- 2h 14min
COLLIDING DREAMS recounts the dramatic history of one of the most controversial, and urgently relevant political ideologies of the modern era.COLLIDING DREAMS recounts the dramatic history of one of the most controversial, and urgently relevant political ideologies of the modern era.COLLIDING DREAMS recounts the dramatic history of one of the most controversial, and urgently relevant political ideologies of the modern era.
Messrs. Dorman and Rudavsky are not really telling the story of Zionism, they are telling the story of what the Zionist vision did to the Arabs that lived in Palestine.
At the outset, the film clearly identifies the Arabs of Palestine had always been know as Palestinians. These people are assume to have enjoyed a long history of people-hood distinct from other Arabs. How this trite and perverse a distortion gets woven into the narrative is disturbing to say the least. Hanan Ashrawi (PLO spokeswomen) is pictured in the first 5 minutes of the film asserting the rights of Palestinians as if this people had existed for centuries. The plain truth is that the inhabitants of Palestine in 1900 were Arabs, Christians and Jews, all subjects of the Turks.
Not until 1967 when Yasser Arafat renamed his ragtag army the Palestinian Liberation Army where these Arabs awarded an identity. During the period of Turkish rule and then after under the British Mandate period the name Palestinians applied to Jews until 1948. "..it was common for the international press to label Jews, not Arabs, living in the mandate as Palestinians. It was not until years after Israeli independence that the Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were called Palestinians. In fact, Arabs cannot even correctly pronounce the word Palestine in their native tongue, referring to area rather as"Filastin." Unfortunately, this is but one example of the rewriting of historical fact that is manufactured by Dorman and Rudavsky in order to tell their version of the truth.
Accomplished film makers perhaps, Messrs. Dorman and Rudavsky have little in the way of credentials for the narrative. Their knowledge of historical background of region is surprisingly thin, and much worse, it is quite selective. Important historical events are glossed over (the Balfour Declaration) or as is the case of The Treaty of San Remo, signed in 1920, entirely left out of the film. To take the absence of the Treaty of San Remo as an example, this Treaty ended the war between the Allies and Turkey and settled the future of the lands that had been ruled by the Ottoman Turks for centuries. This Treaty was ratified by all 52 nations in the League of Nations and gave Jews the legal right to settle Palestine while recognizing the rights of Arabs to create their own states in Syria and Iraq under the Mandate System. This Treaty assigned Palestine as a future home of the Jews and was welcomed by the leaders of Arab people of the day.
Worst still this lack of background, Dorman and Rudavsky took the Zionist story and used that as an excuse to portray Arabs solely as "victims". Their land was stolen, their property seized, their birthright expunged by Jews driven from an anti-Semitic Europe. With nearly 165 minutes of interviews, new clips and narrative, the Arabs of Palestine are incarnated as the latest version of a people colonized by the West, this time with the Jews as oppressors.
"The Zionist Idea" shows us educated Jews pleading with the audience to understand that the Jews who left Europe after the Holocaust had nowhere else to go (and by implication they are really sorry for the harm done to the indigenous Arab population).
But there is no balance when presenting the Arab side of the story. We are treated to Arab/ Palestinian politicians, intellectuals and historians that clearly are ever so pleased to proclaim that they are the real victims. They want their land back. Why can't these same Palestinian politicians, intellectuals and historians own up to the programs of real causes of the riots of 1290, 1923, 1929 and 1937. Or was there any mention of the clearly incendiary and anti- Semitic actions of the Mufti of Jerusalem. Or are we treated to a full throated apology from the Palestinian victims for the wholesale displacement of large scale Sephardic communities of the Levant by their Arab brethren. The Palestinian narrative comes across as one sided and unapologetic, given over without comment and presented as fact. Moral right in this story is painfully obvious
"The Zionist Idea" could have been so much more. Zionism truly inspired a nation. A nation of liberated Jews was reborn in their ancestral homeland. These Jews turned a neglected under- utilized wasteland, the backwater of a decaying Ottoman Turkish Empire, into an inspiration to Jews and non-Jews alike. Marginal lands owned by Egyptian and Syrian absentee land holders sold to Jews at exorbitant prices. Jews cleared malarial swamps in order to create a new Zion.
Palestinians are presently as they always are: not a people but a cardboard cutout of the "victim", the result of European Colonialism and Zionist racism. What a drab, inaccurate narrative. There are indeed many sad and heart breaking stories woven into the tragedy of the region. My Goodness, my heart breaks at the thought that these talented men can do no better "The Zionist Idea".
- May 12, 2015