In an article at the Financial Times, film critic Danny Leigh interviews US writer, screenwriter and playwright Tony Kushner about his work on the new autobiographical film by director Steven Spielberg.
In the piece (“Screenwriter Tony Kushner on getting inside Steven Spielberg’s head with The Fabelmans”, Jan. 13), readers are told that Kushner – who collaborated with Speilberg on Munich, the grossly inaccurate film about the about the murder of Israeli Olympic athletes and the operation to target the masterminds – “is more openly political than Spielberg and has long criticised Israel in particular”.
However, Kushner hasn’t merely “criticised” Israel.
As CAMERA demonstrated, he’s repeatedly said that the very creation of the state, three years after the Holocaust, was a “mistake” and a “moral, political catastrophe for the Jewish people”, blamed “the existence of Israel” for world “peril” generally, castigated diaspora Jews – during the height of the 2nd Intifada – for not denouncing Israel, and accused that state of somethign akin to cultural genocide of the Palestinians.
Further, though he’s maintained that – despite his belief that Israel should never have been born – he, nonetheless, accepts Israel’s right to exist, he’s is on the advisory board of Jewish Voices for Peace, a group which, in addition to promoting antisemitic tropes and lionising terrorists who’ve murdered civilians, rejects the continued existence of a Jewish state within any borders.
The FT article also quotes Kushner, when asked by the journalist about the resurgence of antisemitsim in America, saying: “I will also say having sympathy for the Palestinian cause is not the same as anti-Semitism”, which is a straw man, as literally nobody claims that mere “sympathy for the Palestinian cause” is antisemitic.
For Kushner, it seems, when he uses a word, it means just what he chooses it to mean, neither more nor less.