Things I do in * real * life

Please note: Full festival schedule and film descriptions follow at the end of the release.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2011

Maine Jewish Film Festival, in its fourteenth year, celebrates the rich diversity of independent Jewish film

PORTLAND, Maine. — When the Maine Jewish Film Festival opens on the evening of Saturday, March 26, it will mark its fourteenth year of bringing internationally- and locally-made independent films to Maine film-lovers. This year’s festival features films from Mexico, Argentina, Belgium, France, Israel, Ireland, Romania, and others. Two locally-made short films will also be featured in the festival.

Overall, the MJFF will screen twelve features, selected episodes from one television series, and eight short films during its six day run from March 26-31. Visiting artists, panel discussions, and receptions are also an integral part of the festival schedule. The highly-lauded and award-winning film selections include documentaries, musicals, comedies, psychodrama, and animation.

This diverse selection shares a skillful exposition of the global Jewish experience, through many cultural lenses and interpretations. Though all films are nominally Jewish, they are selected for their broad appeal and are exemplary for their era, their genre, and their provenance. All films featured in the 2011 Maine Jewish Film Festival are Maine premieres.

The Festival opens on Saturday, March 26 with its annual kick-off party at Greenhut Galleries in Portland followed by the Opening Night film premiere, an 8 p.m. screening of award-winning Mexican film Nora’s Will. Nora’s Will won five of the Mexican Academy of Film’s Oscar equivalents, the Ariel Awards: Best Picture of the Year, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and Best First Film. The film will screen at the Nickelodeon Cinemas in downtown Portland.

Israel’s entry for the Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards is screening at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, at the Nickelodeon. The Human Resources Manager takes an incisive, human, and personal look at the relationship between post-Soviet Eastern Europe and contemporary Israeli society. This film won five awards from the Israeli Academy, including Best Picture.

A 2011 programmatic addition is the MJFF Classic Pick; the Festival will be screening the Marx Brothers’ classic Duck Soup. This biting satire remains relevant today. Duck Soup screens Thursday, March 31, 5 p.m. at The Nickelodeon.

Other special Festival events include a Free Youth Film (Eli & Ben), a community outreach program at The Salt Institute (The Way Up), the annual Senior Luncheon and Film at the Maine Historical Society (Simon Konianski), and LGBT Reception and Film (He’s My Girl).

Tickets for all films and events can be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets, or by mail. Please visit www.mjff.org for more details.

About MJFF:
The Maine Jewish Film Festival began in 1998 in South Portland at Congregation Bet Ha’am with six videos shown on a television set over a weekend. Since then, the MJFF has presented over 250 films, brought more than 70 guest artists from the U.S. and around the world, and sold close to 28,000 tickets to both Jewish and non-Jewish attendees in venues throughout the state.

The Festival curates a program of films that explore the Jewish experience in Maine and globally through features, documentaries, and shorts. The MJFF has grown to be one of the best-attended, most well-respected, and highly-anticipated cultural events in the State, attracting a diverse, sophisticated, and deeply loyal audience base, all of whom love independent film.

With participation, volunteer hours, patronage, and sponsorship from Maine’s communities, the MJFF brings the best in international and local Jewish film and culture to film buffs throughout Maine and New England, no bar/bat mitzvah necessary.

Portland is the smallest city in the nation to boast an independent, professional Jewish film festival.

# # #

MJFF 2011 Film Schedule & Descriptions

OPENING NIGHT FILM
Nora’s Will
Saturday, March 26, 8 PM
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street, Portland

Director: Mariana Chenillo
Country: Mexico | 2008 | Feature
Duration: 92 min.
Language: Spanish with English subtitles

Set in Mexico City, this wry comedy begins as Jose discovers the body of Nora, the woman to whom he’d been married for 30 years until it ended in divorce. Nora’s death was a deliberate, mischievous act designed to reunite family and friends for a final Passover Seder. She leaves behind detailed instructions for the occasion but inadvertently forgets to destroy a mysterious, incriminating photograph.

