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|How to Make a Hamas Hero, By Jamie Glazov|
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Pierre Rehov, a French filmmaker who has filmed six documentaries on the Palestinian Intifada. One of his recent documentaries, Suicide Killers, explores the psychology of suicide bombers. It is based on interviews with the victims of suicide bombers, the families of suicide bombers, would-be bombers themselves, and experts on suicide killer mentality. A few months ago, he moved from France to the USA. His website is PierreRehov.com and he has recently created his own Youtube channel.
FP: Pierre Rehov, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Rehov: Thank you Jamie.
FP: I would like to talk to you today about the Youtube Channel that you have started. But first I would like to touch on your move from France to New York. Why did you move?
Rehov: Actually, this is not the first time that I moved to the US. Between 1983 and 1985, I was already living in Los Angeles, producing a film there. I have always been attached to America, a country whose basic values I highly respect. Freedom of speech, equality between races, religions, genders, and respect for workers and entrepreneurs.
My decision to move from France was motivated by both personal and political reasons. On a personal level, my own small company has been harassed by the French tax people for about 10 years, since the first days of my involvement in politics. This is the French way to appear as a country of free-speech but to stop you from talking loudly against the diseases of its society, such as its traditional pro-Arabs politics.
My mistake was to file a claim against France 2 in 2001, with the help of the B’nai Birth, for having deliberately participated in the Muhammad Al Dura’s hoax. As a filmmaker, I knew that something was wrong in those images, and conducting my own investigation in Israel and Gaza was my very first involvement in the Middle-East crisis. Later, some of my work would be used by Esther Shapira in her film "Who Killed Mohammad Al Dura," and I was delighted to see my friend Philippe Karsenty taking up the case and leading it to a victory.
But the first result of my own claim was to see the French IRS jumping on my company and starting an investigation -- which was going to last more than 10 years. I sued them, of course, and I won the first time, as I will certainly win the other cases, but this is expensive, exhausting, and the cost of lawyers was more than my company could handle. Unfortunately, many Jews who made Aliyah to Israel, or moved to the US, would tell you the same story.
On a political level, it is a bit difficult living in a country where Israel is accused by 90% of the media for committing war crimes each time it defends itself and where you have to listen to Arabic music each time you take a taxi and be insulted if you dare saying to the taxi driver that you would appreciate if he could turn down the volume. It’s not the easiest thing to live in a country where the so-said anti-racist organizations, such as MRAP, organize rallies against Israel during which people shout "death to the Jews," and where I am myself am considered a racist, or even a fascist, just because I support Israel, the US and western values, and because I don’t like to see men believing in their own supremacy against women. All these were reasons for me to leave.
France is no longer my country, even though I respect the new president, Mr. Sarkozy, as much as I disrespected Jacques Chirac. I think that I made my decision the day Chirac gave a national funeral to Arafat. It took me time to get organized, but I must say that I now feel perfectly well in the USA.
FP: So let’s talk about your Youtube channel. Tell us about why you started this channel and what clips you have been adding on there lately.
Rehov: Well, lately, I discovered thousands of anti-American and anti-Israeli clips on Youtbe and other sites. Very often, they are montages. It is so easy to use images to say exactly the opposite of what those images really mean. The Arab propaganda on the internet is huge. I had no idea. You have millions of people, including left-wing pro-Arabs, who spend hours building this destructive machine. The Muslims don’t hesitate using gruesome images to shock.
Unfortunately, in any war, those images exist. Children are being killed. Houses are being destroyed. People suffer. Hospitals become crowded. It becomes easy to shock and Arab propagandists are experts in using their own casualties to acquire sympathy from the western world, or to provoke anger in their own population. Unfortunately, it works. When you see a poor child who has lost a limb, or a dead person covered with blood, you don’t think: "Well, this is unfortunate, but this is collateral damage, because Israeli soldiers try to be careful, and they have strict orders. But what can they do when Hamas terrorists hide behind their own civilians and take women and children as human shields?" People don’t think that way when they are shocked.
They see a dead child, and accuse instinctively the soldier on the other side. Most people don’t know that, in many cases, terrorists in Hamas and Hezbollah deliberately kill their own when they know a camera crew is in the neighbourhood. I know it as a fact, because, once in the West Bank, my own Palestinian cameraman asked me if I was interested in an "organized casualty," since nothing interesting had really happened on that day. Of course, the cameraman thought that I was on the Palestinian side. After all, I was French.
But, back to Youtube, I own hundreds of hours of dailies that very few people have seen. Each time I make a film, I throw away 90% of my material, like all filmmakers do. Being tired of watching propaganda in poor quality all the time, I went ahead uploading my own little clips, especially made for the net (in addition to a few trailers and promo-reels). You can find them easily by going to my internet site PierreRehov.com, and then click on the Youtube icon, which will take you straight to all those clips.
FP: One of your especially powerful clips is How to Make a Hamas Hero. Some viewers have complained about the humorist touch of this clip. Tell us why you did it with humor.
Rehov: First of all, it doesn’t matter how dangerous and evil Hamas is; their organization, when it comes down to it, is a despicable joke. They started a war. They brought misery and demolition to themselves, to their people. They faced a very civilized enemy, who tried to minimize collateral damages. They would have been crushed, exterminated, had they faced the Russian, Chinese, or even Jordanian army. Instead, Israel demolished most of their infrastructures, and stopped the war when it decided to. And we had to watch those obscurantist losers, parading down the rubbles of Gaza and claiming victory. That reminded me of Saddam Hussein’s spokesperson who was still claiming an Iraqi major victory while the US troops had already taken all of Baghdad, including Saddam’s palace. This is pathetic.
I was inspired by Mel Brook’s The Producers and Charlie Chaplin’s The Dictator. People want to laugh. It is healthy. What better way than to use the techniques of comedy to expose evil?
FP: You also used a different technique to expose our antiwar liberals, who claim that our own soldiers behave like monsters.
Rehov: As you know, I spent almost a month in Baghdad and Dura, embedded with the 4/1 US cavalry. I heard the soldiers talk, I saw how they behaved, but, mostly, I saw how much loved they were by the local population. In most places, the US soldiers are considered as heroes. They are welcome, acclaimed. They truly are considered as an army of liberation.
Of course, you always have bad guys, everywhere. And I am sure that some US soldiers have behaved very poorly during the war, and with the local population. Let us say 3 to 5%? This is already is a lot. Unfortunately, the 3 to 5% of unforgivable behaviour is the only thing of interest to the media. So, I made this little clip, to shock and make people think. It is very short, but it says it all.
FP: Pierre Rehov, thank you for joining us today.
Rehov: My pleasure.
Mis en ligne le 11 février 2009, par
Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine’s managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.