Egypt has reportedly banned the latest sword-and-sandal extravaganza Exodus: Gods & Kings because "it asserts historical falsehoods and spreads a 'Zionist view'." (Egypt bans 'Exodus: Gods & Kings' movie, Rick Gladstone, New York Times/Sydney Morning Herald, 27/12/14)
News of same will, I imagine, be greeted by smirks on the part of those who see Hollywood productions as nothing more than entertainment.
They, of course, will have no idea that the biblical Exodus (with its fable of liberation from slavery in Egypt, 40-year wandering in the Sinai desert, and final entry into the 'Promised Land') is an integral part of the Zionist master-narrative drummed into the heads of every Jewish-Israeli schoolchild (and promoted as well in Jewish, and, I suspect, Christian, schools around the world). As Israeli scholar and educationist Nurit Peled-Elhanan points out:
"The Zionist narrative inculcated in Israeli schools relates a continuous struggle of the Jews against non-Jewish conquerors, usurpers of the land and persecutors. In their recent history school book, Naveh et al. 2009 reproduce this narrative of continuity as follows: 'The holidays and memorial days of Israel were molded as a continuous struggle of the Jewish people for its very existence, according to the familiar pattern of the Jews as few and good, struggling against the Goyim (non-Jews) who are numerous and bad. In Hanuka - the Makabbim against the ancient Greek, on Adar 11th - Trumpeldor and the defenders of Tel-Hai (1904) [sic: 1920] against a gang of Arab 'plunderers', in Purim - The Jew Mordechai and his niece - Queen Esther - against wicked Haman, in Passover - Moses and the children of Israel are struggling to free themselves from slavery against Pharoe and the Egyptians, on Holocaust Day - the rebels of the Warsaw Ghetto against the Nazi Germans, on memorial day and Independence Day - the combatants of 1948 against the armies of the Arab states in their masses, and on 33 Ba'Omer - the [ancient] Jewish fundamentalists against the Romans. All these contexts are mixed together to create an artificial defining narrative, which construes the collective memory of the Jewish citizens of Israel'." (Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology & Propaganda in Education, 2012, p 7)
In fact, so seriously do Israel firsters take the historicity of the biblical Exodus narrative (a matter to which I shall return to in my next post) that we even have Australian Zionist and Pratt Foundation CEO Sam Lipski arguing that the "Exodus master story" (his words) be given precedence over what he calls the "Holocaust master story" (his words) in Australia's national curriculum. (See my 12/4/10 post Sam Lipski's National Curriculum.)
To be continued...