Awards:
Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, Jury Award, 2009
Mexican Academy of Film Ariel Awards, Best Picture of the Year, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best First Film, 2009
Miami Film Festival, Audience Award, 2009
Havana Film Festival, Grand Coral, 2009

“…Writer-director Mariana Chenillo displays great sureness of touch behind the camera. She creates fully imagined eccentric characters, places them in a wryly comic and specific world and takes deft pokes at the occasional rigidity of organized religion in the process.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times

WOMEN FILMMAKERS FORUM
Camera Obscura
Sunday, March 27, 1 PM
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street, Portland

Director: María Victoria Menis
Country: Argentina | 2008 | Feature
Duration: 86 min.
Language: Spanish, Yiddish with English subtitles

Gertrudis grows up a shy and self-conscious young woman, and her family marries her off to a wealthy Jewish rancher. As the years pass, she finds comfort in the simple beauty of everyday life. When a nomadic French photographer takes a Surrealist family portrait, Gertrudis truly sees herself for the first time. Camera Obscura employs a number of visual innovations including original Surrealist-inspired photographs and black-and-white films, archival World War I photographs, and hand-drawn color animation.

Awards:
Pays de Caux International Latin Film Festival, Grand Prize, 2009
International Jewish Film Festival of Uruguay, Best Film 2009

FREE YOUTH FILM
Eli and Ben
Sunday, March 27, 4 PM
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street, Portland

Director: Ori Ravid
Country: Israel | 2008 | Feature
Duration: 89 min.
Language: Hebrew with English subtitles.

Eli is 12 years old – interested in girls and awkwardly navigating the adolescent social scene – when his world is turned upside down. His father Ben, the city planner of Tel Aviv’s affluent suburb Herzliya, is charged with taking bribes. Ben is taken into custody right before Eli’s eyes and the news of his arrest jumps into the public’s eye, making Eli’s school life even more difficult than before. Eli, convinced of his father’s innocence, draws on the full reserves of his mischief to see to it that his father is released.

Awards:
Boston Jewish Film Festival, Audience Award, 2010
Moscow Children’s Film Festival, Grand Prix Award, 2010
Palm Beach International Film Festival, Special Jury Mention, 2010

Precious Life
Sunday, March 27, 6 PM
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street, Portland

Director: Shlomi Eldar
Country: Israel | 2010 | Documentary
Length: 90 min.
Language: Hebrew, Arabic with English subtitles

Precious Life tells the story of Mohammad Abu Mustafa, a four-month-old Palestinian boy from Gaza. Mohammad was born without an immune system and requires a bone marrow transplant, a treatment only available in an Israeli hospital. In the midst of the Gaza War, Raida, his mother, Shlomi Eldar, the Gaza reporter for Israel Channel 10 news, and an Israeli pediatrician try to get treatment for Mohammad. Eldar demonstrates the profound dilemma and impossibility faced by those in the Gaza Strip seeking medical treatment and those in Israel who want to provide it. An extraordinary and at times tenuous relationship is forged between mother, doctor, and director as they navigate the devastating and dangerous terrain between Gaza and Israel.

Followed by Medical Ethics panel discussion

Awards:
Israel Film Academy Ophir Awards, Best Documentary, 2010
Telluride Film Festival, Best Documentary, 2010
Toronto International Film Festival, Best Documentary, 2010

“…A deeply personal portrait of … the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” – LA Times “The Big Picture” Blog

“A remarkable new documentary… This is the middle east I know.” – Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times

Arab Labor, Season 2
Monday, March 28, 5 PM
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street, Portland

Director: Roni Ninio
Country: Israel | 2009 | TV Show
Duration: 4 episodes, 23 min. per episode
Language: Arabic, Hebrew with English subtitles

Arab Labor deals with the status of Arab citizens of Israel in Israeli society, the daily controversy surrounding issues of identity, and the sensitivities of both populations. Amjad is a Palestinian journalist, married to Bushra and Maya’s father. In order to become accepted by Jerusalem’s Ashkenazi elite, Amjad is willing to lie, flatter, and conceal his Palestinian identity. His love-hate relationship with Israel is a source of criticism from his parents, and his wife mocks him. Amjad’s only ally is his friend Meir, an Israeli Jew and colleague, and a sworn bachelor who is in love with the lawyer Amal, Bushra’s feminist Arab friend. Arab Labor has met harshly critical reviews from Israel’s Palestinian citizens and global Arabic press, but is beloved by many Israeli Jews.

