Tuesday, January 22

Film examines suicide bombers


The documentary “Suicide Killers,” which was
screened at UCLA on Tuesday night, opened with scenes of carnage
and devastation that followed terrorist attacks in Israel.

The film, a documentary on suicide bombers in Israel which was
created by French-Israeli director Pierre Rehov, consists of
interview footage involving failed suicide bombers and the planning
behind their missions.

The Zionist Organization of America and the Bruin Republicans
hosted the campus screening of Rehov’s film in order to show
the intentions of the suicide bombers and their families.

“The Arab terrorists who speak out during this film
demonstrate that their true desires are to murder Jews and wipe
Israel off the map,” said Julie Sager, director of campus
activities for the Zionist Organization of America.

Jennifer Propper, a Bruin Republicans spokeswoman, said she
believes the film is important because it touches on a perspective
of the conflict which is not typically discussed in the media.

“(The film tells us) what we don’t see, which is
three-fourths of the act ““ the complex process of planning,
funding and training that goes into completing a
“˜successful’ attack,” she said.

But not all students on campus agreed with the message of the
movie.

Suwila Habib, vice president of the Muslim Student Association,
said the documentary left out an important aspect in the lives of
suicide bombers.

“Rehov fails to describe the suffering that the
Palestinian people have had to endure and their struggle toward
justice,” Habib said. “The movie … focuses on a false
perception of why suicide bombers feel the need to do what they
do.”

In his film, Rehov also looked into the perspective of
Israeli-Arab victims of terrorist attacks.

Rehov said attacks on Israeli-Arabs are not uncommon, noting
that a 2002 bombing in Haifa specifically targeted an Israeli-Arab
establishment.

To create the film, Rehov traveled to the Palestinian
territories and found access to failed suicide bombers and their
families.

“Most of them are happy to talk, as they are confident in
their views and wish to express them to the outside world,”
Rehov said.

The failed suicide bombers shown in the film represented a wide
diversity in age and background ““ some of them were working
professionals with children, others were devote female Muslims, and
some were teenagers.

One female bomber said she believed that life on earth was
intolerable and that she would find happiness after death; one man
said he had disappointed his family by failing to carry out the
attack.

According to a press release from Rehov’s production
company, the film had a limited release in New York City during the
last week of August and is tentatively scheduled to be released in
other cities and screened in various campuses in the future.

The press release also said the Academy of Motions Pictures Arts
and Sciences is considering “Suicide Killers” as a 2007
nominee for Best Documentary.

Rehov said he hopes students will see that the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not about territory, but about
culture.

“The Palestinians I’ve worked with in the Middle
East are upset how the media presents the situation,” Rehov
said. “I’m trying to bring the truth home in this
documentary, to show that giving the Palestinians a state
won’t solve the conflict. The conflict is a cultural war, and
this presents their true intentions.”

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