Monday, July 18, 2005

Hollywood is afraid to offend terrorists

Hollywood tiptoes around terror

(John Leo, New York Daily News, July 18, 2005) “David Koepp, who wrote the screenplay for "War of the Worlds," says the Martian attackers in the film represent the American military, while the Americans being slaughtered at random represent Iraqi civilians.

“I see it differently [says John Leo]. I think the Martians symbolize normal Americans, while those being attacked are the numbskulls who run Hollywood. Perhaps the normals went a bit too far in this easy-to-understand allegory, but think of the provocation.

[Oddly, Hollywood has not portrayed any recent acts of terrorism.] "No movie has been made about the terrorists since 9/11, nothing on Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Daniel Pearl, Saddam Hussein, the USS Cole, the embassy attacks, the daring and impressive attempts to track down terrorists. Nothing.

“Not even a movie about heroic action after 9/11 … [He's wrong...there was actually a made for TV movie focusing on the actions of mayor Guiliani.]

“But wait. Help is on the way. Hollywood is still reluctant to irritate terrorists, but a few movies about 9/11 heroes are on the way.

“And whom did Paramount pick for the highest-profile one? Oliver Stone, the unhinged director/screenwriter who refers to 9/11 as a justified "revolt" against the established order and the six companies he thinks control the world.

“Internet commentators are going berserk over the idea of a wacky pro-terrorist paranoid directing the first big 9/11 movie. It will focus on two American heroes, not terrorists.

Biblical Scroll Fragments Found in Israel, rescued from black market by archaeologist

The two small pieces of brown animal skin, inscribed in Hebrew with verses from the Book of Leviticus, are from "refugee'' caves in Nachal Arugot, a canyon near the Dead Sea where Jews hid from the Romans in the second century.

JERUSALEM (AP, July 2005) -- A secretive encounter with a Bedouin in a desert valley led to the discovery of two fragments from a nearly 2,000-year-old parchment scroll -- the first such finding in decades...

Professor Chanan Eshel, an archaeologist from Tel Aviv's Bar Ilan University, said he was first shown the fragments last year during a meeting in an abandoned police station near the Dead Sea.

A Bedouin said he had been offered $20,000 for the fragments on the black market and wanted an evaluation.

The encounter that both excited and dismayed the archaeologist who has worked in the Judean Desert since 1986.

"I was jealous he had found it, not me. I was also very excited. I didn't believe I would see them again,'' said Eshel, who took photographs of the pieces he feared would soon be smuggled out of the country.

But in March 2005, he discovered the Bedouin still had the scroll fragments. Eshel bought them with $3,000 provided by Bar Ilan University and handed them over to the Antiquities Authority, he said.

"Scholars do not buy antiquities. I did it because I could not see it fall apart,'' Eshel said.

The finding constitutes the 15th scroll fragments found in the area from the same period of the Jewish "Bar Kochba'' revolt against the Romans, and the first to be discovered with verses from Leviticus, Eshel said.

The finding has given rise to hope that the Judean Desert may yield more treasures.

"No scrolls have been found in the Judean Desert'' in decades, Eshel said. "The common belief has been that there is nothing left to find there.''

Now, he said, scholars may be spurred on to further excavations.

Archaeologist and Bible scholar Steven Pfann said he had not seen the fragments. If authenticated, they would "in general not be doing more than confirming the character of the material that we have from the southern part of the Judean wilderness up until today.''

But "what's interesting and exciting is that this is a new discovery,'' Pfann added. "This is the first time we've seen anything from the south since the 1960s.''