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ISRAELI SECURITY EXPERTS LAMPOON 'MUNICH'

Avi Dichter: 'There is Absolutely No Connection Between Spielberg's Film & What Really Happened'

Moshe Yaalon: 'Film Is Misleading It Places Palestinian Terrorists & Israelis Fighting Terror On Same Level'

Dennis Ross: 'Munich Is A Movie Not A Documentary'

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(from imdb.com)

At the Munich Olympics in 1972, Palestinian terrorists were responsible for the murder of eleven Israeli athletes. The Israeli government then instructed the Mossad Security Service to track down those involved in the deadly attack. Hollywood film-maker Steven Spielberg has now produced Munich that is based on the atrocity and its aftermath. Although the movie has yet to premier, it has triggered sharp criticism from both Israeli security experts and some American Jewish leaders. Israels Channel 10 TV carried a report from the U.S. on the reactions.

:: IsraCast Audio ::

Avi Dichter, the former chief of Israels Shabak Security service, has blasted Spielberg's new film Munich.

Avi Dichter: 'From the plot perspective, I don't know what would say in English for 'Hasamba', it has nothing to compare between what you see in the movie and how it was in real, there's nothing.'

Hasamba by the way was the name of a fictional club of Israeli kids who acted as crime busters back in the fifties. The portrayal of Avner, the Mossad agent and his painful soul-searching about tracking down the terrorists and the methods used to bring them to justice has also aroused criticism.

But not only the former Security Chief is critical of Munich. Interviewed on Channel 10, the former IDF Chief of Staff, General Moshe Yaalon also warned about what he viewed as the simplistic approach that Munich adopts to the issue of terrorism.

Moshe Yaalon: 'The film is misleading. I want to express my grave concern about the way it portrays Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestinian terrorists and those fighting terror are presented in the same light they kill and they also kill.'

Dichter and Yaalon were in the U.S. on study missions after retiring from their two key positions. Spielberg hired Dennis Ross, the former U.S. peace envoy to the Middle East, as advisor on the film. Ross contends that Munich should be viewed as a Hollywood movie and not as a documentary:

Dennis Ross: 'I can understand how someone like Avi Dichter looks at it and says 'that's not what I recognize', but that's OK because it's a movie, it wasn't meant to be a documentary.'

In the U.S., some Jewish leaders also were disturbed by what they viewed as a false moral equivalence between Palestinian terrorists and the Israelis who brought them to justice.

American Jew: 'This is not a good film, I felt an effort to be fair to both sides. The film portrays Israelis in a very unfair light.'

Although Munich has pretensions of portraying what went on inside the feelings of a Mossad agent, Spielberg did not approach reliable Israeli sources. For example, the two Israeli writers who are credited with compiling the most explicit book on the Munich massacre.

Israeli officialdom appear bewildered over how to react to Munich. Spielberg, an American Jew is a close friend of Israel and his film Schindler's List on the Holocaust was praised to high heaven. But going public and calling into question the veracity of Munich and its false moral equivalence might only increase its ticket sales.

David Essing

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