Apeirogon: Anti-Zionist Organization Gets to be a Movie
Steven Spielberg just acquired the movie rights to the new “novel”, Apeirogon, based upon a day in the lives of an Israeli father and a “Palestinian” father who both lost their daughters and later became members of the Family Forum.This is an organization that brings together bereaved families on both sides of the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict who say they are seeking peace. Unfortunately, the Israelis have to admit to being occupiers, as I wrote in an article examining one of their projects.
The book was written by award winning author Colum McCann. The title, Apeirogon, means a shape with an infinite number of sides and perhaps that is supposed to give us the idea that he will show us the complexities of the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict in a way nobody else has ever been able to do.
The book was praised on The Oprah Magazine website. But only those who live the situation know many lies and distortions can be told in brief write-ups such as this one:
Rami Elhanan is a 67-year-old Jewish graphic designer whose teenage daughter, Smadar, died in a suicide bombing in 1997. Bassam Aramin, from the West Bank, survived seven years of torture in an Israeli prison and became a student of the Holocaust; his girl, Abir, was killed by Israeli soldiers after buying a candy bracelet.
We learn that Abir was killed by Israeli soldiers after buying a candy bracelet. But Smadar died? Why do we not learn here that Smadar was blown up by an Arab while out shopping with friends? And placing these two incidents side by side seems to lend them an air of equivalency. Yet Smadar was blown up on purpose by Arabs seeking to kills Jews of any age. I doubt that the Israeli soldiers intentionally shot a 10-year-old girl. She was most likely an innocent caught in cross-fire between soldiers and rioters (throwing rocks?). Her death is tragic, for sure. But there is a difference between an accidental killing and pre-meditated murder.
Also, I would like to know what seven years of torture look like in an Israeli prison when security prisoners hold, or threaten to hold, hunger strikes if they are denied their request to increase the number of television channels available to them on the TV sets they have in their rooms, um, I meant to write cells. It is well known that the prisoners cook for themselves, and prepare meals that would befit a wedding or holiday celebration. They study in prison, some finishing school or getting university degrees. And the International Red Cross visits them to make sure Israel is treating them properly. These and other benefits ensure that their conditions are far better than those in which non-terrorist criminals are held. So where is the torture?
On the Publishers Weekly website, the pre-publication promo for Apeirogon states the background to Aramin’s imprisonment:
Palestinian Bassam Aramin is jailed in 1985, at 17, for resisting the Israeli occupiers in Hebron, where he’s raised.
For “resisting”? And what form did this resistance take? Having a silent vigil or a sit-in? Or was he throwing rocks or shooting? And which Israeli “occupiers” was he resisting? Soldiers who could shoot back, or perhaps women walking along the street pushing baby carriages?
If you do not ask questions to get beneath the sterile presentation of the narratives offered by the Arab “peaceniks”, then you do not really know what propaganda you are helping to promote.
And continuing to call Jewish residents of Hebron occupiers is a well-worn lie that demonizes Jews and Israel. Hebron was the birthplace of Jewish peoplehood long before the Arabs arrived here in the violent 7th-Century Muslim conquest of the Middle East and North Africa. Furthermore, the Jews of Hebron were massacred in a pogrom in 1929 by their Arab neighbours and then the land occupied by Jordan in 1948, ensuring it remain judenrein. The return of Jews to Hebron is a case of liberation of our land and not occupation.
I find it strange that Apeirogon is even referred to as a novel when it is essentially the story of two real men filled in with fluffy flowery pieces of prose-poetry about birds in the sky and more.What makes it even more like a propaganda piece rather than a novel is the fact that the author and his two main characters are going on the book-marketing lecture circuit around the USA. (Maybe Kay Wilson should have thought of traveling the book-promotion circuit together with the terrorists who murdered her friend and hacked her almost to death. Do you think that her memoire, The Rage Less Traveled, would have interested Spielberg and Oprah then? She is a hero Speilberg should be making a movie about and Oprah should be interviewing on TV.)
I find pretentious the excerpts offered up on the Publishers Weekly website as enticement to buy the book. For example:
He leans left and salmons his way out into the faster lane, toward the tunnels, the Separation Barrier, the town of Beit Jala. Two answers for one swerve: Gilo on one side, Bethlehem on the other.
I can guess what McCann is getting at by “salmons his way” but I think he found the wrong metaphor. I do not imagine he means he jumped over the cars and motorcycles crowded alongside him on the highway. But that is what salmon do. They jump over barriers in their way. If this selected excerpt from Apeirogon is representative of the quality of his writing in general, then either McCann is an over-rated author altogether or he got overwhelmingly excited by the metaphysical potential in this topic and he lost his bearings in the attempt to write what Oprah Magazine called it: a “profound prayer for peace.”
A prayer for peace, profound or otherwise, cannot be based upon lies, however poetic they may be.
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This article was also published in Israel National News on 18 Feb 2020 under the title: A novel can be a terrific propaganda tool
Feature Image Credit: Screenshot of Amazon listing of the novel.