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Oops! Jane Fonda Made a Terrible Mistake. She Didn't Mean What She Said About Israel. She Meant the Opposite.

You may recall (or you may not) that on September 12 I posted a recounting the tale of Fonda's appeal to the city and to the world that the Toronto Film Festival be boycotted because the program included a fest for the Tel Aviv movie industry and its artistic achievements.  This sector of Israeli culture has over the last ten years produced an unusual number of very unusual productions.  Ask anybody in the quality side of the business and he will tell you that Tel Aviv is now one of the great centers of film art (as Tel Aviv is also to dance).  Sorry, this is not my ethnic chauvinism.  It is the triumph of the country's imagination over sheer craft. 

Well, Jane has now asked forgiveness in a supine but still hectoring posting on the Huffington Post which got virtually no publicity in America but oodles of it England.  She didn't understand, a rabbi told her what tshuva means (it means penance), there are different narratives ... Her mea culpa is titled "Expanding the Narrative."  Actually, the word "narrative" is one of the curses of the intellectual life.  It means that there are no real truths ... or even real facts.  Hail the subjective.  Pity them who cling to such narcissism.

By the way, before Jane checked out of the anti-Israel gang, Harry Belafonte checked in.  No surprise.  Assaulting Zionism was what all the communist sympathizers (and real live communists) did when communism turned out to be a nightmare. 

There was also a public statement apropos Toronto by defenders of Israel.  It was signed by Natalie Portman, Lenny Kravitz, Sacha Baron Cohen and Jerry Seinfeld.  The last two certainly understand the grotesque humor in the desperate search for heroes among terrorists.

At the center of the Israeli presentations in Toronto was a film called Ajami which I also wrote about in my Fonda posting.  It won first prize at the festival which Fonda and her comrades put on the blacklist.  Now, it has won the Ophir Award for Best Picture of the Israel Academy of Film, which means it will be nominated for the Academy Award for best foreign picture.  I've not seen the movie.  But I've read much about it and have heard about it from friends who watched it, one friend more than once.  It is really an Israeli-Palestinian film dealing with grave issues between two peoples.  By the way, it is mostly in Arabic.  It isn't as if there weren't films in Hebrew that might have gotten the Ophir.  But this is Israel.  For a good grasp of all of this please read Bradley Burston's column in Ha'aretz, "The cowardice, the vanity, the sin of boycotting Israel."