Charlie Myers' review of Waltz with Bashir waltzes around an important element in the story about the 19-year old Israeli soldier's inability to recall the events surrounding his participation in the massacre of over 1,000 Palestinians in the Beirut refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila ("Filmland," March 5).
According to the review, what appears to be most troubling to the protagonist is the Israeli Army Command's casual response to his report of the massacre taking place in the camps. There is a reason for that lack of concern that may, or may not, be explained in the film. It is that the Israeli Army gave permission to the Christian militia to enter those camps to "clean out terrorists." The slaughter of old men, women and children -- even those still in the womb -- took place under the observation of the Israeli Army, which controlled the area.
If these facts are left out of the film then it can only be seen as pure propaganda and an attempt to rewrite history; at best, a tepid approach to shining light on a crime against humanity. If included, as they should have been, then their omission from the review makes it misleading to anyone who was not around in September 1982.
Give credit to the young Israeli soldier who reported the atrocity that was being sponsored by his own nation. But let's not skimp on the details.
Fred Hummel, Arcata
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