First thing on the morning. From Ha’aretz, a mother of a terror victim laments an Israeli government funded documentary about Palestinian prisoners, especially terrorists, serving sentences in Israeli jails.
But Israel, in the throes of an existential war on terror, saw no reason to deny Ahlam Tamimi – the person who planned the Jerusalem terror massacre that killed my daughter – that privilege. She and dozens of other Palestinian terrorists were allowed to star in a documentary film that has sold out theaters.
Shimon Dotan, the Romanian-born former Israeli who made “Hot House,” says the Prisons Service freely admitted him to half a dozen prisons across Israel over the course of a year. The authorities deserve a “certificate of honor,” he says, for their permissiveness, adding: “It is difficult for me to say that, and I don’t want to brag about it.”
His film exposes astonishing aspects of life behind bars in Israel where convicted Palestinian terrorists enjoy country-club-like conditions. They all have access to Israeli and Palestinian radio, television and newspapers. Cells, shared with terror-group cronies, are equipped with their choice of colorful rugs and wall hangings. Cooking facilities allow them to indulge their personal culinary tastes. They enjoy bi-weekly family visits. They are free to hone their political skills, conduct internal elections and nurture their political careers. Prison garb is waived; women sport Islamic attire, down to the colorful silk scarves my daughter’s murderer favors. Prayer halls are available for the free practice of the very faith that inspired their crimes. And as the film points out, many of them earn, at the Israeli citizen’s expense, university degrees. In Israel, the death penalty is never applied to terrorists.
She concludes with a sad note, basically asking people not to see the film and to recognize its slant.
Consider one of the human beings they have chosen to profile: my daughter’s murderer. Dotan says he sat with her for two hours, having a “gripping” conversation. He asked whether she knew how many children had perished in the bombing of Sbarro. Smiling, as she generally does, she guessed “three.” “It was eight,” Dotan corrected her. She seemed delighted and smiled again, asking, “really?”
Dotan and his fellow producers are marketing this film aggressively throughout the world. If it hasn’t yet, “Hot House” will undoubtedly reach a theater near you soon. Before entering the building, please consider this:
You will be bringing this evil creature, Tamimi, untold pleasure. Dotan says she was keen to publicize her views.
You will pad the bank accounts of individuals who revile Israel.
And you may emerge convinced that this film conveys a balanced picture of the entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A film without a single appearance by a victim of the terrorists. Not one photograph. Not even one name.
What is wrong with this world?