Wednesday, February 01, 2006

No Paradise

My cousin forwarded this letter on the eve of the film's Oscar nomination. **The letter is not from a family member (in the orthodox sense of the word); it's a forwarded letter from Yossi Zur, signed below**

Last night the
Palestinian movie "Paradise Now" won
the Golden Globe award. The movie shows
the route that two young Palestinians
take to become suicide murderers, up
until the minute they board a bus in Tel
Aviv filled with

The movie looks professional. It was made with
attention to detail, but it is extremely dangerous – not only to the
East, but to the whole world.

My son Asaf, almost 17
years old, was
a high school student in the eleventh grade who loved
computer science. One day
after school he boarded a bus home, as usual.
Along the way, a suicide murderer
from Hebron, 21 years old, a computer
science student at the Hebron Polytechnic,
exploded on the

17 people were killed, 9 of them school
children aged 18
or less.
My son Asaf was killed on spot.

watched the movie
"Paradise Now" trying to understand what it is trying to say,
what message
it carries?
That the murderer is human? He is not.
That he
doubts? He has none. After all, he is willing to kill himself along with his
That the Israelis are to blame for this brutal killing? Are the
Israelis to blame for the Twin Towers in New York, the night club in
the hotel in Egypt, the shop in Turkey, the restaurant in Morocco
or in Tunis,
the hotel in Jordan, the underground in London, the train in
Spain? And the list
goes on and on.

What makes this movie
award-worthy? Would the
people that awarded this movie the Golden Globe do
the same if the movie was
about young people from Saudi Arabia who learn how
to fly airplanes in the USA
and then use Islamic rituals to prepare
themselves for their holy mission,
crashing their airplanes into the Twin
Towers in New York City? Would this movie
get an award

This movie tries to say that suicide murder is
when you feel you have exhausted all other means. But a suicide
murderer who
boards a bus kills 15 or 20 innocent people, so how about a suicide
who walks into a city with a biological bomb and kills 10,000 people or
100,000 people? Is that still legitimate? Where does one draw the

I believe that the world should draw the line at one
The killing of even one person is not legitimate. My son was almost
17 years
old, he loved surfing, he loved loud music. Now he is gone because
a suicide
murderer decided it's legitimate to blow himself up on a crowded

Granting an award to this kind of movie gives the
filmmakers a
seal of approval to hide behind. Now they can say that the
world sees suicide
bombing as legitimate. By ignoring the film's message and
the implications of
this message, those that chose to award this film a
prize have become part of
the evil chain of terror and accomplices to the
next suicide murders – whether
they kill 17 people or 17,000

Name: Yossi


Judy said...

Thanks for publishing this eloquent and moving letter, Stefanella. May you and your family be spared all further sorrow.

Stephanie said...

Sorry if I gave the impression that this was my family. It's not but my heart grieves for them. My cousin forwarded this in an e-mail from Yossi Zur, who is signed at the bottom...May we all know sparing sorrow...Slf