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Monday, January 12, 2009

Claude Berri, RIP

Claude Berri, one of France's most popular film directors and producers, has died. Anglophone film goers will remember him best for "Jean de Florette" and "Manon des Sources," based on Marcel Pagnol's novel L'Eau des collines. Yves Montand was a very good actor, but in these films, thanks to Berri's direction, he gave the greatest performances of his life.

Gaza updates:

Israel's attempt to control the news. A report on news management from the BBC. It doesn't seem to be working all that well, however.

Israel bans two Arab parties from running in upcoming election. According to Ha'aretz. The move is unlikely to survive a Supreme Court challenge.

Israel is losing this war. An article by Uri Avnery, an Israeli journalist and peace activist, in The Progressive. This is essential reading. Here are the opening paragraphs, please go to the link and read the rest:

NEARLY SEVENTY YEARS ago, in the course of World War II, a heinous crime was committed in the city of Leningrad. For more than a thousand days, a gang of extremists called “the Red Army” held the millions of the town’s inhabitants hostage and provoked retaliation from the German Wehrmacht from inside the population centers. The Germans had no alternative but to bomb and shell the population and to impose a total blockade, which caused the death of hundreds of thousands.

Some time before that, a similar crime was committed in England. The Churchill gang hid among the population of London, misusing the millions of citizens as a human shield. The Germans were compelled to send their Luftwaffe and reluctantly reduce the city to ruins. They called it the Blitz.

This is the description that would now appear in the history books – if the Germans had won the war.

Absurd? No more than the daily descriptions in our media, which are being repeated ad nauseam: the Hamas terrorists use the inhabitants of Gaza as “hostages” and exploit the women and children as “human shields”, they leave us no alternative but to carry out massive bombardments, in which, to our deep sorrow, thousands of women, children and unarmed men are killed and injured.

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