Tuesday, August 05, 2014

5-Aug-14: Europe and its Moslems through an Israeli journalist's eyes

Yehezkeli and the Moslem mayor of a European city
Israel's Channel 10 has been promoting the re-showing this week of an incisive and, in some ways, quite unique documentary series that looks closely - from right inside - at some aspects of Europe's Islamic communities. 

We wrote about it in September and October 2012 when the series first appeared on Israeli screens.

Entitled  "Allah Islam" in Hebrew, and "Muslims in Europe" in the sub-titled version, it is a collaboration between Israeli film director and journalist David Deri, and Zvi Yehezkeli who is Israeli Channel 10's senior news reporter on Arab affairs. 

Having been made principally for an Israeli audience, the narration and subtitles are in Hebrew, and so is the general viewpoint; the makers are clearly addressing an Israeli audience and examining concerns that Israelis have about Europe. 
Don't be put off by the thought that this is an examination of Israel-specific issues. Mostly, it's not. As we wrote two years ago, the series deals in an extremely effective way with the mutual interaction of European society and a very particular immigrant group. Our sense is that as important as this issue is for many, and especially for Europeans, it gets too much of the wrong sort of attention.

The fact that Yehezkeli, a fluent speaker of Palestinian-accented Arabic, succeeds in passing himself off as a non-Jewish Palestinian Arab is key to its success - and, we think, to its unique perspective. We frankly cannot imagine a made-in-USA documentary that could penetrate as deeply and cleverly into the very loaded subject matter.

To be sure, it does not pretend to take an encyclopaedic view, preferring to focus on the challenges thrown up by the interaction - and to a great extent the clash - between Europe's liberal outlook and those of the large Moslem migrant communities in the UK, France, Belgium and Sweden. And yes, terrorism is examined, but so too are many other dimensions of this complex matter.

An English-subtitled version, blending all four parts into a single file of nearly 3 hours duration, is on YouTube. 

The four separate original parts and their titles:
If you are in Israel, watch for it on Channel 10. For everyone else, bookmark this and give it the attention it deserves.

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