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February 08, 1985 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-02-08
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V V V w



(Continued from Page 11)
Middle East. That's very exciting to
D: How about in the Middle East?
P: It's a little soon to know. It has
just come out. It came out in the United
States May 30, and I understand that
there's enormous interest in the Arab
countries as well as in Israel. There
seems to be less interest in Israel thus
far. There's been one major review bu
a Hebrew newspaper in Israel. It was a
highly favorable review by a respected
intellectual there, a Dove. That was, I
think, probably very important in in-
troducing the book to the Israelis. I
think it's got more to do with simple
logistics. It's hard to get the book there
and it's hard to even keep it in the
bookstores. The book's in its eighth
printing but there are still bookstores
that are sold out of it. They have to wait
~weeks here, so I imagine you have to
multiply that by many times when
you're talking about the distributorship
in Israel.
D: Have there been any official
responses to the book?
P: There were four issues of the Near
East Report devoted to lauding the
book, which is, I understand, un-
precedented. The PLO supporters, and
the PLO themselves have understan-
dably attacked the book now-now that
they know that it can't be ignored. The
attacks, however, have been seemingly
without rebuttal. There is no way one

can successfully rebut one's own words
and most of the words in the book which
are incisive in regard to Arab attitudes
are citing the Arabs' own words. Th
facts, of course, are documented totally
and it's very hard to successfully rebu
the truth.
D: What do you perceive to be th
current situation in the area?
P: I'd like to look at it in the contex
of the book. I think that what the book
has shown, what it has done for me, is to
convince me that the actions that ar
taking place today are a direct result o
the factors which are being exposed in
the book. The motivating forces behin
the actions today are directly iden
tifiable as the very traditions which
have been buried by propaganda-and
they're operating right now.
D: Do you see any end to the
traditions in operation?
P: There is an old Arab tradition o
enmity, of racial intolerance towared
Jews which goes back 1300 years.wThat
by itself would not be so important if i
had stopped 1300 or 1200 years ago. I
fact, that tradition, that attitude per
meates Arab/Muslim attitudes to thi
very day, and has been uninterruptedly
perpetuated throughout the ages.
D: Do you see any signs that these at
titudes are fading. Is there any possibl
way they can be reversed?
P: It could only be alteredi
there was pressure brought to bear i
favor* of a more reasonable, con
ciliatory attitude on the part of the
adamant, rejectionist, Arab states.
D: What impact do you think the
Egyptian-Israel Peace Treaty has on
these Arab states?
P: It's encouraging that there wa
one. In fact, there was an Egyptian
pharoh who offered his daughter in


marriage to Solomon, for what he
called "good diplomatic and political
reasons." Anwar Sadat went to
Jerusalem. I saw the plane land, and
we were all very happy when it did.
Anything can happen, but it has to be
encouraged, because there are fery few
people with the kind of courage that
Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin
D: Where do you think this en-
couragement will come from?
P: I don't know. I think that one can
only throw the truth out into the world
and hope that there are enough sparks
flying because of it so that there will be
catalysts to prevent the truth from
being buried.

D: With reference to the area's
leaders, what role does Khomeini play?
P: I'm sure he is causing great tor-
ment in the Muslim world. The in-
timidation by the violence there is cer-
tainly not going to encourage con-
ciliation between Muslims and Jews, of
any kind. Khomeini was greatly aided
in his effort by the PLO.
D: Does he now play any role in
aiding the PLO?
P: Oh, I think many people, for their
own selfish motives, will give some aid
or abetment to any organism that is
disruptive. The force for distruction is
a way of creating chaos and
disorganization which is important to
any power that wants to take over in an

'It's basically a fundamental problem for
the Arab world to accept a Jewish state as
an equal in any place near the Arab world.'
-Joan Peters,
author of 'From Time Immemorial'


e D: Do you see the role of the U.S. as
being a catalyst?
if P: Sure, could be.
n D: Within the area, what would you
i- say causes the conflict? Are the
e problems political, social, religious or
1e P: It's basically a fundamental
n problem for the Arab world to accept a
Jewish state as an equal in any place
s near the Arab world. Jews have been
n second class citizens, at best, in the
n history of Arab/Muslim rule. For Jews
to dare to be equal power in a region
which has always held them low, is not
acceptable to the Arab/Muslim world.
D: And therefore they are only
retaliating against accepting this?
P: They have no intention of accep-
ting it. They will accept it only if the
free world insists on a standard of
behavior which is more like the stan-
dard of behavior which the West accep-
ts from itself, expects from itself, and
expects from each other.
D: Does the Arab world see them-
selves as exempt from the standards,
or do they have a different set?
P: Their standards are different
from those in the West. . . the Jews'
second class citizenship included not
only forfeiting their property and, and
having it expropriated, but also always
included a special poll tax for non-
believers, for infidels, for what they
called the dhimmi population. In the
nineteenth century a British consulate
in Jerusalem wrote a report to the
home office which reported that an
Arab had been arrested for invading a
Jewish house and robbing and abusing
the family. The consulate wrote that
the Arab thief was outraged at the
aboration of being arrested, because,
as he said, it was his right and his
family's from time immemorial to take
what belonged to the Jews without
giving account. I think that that at-
titude which evidenced itself then is
also quite identifiable among the Arab
and PLO members and supporters who
discuss the situation now. If you look at
their words-and I have quoted them in
the book, at length-that attitude is
identifyable, and it is recognizable.
D: Do you see any end to this?
P: I hope so.

