contact me

Izkor (Jewish Press Agency)


French state owned third TV channel showed yesterday night a two-hour documentary on Israel, "Izkor". The very critical show featured Professor Yeshayahu Leibovitz, a well-known Israeli censor of the modern Israeli way of life and political trends. Filmed by young Israeli-born director Eyal Sivan, "Izkor" is a hypercritical vision of the educational system of Israel. The documentary is a long illustration of Prof. Leibovitz' s contention that the aim of the schooling there is to produce well soldiers rather than good, honest citizens. The film intends to demonstrate how during the 30-days period spreading from Passover to the Independence Day, the young Israelis are almost brainwashed, from kindergarten to the end of the secondary school, and turned into what the establishment expects them to become. Prof. Leibovitz also says, quoting a German scholar that exacerbated nationalism is the best way to bestiality. "Should Israel remain on the same course, the end will be a catastrophe," he warned. The Hebrew University professor harshly criticised what he sees as an extensive use of the memory of the past in order to justify the present actions. "Because what has been done to us by the non-Jews during the holocaust. (Israeli) soldiers can shoot Arabs in the refugee camps. What has been done to us is used as a shield protecting us from thinking about what we are doing". Based on long interviews with young Israelis interspersed with comments by Leibovitz, "Izkor" is Eyal Sivan's second film. His first production "Aqabat Jaber" about the daily life in a Palestinian refuges camp, has received numerous prizes. "Izkor" has also been recompensed by French major film festivals. Almost all French media have hailed "Izkor" as an important although disturbing documentary. Sivan, born in Jerusalem, has refused to serve in the army. He is living now in Paris.