Awards:
Jerusalem International Film Festival, Best Israeli Series, 2008

“Kashua has managed to barge through cultural barriers and bring an Arab point of view into the mainstream of Israeli entertainment.” – The New York Times

The Way Up
Monday, March 28, 5 PM
Salt Institute for Documentary Studies
561 Congress Street, Portland

Director: Shirly Berkovitz
Country: Israel | 2009 | Documentary
Duration: 52 min.
Language: Hebrew with English subtitles

The Way Up is the incredible true story of a young lesbian on the fringes of Israeli society. During Ceausescu’s regime in Romania, abortions were illegal and orphanages were overflowing with unwanted children. Young Lian grew up in such a place until the age of four, when an Israeli couple adopted her. At 14 she ran away from her adopted home and found herself living in the streets. The film depicts a street girl’s fight for survival against all odds, guided by the dream of her true family. Director Shirly Berkovitz follows Lian for three years and in the process, reveals the cruel world of Tel Aviv street kids.

Awards:
TLVFest GLBT International Film Festival, Honorable Mention, 2009
Bucharest International Film Festival, Women in Cinema Best Film, 2009
Romania International Film Festival, Best Documentary, 2009

Presented with local short: The Lighthouse: Against the Grain
Director: Dovid Muyderman with Kate Kaminski and Betsy Carson
Country: U.S. | 2011 | Short Documentary
Duration: 6 minutes
Language: English

Local filmmaker Dovid Muyderman is on a quest to make a feature film about his and his brother’s turbulent past as homeless teens on the streets of Portland, Maine. Poignant and sharply funny, The Lighthouse: Against the Grain is a short documentary about two Jewish teens, cast out and alone, who found their way to a hopeful future.

After-film panelists:
Yoav Kosh – Award-winning Israeli cinematographer of both features and documentaries, Yoav is the director of photography of Maya, MJFF’s closing night film.
Alexandra C. Daley-Clark – Photographer, Director of Photography for Do1Thing.org, former Newsweek Photo Editor, contract photographer for the America 24/7 project.

Anita

Monday, March 28, 7 PM
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street, Portland

Director: Marcos Carnevale
Country: Argentina | 2009 | Feature
Duration: 105 min.
Language: Spanish with English subtitles

Anita is based on the 1994 bombing of a Jewish neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Anita Feldman, a young woman with Down syndrome, lives a happy and sheltered life, cared for by her devoted mother. One tragic morning, her mother leaves Anita alone in the family’s stationary shop. In those few minutes, her world is shattered; the nearby Argentine Israelite Mutual Association is bombed. While her brother frantically searches for her, she wanders the streets confused for days on end, unable to explain where she lives. Her loving nature deeply touches those who cross her path, from an alcoholic to a family of Asian immigrants. Alejandra Manzo, an actress with Down syndrome, gives a heartbreaking and touching performance in the title role.

Awards:
International Latino Film Festival of Los Angeles, Best Film and Audience Award, 2009
Award of the Argentinian Academy, Best Supporting Actress, 2009
Pittsburgh Jewish Israeli Film Festival, Audience Award for Best Narrative Film, 2010

MISHMOSH: MJFF SHORT-ISH FILM PROGRAM
Tuesday March 29, 5 PM
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street, Portland

The Eisenberg Brothers
Director: Ben van Bergen
Country: USA | 2010 | Short Dark Comedy
Duration: 15 min.
Language: English

When you have three boys, one babe, two parents, and one determined boyfriend in a family deli, can there be a happy ending? This short film was shot in one of the few remaining authentic New York City delis.

Hasan Everywhere
Director: Andrew Kavanagh
Country: Ireland | 2009 | Animated Short
Duration: 7 min.
Language: English

Both living in New York, Dorit was a rising star among Israeli novelists and Hasan was a gifted Palestinian artist. A passionate, impossible friendship flourished between these exiles abroad. Hasan’s colorful artwork is the catalyst for the film’s animation, and Dorit’s written account of their friendship guides the narrative.

“Hasan Everywhere is a beautifully executed animation with an excellent story that is both gripping and haunting…the project’s creativity and craft shone through and bespeaks a creator in high command of their craft.” – Judging Panel of the 2010 Digital Media Awards

Our Family’s Glorious Legacy
Director: Neil Ira Needleman
Country: USA | 2010 | Short
Duration: 8 min.
Language: English

In every mishpocha, there’s a family historian, a self-designated storyteller. The narrator in this film spins a yarn of the family’s three-millennium history. But how do we know where truth ends and legend begins?

In Person: Director Neil Ira Needleman

The Tailor
Director: Gordon Grinberg
Country: USA | 2010 | Short Comedy
Duration: 7 min.
Language: English

Two Hassidic boys in new suits encounter two nuns – one wise and one naïve – on a Brooklyn street.