D: What about Libya's Khadafi?
P: I don't think his role is important
(in this struggle). I think the important
role is history. I think he is one of the
Middle East actors in a drama, but the
drama that's being enactedis being
enacted the way it is because the
Arab/Muslim worldihas been given a
rubber stamp until now to operate any
which way it saw fit. This is at the ex-
pense of the Arabs who are refugees, or
migrants, or whatever, but theysare
people who are being turned into a
human bomb directed toward Israel.
D: How can Israel protect itself
against propaganda that's portraying
Israel as the aggressor in the area?
P: In 1967, the Israelis finally took
control of the area that Jordan calls the
West Bank and the area called the Gaza
strip. This area comprises only about 5
to 6% of the whole of Palestine and it is
really not a very important area.
However, Arab militants see it as the
stepping stone to destroying the whole
of Israel. You can't even look at the
PLO claims to what they call Palestine,
without addressing the question of what
Palestine is. Once you begin to look at
the history of what Palestine is. It is the
area both east and west of the Jordan
River, which is, of course, why Jordan
calls it the West Bank of Palestine, as
opposed to the East Bank, which is Jor-
dan. This is why it isn't, and never was,
an Arab political entity. Palestine was
never called Palestine as a political
nation. It was never ruled by Arabs as
a place called Palestine, and in fact, it
only became important as a
geographical entity after the First
World War. The League of Nations, the
ancestor of the United Nations
proclaimed a Jewish national
homeland in Palestine. They took all
the other lands around it as indepen-
dent Arab states, but Palestine was ex-
cluded. It was internationally ordained
as a Jewish national home. That was
the only time that a geographical entity
called Palestine was really operative.
Of course the name was given to the
land peripherally by the Romans, who
called it 'palestina' to eradicate all the
traces of the Jewish nation they had
just destroyed there. The Jews never
left that land though.

A space
Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Roy Schieder,
John Lithgow,
Bob Balanban
By Byron L. Bull
EVENTEEN years ago, Stanley
1.Kubrick made his greatest and most
controversial film: 2001: A Space
Odyssey. It was a majestic and (though
few critics have ever caught on) grandly
farcical epic dream about humanity's
evolutionary ascent. 2001 charted the
development of man from a subhuman
to a superhuman. The film affects
viewers' subconscious mind rather
than their intellect, which may be part
of the reason for the initial, i cious
denounciations by so many critics
which were later followed by the film's
achievement of landmark status. It is,
despite its conceptual shortcomings,
undeniably powerful experience for the
sense, a deliriously sensual experiment
in film that really is an elaborate
seduction. All of the technological
refinements in film since then (things
like motion control systems and com-
puter enhanced matte techniques) have
done little to detract from the beauty of
Kubrick's sublime orchestration of
color and movement on the screen. The
subsequent attempts by techno-
wonderkids like Lucas and Spielberg to
snatch the mantle from Kubrick's hand
have been little more than pitifully
clumsy barrages of flambouyant but
empty showmanship.
M G M'S 2010, one of the most incon-
cievable and overtly exploitive
sequels, hangs onto the memory its
predessecor like an ugly little barnacle.
Director Peter Hyams, who adapted
the film from Arthur Clarke's flimsy
novel of the same name, claims to have
been profoundly influenced by 2010.
Sadly, there's not a trace of inspiration

even symbolic connections between
2010 and 2001. Hyams even conveniently
ignores the original's ending without so
much as a hasty loophole to excuse

in this graceless, clutzy hardware opus.
The story unfolds nine years after the
events of 2010. A joint American-Soviet
expedition embarks to the moon of
Jupiter to determine what happened to
the previous U.S. mission. Roy
Scheider (typecast again as an
Everyman) plays American comman-
der Heywood Floyd, who boards the
derelict spaceship Discovery and is
confronted by the ghost of astronaut
Daivd Bowman (Keir Dullea in a
cameo reprise). Bowman warns him of
grave, though of course enigmatic, con-
sequences if the expedition doesn't im-
mediately turn back.
Hyams drags out countless pieces of
2001 artifacts, from the now famous
Zarathustra theme to shabby plastic
reconstructions of the sets. He even
sinks so low as to use some of the actual
footage in the background as part of an
awful in-joke. What he doesn't do is put
any of the window dressing to any good
use; it's all just up there littering the
screen. There are, in fact, no logical or



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