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July 19, 2013

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PAGE 12A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 19, 2013 'Hannah Arendt' movie By Tom Tugend LOS ANGELES (JTA)-- Movie mavens may have to come up with a new genre to classify "Hannah Arendt," the biopic of the German-Jewish philosopher. New York Times critic A.O. Scott suggests it is an action film--albeit one in which the weapons are ideas and theo- ries are volleyed on a battle- field where a questionable hypothesis can turn lifelong friends into bitter enemies. Director Margarethe von Trotta, who has dealt previ- ously with complex Jewish women ("Rosa Luxemburg") and the Nazi era ("Rosen- strasse"), faced a particularly daunting task in visually por- traying the life of a woman known mainly for her ideas. Footage of Arendt at work is interspersed with shots of her silently chain smoking, pacing back and forth, sitting at a typewriter or just staring at the ceiling. But if nothing else, "Han- nah Arendt" shows that a contest of the mind can be just as intense and vicious as an armed conflict. The film about her life will begin its U.S. distribution in the coming months. Arendt arrived in America captures intensity of intellectual combat Zeitgeist Films Barbara Sukowa as Hannah Arendt in the film 'Hannah Arendt," a film by Margarethe yon Trotta. in 1941, a Jewish refugee from Nazi-occupied Europe. She was an intellectual respected in professional circles but mostly unknown to the gen- eral public. And so she may have remained save for the fateful decision of legendary New Yorker editor William Shawn to send her, rather than a seasoned journalist, to cover the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem. The decision would forever change Arendt's life. Her se- ries in The New Yorker-- later expanded in her book "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil"--triggered a furor and made "banality of evil" into an enduring catchphrase used to describe the abdication of moral judgment demon- strated by Eichmann and Nazi bureaucrats in carrying out the orders of their superiors. Arendt's view of Eichmann as asoulless technocrat rather than the embodiment of evil, and her belief that Jews were complicit in facilitat- ing the deportations of their coreligionists to the death camps, aroused widespread condemnation. Many of her closest friends broke with her. The Anti-Defamation League reportedly urged rabbis to denounce the book in their High Holidays sermons. In the film, Arendt's sec- retary points to three piles of letters. The smallest stack are letters from people "who think you are good," the secretary says.Astack three times higher is "from people who think you are terrible." And the third, medium-sized, is "from people who want you dead." In one heart-wrenching scene, Arendt flies to Israel and the deathbed of Kurt Blu- menfeld, perhaps her closest companion since the days when they were members of a Zionist youth group in Ger- many. Arendt tries to mollify and comfort Biumenfeld, but in his last gesture, he turns his back on her. The scene's drama is ex- ceeded only by a tour de force near the film's end, when Arendt, facing a class at The New School in Manhattan, mounts a passionate defense ofherwritings. Summarizing her philosophy, she exhorts the students to think inde- pendently if the human race is to avoid future catastrophes on the level of the Holocaust. She also tries to persuade her critics that in trying to understand the mentality of Nazi war criminals, she in no way means to exculpate or forgive them. Not all of"Hannah Arendt" is about intellectual sparring or pensive brooding. She is portrayed as an ardent woman, capable of discussing obscure philosophical points while shooting pool, and loyal and loving to her husband A scene from the film 'Hannah Arendt.' despite his occasional extra- marital affairs. Arendt herself was no strang- er to illicit encounters. In a flashback, we see her as a young university student involved in a love affair with her profes- sor, the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, who joined the Nazi party in 1933. Some critics have detected inArendtacertain intellectual snobbishness and a disdain for the mental capacity of the "lower classes," which may have led her to denigrate Eichmann as a man incapable of thinking for himself. Shawn points out that in her story, she has inserted a term in Greek that few New Yorker readers could understand. "In that case," Arendt replies, "they should learn Greek." In a sense, Arendt's forceful intellectwas both her strength and weakness, shaping her view of the Eichmann trial "from the perspective of a distant and somewhat ironic observer," said Barbara Su- kowa, the German actress who puts in abrilliant performance in the title role. Perhaps as a result, Arendt could not imagine how hurtful her pronouncements were to Holocaust survivors and the families of victims. The movie's dialogue is alternately in German and English, and the film gains authenticity by frequently inserting clips from the actual Eichmann trial. The production was sup- ported financially in part by the Israel and Jerusalem film funds. Presidential bid coming? Perry says he'll visit Israel (JTA)--Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in what observers see as a move signaling a pos- sible White House run, said he is planning to visit Israel in October. Perry, who has announced that he will not run for a fourth term as Texas governor, told the Washington Times in an interview last Friday, "We will be going to Israel to bring together Arabs, Christian and Jews in an educational forum." Political analysts believe the trip to the Jewish state shows that Perry is consider- ing a campaign for the 2016 presidential election. He dropped his bid for the 2012 Republican nomination dur- ing the primaries. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex- as)--reported to be potential presidential candidates for 2016--have made trips to Israel this year. Archaeologists discover sphinx in Israel (JTA)--Archaeologists in northern Israel discovered an Egyptian sphinxthought to date back at least three millennia. ' The sphinx was unearthed Tuesday, according to the French news agency AFP, and bears a dedication to the Egyptian ruler Mycerinus, who ruled circa 2500 BCE and built one of the three Pyramids at Giza. Research- ers estimate that the sphinx arrived at its location in the town of Tel Hazor in around 1500 BCE as a gift from a later ruler. "It's possible the statue was sent by the Egyptian ruler to the king of Hazor, the most important ruler in this region," Amnon Ben-Tor, the Hebrew University professor managing the dig, told AFP. Weekly roundup of world briefs from JTA Rick Perry Archaeologists have found the forearms and paws of the sphinx and hope to find more pieces in the coming days. Italian Jewry offers support to black government minis- ter targeted by racism (JTA)--Italy's Jewish lead- ership expressed "all the solidarity of Italian Jews" to a black Italian government minister who has been tar- geted by racist slurs and death threats. In the most recent slur against Minister for Integra- tion Cecile Kyenge, the vice president of the Italian senate, Roberto Calderoli, at a rally on Saturday of his Northern League party compared Ky- enge to an "orangutan." Kyenge, Italy's first black national official, immigrated to Italy from the Democratic Republic of the Congo nearly 30 years ago. Since being named to Prime Minister Enrico Letta's center-left government two months ago, Kyenge has had to contend with an ava- lanche of hate speech, mainly from extreme right political groups. Death threats have been posted on Facebook. Letta called Calderoli's words "unacceptable, beyond all limits." Other politicians also condemned Caideroli; some called for his resigna- tion. Israeli soldiers fired on from Egypt JERUSALEM (JTA)--Gun- men fired on Israeli soldiers from Egyptian territory. No Israeli injuries were reported when the gunmen, who wore masks, fired from across the Egyptian border on Sunday evening before escaping into the Sinai Desert. Egyptian soldiers and the gunmen continued to fire at each other near the border, according to reports. Israelis living in the bor- der area were ordered by the Israeli military to remain in their homes, the Times of Israel reported. Thousands rally in Tel Aviv for social justice JERUSALEM (JTA)--More than 3,000 Israelis marked the two-year anniversary of the social justice protest move- ment and demonstratedagainst current government economic policy at a rally in Tel Aviv. The protest on Saturday night against the high cost of living, government budget cuts and the failure to initiate social reform blocked the ma- jor Ayalon Highway. Protest- ers marched in downtown Tel Aviv as well as south Tel Aviv. The rally also commemo- rated the one-year anniver- sary of the death of social activist Moshe Sliman, who set himself on fire at a dem- onstration in Tel Aviv last summer. A letter written by Sliman shortly before his self-immolation was read at the main demonstration and protesters observed a moment of silence in his memory. Netanyahu on 'Face the Na- tion': 'I won't wait until it's too late' on Iran JERUSALEM (JTA)--Iran Memorial to the Jewish children murdered by the Nazis at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. will not be allowed to cross the red line set by Israel with regard to its nuclear capabil- ity, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on "Face the Nation." "They're not there yet. They're getting closer," Ne- tanyahu told Bob Schieffer, the host of the CBS News pro- gram. "They should be--they should understand that they are not going to be allowed to cross it." "I won't wait until it's too late" to act, the Israeli leader said, adding, "We have our eyes fixed on Iran. They have to know that we're serious." Netanyahu said he and President Obama have spoken "many times" about the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But, Netanyahu qualified, "our clocks are ticking in a dif- ferent pace. We're closer than the United States. We're more vulnerable.And therefore we'll have to address this question of how to stop Iran, perhaps before the United States does. But as the prime minister of Israel, I'm determined to do whatever is necessary to defend my country, the one and only Jewish state, from a regime that threatens us with renewed annihilation." Report: Israeli airstrike hit Syrian missile warehouse JERUSALEM (JTA)--Is- rael was responsible for an attack earlier this month on a missile warehouse in Syria, unnamed U.S. of- ficials said. A New York Times report on Saturday cited the of- ficials in saying that Israel carried out the July 5 air attack near Latakia, a major Syrian port city, targeting advanced anti-ship cruise missiles sold to the Syria government by Russia. Arab world's Ramadan entertainment features anti-Semitic miniseries (JTA)--An anti-Semitic television series is being broadcast throughout the Arab world for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "Khaiber," which is being shown on the satellite net- work Dubai TV, the Algerian 3 station and Dream TV, dra- matizes the battle between Muslims and the Jews of the town of Khaiber in Arabia and depicts Jews as the enemy of Islam. Traditional Islam believes the battle ended with the ex- ecution of thousands of Jews. Episodes aired to date have revealed classic anti-Semitic motifs, including a Jewish conspiracy to undermine Arabs, as well as depicting Jews as cheap, greedy and immoral, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Other anti-Semitic mini- series have aired in the Arab world during previous Ra- madans. Yad Vashem ranked a top museum by travel website JERUSALEM (JTA)--Yad Vashem was ranked fourth in the top 25 museums in the world by the travel website TripAdvisor. Israel's Holocaust memo- rial and museum also was awarded the website's 2013 Certificate of Excellence award given to sites that con- sistently receive outstanding traveler reviews. TripAdvisor is a popular travel website driven by reviews and comments of tourists and travelers. To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, tourist sites must maintain an overall rating of 4 or higher out of a possible 5, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Yad Vashem is currently listed as first among 146 recommended sites to visit in Jerusalem. Visitors who commented on the site applauded the "mov- ing and informative displays" and the "incredible use of architecture, audio visual, photos, and actual items to recreate a time in history that should never happen again." They called Yad Vashem an "emotional, educational and inspiring experience" and an "unbelievably moving experi- ence" that is a "must-see" for any traveler to Israel. Some I million people visit Yad Vashem annually.