“Beautifully shot and composed… I laughed my ass off.” – Jonathan Kesselman, director The Hebrew Hammer

Yiddish Hillbillies
Director: Eric Krasner
Country: USA | 2008 | Short Musical
Duration: 3 min.
Language: English

A mash-up of vintage film and the music of Mickey Katz comes to a tremendous conclusion.

LGBT FILM FORUM
Tuesday, March 29
5:30 PM LGBT Film Forum Reception
Salt Institute for Documentary Studies
561 Congress Street, Portland
7:00 PM He’s My Girl
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street, Portland

He’s My Girl
Director: Jean-Jacques Zilbermann
Country: France | 2009 | Feature
Duration: 85 min.
Language: French, Yiddish, Arabic with English subtitles

In a wry Parisian comedy, clarinetist Simon Eskenazy’s homosexuality, family, and religion come together to turn his life upside down. He can’t finish his record. His over-bearing mother is sick and wants to move into Simon’s apartment. His ex-wife Rosalie and their 10-year-old son have suddenly reappeared, bringing with them their entire Orthodox Jewish family.

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY
Wednesday, March 30, 1 PM
Maine Historical Society
489 Congress Street, Portland

Simon Konianski
Director: Micha Wald
Country: Belgium, France, Canada | 2009 | Feature
Duration: 97 min.
Language: French and Hebrew with English subtitles

After being dumped by his shiksa girlfriend, 35-year-old Simon returns home to live with his ailing father Ernest. They, along with Simon’s siblings and son, drive each other crazy in this quirky multi-generational comedy. Like all good Jewish families, they bicker about finding Simon a nice Jewish girl, finding Simon a good job, and grandpa’s war stories. Funny, crass, surreal, and shocking, Belgian director Micha Wald has crafted a distinctly Jewish take and a modern variation on the classic generational comedy theme, emphasizing differences in Jewish attitudes to the past and expectations for the future.

“…Like a Belgian mash-up of The Royal Tenenbaums and Everything Is Illuminated…oft-stunning photography…” – Variety

Presented with local short: For the Children
Director: Phyllis Graber Jensen
Country: USA | 2010 | Short
Duration: 6 min.
Language: English

A mother addresses her feelings of guilt by reading a poem each year.

Simon Konianski
Wednesday, March 30, 5 PM
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street, Portland

Presented with local short: For the Children
Director: Phyllis Graber Jensen
Country: USA | 2010 | Short
Duration: 6 min.
Language: English

A mother addresses her feelings of guilt by reading a poem each year.

The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground

Wednesday March 30, 7 PM
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street, Portland

Director: Erik Greenberg Anjou
Country: Germany, Hungary, Israel, Poland, USA | 2010 | Documentary
Duration: 105 min.
Language: English

A groundbreaking fusion of world music and klezmer, The Klezmatics have been redefining Jewish music for more than 20 years. Against the backdrop of lead vocalist Lorin Sklamberg’s passion for the Yiddish language as a cornerstone of klezmer music and Jewish identity, the film reveals the personal dramas underneath the music as the band members struggle to maintain lives as artists while raising families and facing middle age. Their energy, infectious live performance, and on-camera candor create an invigorating, eye-opening behind-the-scenes music documentary.

In Person: Director Erik Greenberg-Anjou

The Human Resources Manager
Wednesday, March 30, 9 PM
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street, Portland

Director: Eran Riklis
Country: France, Germany, Israel, Romania | 2010 | Narrative
Duration: 103 min.
Language: English, Hebrew, Romanian with subtitles

When a worker at a Jerusalem industrial bakery turns up dead, it falls to the bakery’s human resources manager to return her remains to her next of kin in remote Romania. He is accompanied by a motley crew of characters as they trek across a frozen post-Soviet landscape. Will the human resources manager discover his own humanity in this quirky, seriocomic crowd-pleaser?

Eran Riklis also directed the award-winning films The Syrian Bride and The Lemon Tree. The Human Resources Manager was Israel’s entry for the 2011 Foreign Language Film Academy Award (Oscar).

