One-eyed reinforcement of Palestinian ‘victimhood’

I haven’t yet seen Michael Winterbottom’s new film Shoshana, but everything I have read about it leads me to think it will offer endless comfort to the enemies of the Jews.

Set in 19940s Palestine against a backdrop of terrorism by the Stern and Irgun factions, it will undoubtedly promote the erroneous idea that Jews were prolific in terror, thus intensifying the deeply damaging notion that Palestinians are the victims of Jews and Israel. It may also go some way towards whitewashing Palestinian terror..

Jewish terrorism in the 1940s, when the film is set, is undeniable. But Jewish “terrorism” was limited in its scale and its objectives – and its targets. It was explicitly defensive against Arab or directed against British military targets because Britain was the mandate power.

Arab terrorism, on the other hand, has a long history of brutal, murderous massacres starting in the 1920s. And these were not like the alleged massacre at Dir Yassin, that was actually a shoot-out that the Arab side lost. These were real massacres in which Jewish men, women – and sometimes children – were slaughtered by Arab terrorists in – among other places – Hebron, Gush Etzion and a medical convoy heading to Jerusalem. Between 1948 and 1967, “fedayeen” regularly slipped in to Israel to murder Israeli civilians, while government-sanctioned terrorists  from Syria – Syrian soldiers – murdered kibbutz workers by firing on them in the fields below the Golan Heights. And all this violent was pre-1967. That is, before “the occupation” which is the pretext and get-out-of-jail-free card for Palestinians slaughtering Jews.

After ‘67, of course, Arab terrorism became international. They reached out to murder and maim Jews and Israelis anywhere they could find them. In case anyone doesn’t know (or has forgotten), the line “terror on the airlines” from Billy Joel’s anthemic “We Didn’t Start The Fire,”refers to Arab and Palestinian terror on the airlines.

Terror included 32 murdered at Rome’s Fiumicino airport in 1973; 16 dead and 100 injured in attacks at Rome and  Vienna Airports on the same day in December 1985; four dead when  an Air France plane was hijacked en route from Paris to Tel Aviv in July 1976. In May 1972, 24 people died and 76 sustained serious injuries when members of the Japanese Red Army Faction, acting on behalf of the PLO, opened fire on passengers at Israel’s international airport. And in 1986 in what is known as “the Hindawi affair” a Palestinian terrorist tried to blow an El Al jet and 356 passengers out of the sky by sending his six-month pregnant Irish girlfriend on board a flight from London to Tel Aviv carrying a 1.5kg bomb.

Next time you feel inconvenienced by having to remove your shoes, belt and jacket at security, try to remember that this was due to Palestinian terrorism. And not just  at airports, but cruise ships, too, since Palestinian terrorists got aboard the Achille Lauro in 1985, terrorised the Jewish passengers, shot the wheelchair bound 69-year-old American Jew, Leon Klinghoffer and threw him overboard.

Murderous attacks only stopped when Israel built a barrier wall in 2003 to keep out terrorists. In a stroke of PR genius, the terrorists labelled the barrier an ‘apartheid wall’

But Palestinian terrorism was not limited to those in transit: 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Olympics in 1972. And nor was it limited to to Israelis. A two-year-old Italian child died and 37 worshippers were seriously injured at Rome’s Great Synagogue in 1982; three pupils and a teacher were killed at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France.

Well-founded fears about Islamic terrorism are the reason why Jewish schools across the UK (and around the world) require 24/7 protection by security guards and hold regular drills for pupils.

I don’t have space to get into terrorism inside Israel, but between 1993 and 1995 alone, there were 14 suicide bombs on buses, in markets, cafes, bars and restaurants.

Some 86 died and  hundreds suffered serious, often life-changing injuries.

These murderous attacks only stopped when Israel built a barrier wall in 2003 to keep out terrorists. In a stroke of PR genius, the terrorists labelled the barrier an “apartheid wall” – the name was endlessly repeated and echoed by and their apologists and a quiescent, complicit media, thus helping create the myth of “apartheid” Israel.  But not even the wall prevented the cold-blooded shooting of Rebbetzin Lucy Dee and her two daughters by Palestinian terrorists on a public highway last April. Nor obviously, the slaughter, rape, beheading, butchery and burning alive of 1,400 Israelis on Oct 7.

I suggest putting Palestinian terrorism on screen for all to see would have been a valuable endeavour for a film-maker. Reinforcing Palestinian “victimhood” with a movie, not so much.

About the Author
Jan Shure held senior editorial roles at the Jewish Chronicle for three decades. and previously served as deputy editor of the Jewish Observer. She is an author and freelance writer and wrote regularly for the Huffington Post until 2018. In 2012 she took a break from journalism to be a web entrepreneur.