In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 27, 2007 / 11 Tamuz, 5767

‘A Mighty Heart’ gives a free pass to terror

By Youssef M. Ibrahim

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Film is unlikely to be either a commercial success or a winner of prizes, but one should linger over the harm that it could still do

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | America's movie industry is a potent weapon of global reach that has shaped the world's imagination for generations. In that sense, "A Mighty Heart," the movie that pretends to tell the story of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and beheaded in 2002 by Islamic jihadists in Pakistan, ranks as a travesty.

Pearl's story is a real-life yarn of multiple dimensions that, at its most grandiose, could have been spun as the tale of a great clash, a sort of collision between Nazi-like value systems and basic American ones — in the story of a working journalist on the chaotic streets of Pakistan.

It could have been treated as the story of a man who grew up believing in something — an American raised by liberal Jewish parents to accept everyone's beliefs — only to be killed in a far-away land by nihilists who believed in nothing.

It could also have been a sideways profile of the American press — which, for all its foibles, has introduced the world to the notions of freedom of expression and democracy.

It is also the story of many Muslim countries, an oft-enacted tale of how failed values pry open a Pandora's box filled with violence and terror.

On its simplest levels, it could have been about suspense, intrigue, and treachery in the dark realms of Islam, the alleyways filled with preachers and terrorists, and how they all intersected when a sword was raised over the neck of a bound, kneeling American reporter.

The movie fails on all these counts and more.

I am not one to believe American movies must be propaganda, for that indeed would doom them. As an avid fan of cinema, like billions of other people around the world, I believe they should simply be good and, in the face of such an obvious evil, be there.

My strongest reservation in "A Mighty Heart" is the absurd political correctness that permeates the film; its writers, producers, and directors do not even mention fanatical Islam to avoid offering offense.

The real story of Daniel Pearl offered a sinister, flavorful, meaty set of scenarios — and core values — that ought to be examined by the mightiest, most skilled, and best movie industry on Earth. Instead, they fashioned it into an exercise in sterility.

Because it won't touch on the real context of Pearl's deadly adventure, the film turns into merely an acting vehicle for its star, Angelina Jolie, and her producer-companion, Brad Pitt.

This sort of reality, the clash of civilizations between the West and Islam, cannot be reduced to that. Acting for its own sake is hollowness. Even the entirely fictitious "Casablanca," an all-time classic love story, worked within the context of the threat of Nazi fascism and the need to fight against it.

"A Mighty Heart" is unlikely to be either a commercial success or a winner of prizes, but one should linger over the harm that it could still do.

While the movie is gutted by the absence of Pearl, who is airbrushed away to make room for his spouse and eventual widow, most of all, it suffers from pretending to be just another story in just another place. Its settings are not on the moon.

Pakistan is an exporter of terrorism. The government of that country is another Muslim enterprise pretending to be a Western ally, just like Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and many others. That is why Pearl went there and why he was kidnapped and murdered.

If I were a Muslim who had just watched "A Mighty Heart" in a theater in Dearborn, Mich., Karachi, or Cairo, the only impressions that I would probably be left with is that the man got what he deserved and that Karachi is really one hell of a messy place. Beyond that, I would not have a clue that my Muslim compatriots had anything to do with it.

The movie could have saved itself if, at the start, it had shown the killer, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — who is portrayed in the movie as merely a skilled and handsome plotter — boasting, "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan."

Ms. Jolie could have taken it from there.

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Youssef M. Ibrahim, a former New York Times Middle East Correspondent and Wall Street Journal Energy Editor for 25 years, is a freelance writer based in New York City and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and a contributing editor of the NY Sun.

© 2007, Youssef M. Ibrahim