Awards:
Locarno Film Festival, Audience Award, 2010
Ophir Awards (Israeli Academy), Best Picture and Best Director, 2010

“Riklis lets his cast find riches in their characters that help illuminate a thoughtful and well-crafted tale.” – The Hollywood Reporter

Duck Soup
Thursday, March 31, 5 PM
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street
Portland

Director: Leo McCarey
Country: USA | 1933 | Comedy Musical
Duration: 68 min.
Language: English

A timeless slapstick comedy performance that pokes fun at the powers that be, Duck Soup was originally released in 1933. As a subversive comedy it ruffled plenty of feathers, with American audiences dismayed by its cynical take on war and nationhood. Duck Soup has lost none of its relevance over the years, its hilarious criticisms of militarism, wealth, politicians, and power as lucid as ever.

Duck Soup is listed in IMDb’s Top 250 list. In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #60 Greatest Movie of All Time.

“…A masterpiece of controlled chaos….” – Scott Tobias, The Onion A.V. Club

Maya
Thursday, March 31, 7 PM
Nickelodeon Cinemas
1 Temple Street, Portland

Director: Michal Bat Adam
Country: Israel | 2009 | Narrative
Duration: 89 min.
Language: Hebrew with English subtitles

Maya is a semi-autobiographic psychodrama from actress-turned-screenwriter Michal Bat Adam. Bat Adam tells the story of a struggling young actress’ descent into madness as she checks herself into a psychiatric hospital to prepare for a role. While the role itself has dangerous implications for Maya’s health, so too does a friend’s personal crisis and her budding relationship with the play’s chauvinistic director.

Michal Bat Adam was first Israeli woman to direct a feature film. She has won:
Best Actress award of the Israel Film Institute—I Love You Rosa, 1972, and Atalia, 1984.
Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress awards of the Israel Film Institute—Moments, 1979, and A Thin Line, 1981.

In Person: Cinematographer Yoav Kosh who has received two awards from the Israeli Film Academy for Best Cinematography

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2 thoughts on “Things I do in * real * life

  1. My thesis is that Israel is finished and its European bulwark (that’s us) is crumbling. My latest bit of evidence was a MSNBC headline yesterday, which turned out to be an AP story off the rack, headline and all. “Libya Forces” do something in response to some action by “Rebels”. For a while on MSNBC’s “front page” this story shared space (room for five) with “English Special Forces Captured by Rebels” and for a while it appeared along with “US Public Unhappy with Colonel Gaddafi” or something like that.
    The cycle of film is much longer than the cycle of internet news. I wonder if the one film at this year’s festival that best captures the je ne sais quoi of this time is the one about Portland homelessness. Can a Jewish boy or two be homeless in the land of AIPAC? What did they do to deserve such a fate? Have you met Ian who grew up in a very strict Orthodox household and is now a sort of homeless-services coordinator in Portland? Do you know Joe Koko? I think being Jewish is like being Christian or Muslim or (more clearly) Buddhist or (most of all) American: it is the absolute absence of any distinguishing features. Some Slav wrote a book in or around WWI with the title, “The Man Who Had No Qualities”.
    To be generic, to be ordinary, to fit the type and nothing more. To not be “a respecter of persons”–no, Groucho reminds me to be precise: to have no “person” for others to respect. (Which reminds me of the Kafka jest about not being able to identify with the proffered Jewish role models: “I can’t even identify with myself.”)
    To take life as it comes and to surrender it as it goes. How do you make that into a form of government? What heading do you steer? What coercion is efficacious? What do they do in Israel to avoid talking about what they are doing? How will this film festival avoid talking about Egypt and Libya and the Sultan of Oman replacing two ministers over the weekend? And about the French Foreign Minister saying military intervention in Libya would be totally “negative”?
    The critical term, I believe, is “fin de siecle”. Is there a comedian available to turn that into a positive work?
    Okay, here it is. “I’d suck up to you, but I can’t figure out which bloc you’re in.”

