The Prince of Egypt knew better.

It seems that, while becoming somewhat of an expert on the ashes of the Holocaust, Spielberg, unfortunately, seems oblivious to its lessons and to the role of Israel as the risen Phoenix of the Jewish people--just as G_d's Prophet, Ezekiel, predicted over 2,500 years earlier in the Biblical passages of the Valley of the Dry Bones. Look them up…they'll send chills up your spine.

As Richard Millett continued in his January 16th commentary…

If Morpurgo was really concerned about the rights of Palestinian children he would have highlighted the child abuse prevalent in Palestinian society where children are used as human shields…where Hamas destroys childrens’ summer camps in Gaza, and where television programmes are regularly aired by the Palestinian Authority on which children claim a desire to grow up to become martyrs…Instead he chose to believe the propaganda of those…spreading lies about Israel...

What a waste of an important speech…Instead of bravely speaking up for Palestinian children like he could have, Michael Morpurgo probably only succeeded in adding a little more hatred of Jews into the world.

The truth has always been that, like all other nations of humans, Israel will also make mistakes from time to time.

But the truth is also that no other nation surpasses Israel in its attempts to seek true compromise and accommodation with enemies who will settle for no other solution other than another final one involving itself. Any objective study of the Arab-Israeli conflict would soon reveal that fact.

And, like I always like to ask, what compromises have Arabs ever agreed to with any of their own scores of millions of non-Arab competitors in the region? The answer is none--but that does not seem to bother the likes of the above Three Amigos at all.

That folks like Steven Spielberg feel that they have to give further prominence to people who specialize in duplicitous demonization of Israel is beyond sad. It is pathetic and sickening.There are indeed many other talented people in his industry to choose from. Those selections have largely been Steven's, and only he knows why he's made them.

Sadly, I cannot get myself to cater to his and other Hollywood Hebrews' self-flagellating indulgences--in this instance teamed with nastiness and blatant hypocrisy of at least one non-Tribal collaborator as well.

Having said this, I truly regret that I will have to miss War Horse. That's a shame. I hear that it is a good movie and love the magic that Spielberg can bring to films.

Perhaps, as my good friend Jerry Sobel writes /, Steven also suffers from a somewhat more subdued strain of a particular genetic disorder...

Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral studies in Middle Eastern Affairs. He has created and conducted counter-Arab propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated many Arab spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in dozens of newspapers, magazines, academic journals and websites all around the world. Visit his website at Gerald A. Honigman, a longtime contributing writer and columnist for Honigman has published a major book, "The Quest For Justice In The Middle East--The Arab-Israeli Conflict In Greater Perspective."

By Gerald A. Honigman for, January 23, 2012. You may reach the author via email at: honigman6 (at)

Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved 


  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


Copyright © 1998-2016 Kurd Net® . All rights reserved
All documents and images on this website are copyrighted and may not be used without the express
permission of the copyright holder.