  2. I should justify the first salvo of my onslaught above: that Israel is finished. It is really a matter of viewing things with Grouchovian clarity. Israel has in fact never existed. (Its “delegitimization” problem has existed as long as it has–the “existential threat” is the only part of it that actually exists: puns in extremis.)
    The thing is a legal nullity. It’s like a marriage or contract that never actually came into being. Some constituent vital to its existence was lacking.
    In Israel’s case, there are two elements lacking. One is real estate. You cannot have a state without real estate. You cannot ask a baby-sitter to let you set up a state in the living room of the people next door where the baby-sitting is being done. I mean, of course you can, and of course the baby-sitter can give you permission; but you get my point.
    The other element lacking is a constitution. Israel cannot both be a Jewish state and a democracy. It would be like Italy being governed by the Vatican on weekends and by the other Rome–the secular government, Silvio Berlusconi and all–on weekdays. The whole thing would come apart on the launch pad over the question of a calendar.
    Well, if Israel is not a state, what is it? It is a pirate state (speaking with Somalia’s coast in mind), a failed state (with the rest of Somalia in mind, now), something less than a state. It is certainly holding the real estate unjustly. Any action it takes in “defense” of that real estate is unjust.
    This allows me to raise the question of US supporters of Israel. Apparently there is a distinction to be made, at least in US constitutional jurisprudence dealing with free-speech, of agitation versus incitement. You are allowed to agitate–that is, circulate–any question, such as the necessity to overthrow the government of the US by force, in the interests of rational discourse and responsible government. Thomas Jefferson did as much by saying hypothetically, “When in the course of human events . . .” But you cannot incite the overthrow of this state without risking what Jefferson says he risked by bringing his abstraction down to earth and his time: his “life, fortune and sacred honor”. Without some such distinction, law is impossible, for law presumes a place to make law in: a laboratory, if you will. You are not allowed to wreck the laboratory in your quest for new law.
    This may seem a subtle point to you; it seems subtle to me. But rather than accuse AIPAC, J Street, etal, of treason by arguing in Congress, the New York Times, etc., that giving Israel anything Israel demands is right and good–which seems to be someone’s right as much as urging that the polar bear be given everything it demands–since it all seems quite hypothetical and salubrious for the democratic spirit which thrives on open debate, J.S. Mill and all–I wonder if supporters of Israel in the US should be regarded as enemies of law. Who was it who just declared someone an enemy of the constitution? That sounded to me like an accusation of treason. Glen Beck was accusing the political scientist Frances Fox Piven of that, by some feat of logic in the face of contrary evidence. Under what circumstances could a debate in itself be incitement? Well, all incitement is debate. It is what is being urged by the debator that determines if it is agitation or incitement. Agitation urges the listener to consider something, say, heaving a brick. Incitement urges the listener to heave a brick.
    If we take the Operation Cast Lead of 2008-9 and the resolution that came out of Congress defending that invasion of Gaza with its fourteen hundred Gazans being killed by Israel–none of them terrorists except by the reach of imagination by which Congress makes “material support” to a listed organization terrorism, and lists Hamas as such an organization–while, I believe, seven Israeli Jews died at the hands of the defenders of Gaza: if this was not the action of a state but of a pirate state, failed state, something less than a state, then the Congressional endorsement of it is also lacking. It reminds me of the idea of a privateer–a pirate ship that has a license from some state to attack shipping of some other state. The Congress licensed Israel after-the-face to attack Gaza.
    This line of reasoning I pursue here is subtle but earth-shaking, I believe. It is a slow-motion earthquake. The Congress has been licensing Israel to attack people for sixty three years. This has not been merely a discussion. This has been issuing the piece of paper that makes things happen (whether money transferred, a UN veto cast, a cruise missile or so fired off into the air). This is an act with consequences. Congress licensed action by an entity which does not exist, a legal nullity in regards a legal nullity. It licensed, yes, following the logic of my imagery, Captain Hook to go ravage Peter Pan, Wendy, and the others, altogether fictional characters in an English novel but for the fact that their names appear in US Presidential and Congressional documents as the recipients of the largesse of the US and beneficiaries of its rage.
    And how does that arise to the level of risking one’s life, fortune, or sacred honor? What harm is done? This course of conduct makes law impossible. If, never mind flouting the separation of church and state or equal treatment of the laws (both accusations to be made against Israel), supporters of Israel have obliterated the distinction between fact and fantasy, then there is no more law. You stand up and demand security for Israel, and then you go on to seek additional dollars for Captain Hook’s fight against religious extremism. Someone questions your loyalty, and you . . . Well, the only thing you could decently say at this point would be that you were just wondering if anyone had been listening. You were kidding, in other words.
    But here, now, people who accuse supporters of Israel of living in Fantasy Land are the ones who are laughed out of court.
    You can ask, who gives the remedy at law for such a subversion? Holmes famously said that there is nothing in the Constitution to prevent the US from going to hell in a handbasket. He also said he could tell when a litigator was finished arguing–the person would mention “justice”. I have mentioned justice, but my courtroom is in the street. It is the safest place to be in an earthquake.

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