On August 29, 2023, the Chronicle-Journal published a letter from CJPME’s Mohamed Khalef in response to a film review by Mark Kennedy of the new film Golda, about former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Khalef’s letter was published in the August 29 print edition. Khalef writes:
In Mark Kennedy’s critique of “Golda” in which Helen Mirren plays the role of Golda Meir, Israel’s fourth prime minister, he takes issue with directorial and artistic decisions, yet couldn’t care enough to mention the massive omissions of a key topic, Meir’s treatment of the Palestinian people, and the fact that the word “Palestinian” was not even uttered once throughout the entire movie.
Meir’s tenure as prime minister of Israel was marked by hostility and racism towards the Palestinian people. Her infamous quote, “The were no such thing as Palestinians”, basically an attempted erasure of an entire nation, was a direct insight into her denialist view of what had happened to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were forcibly uprooted and expelled from their homes through violence, mass arrests and in some cases even massacres at the hand of the newly formed Israeli militias, for whom Meir had a hand in raising millions of dollars in foreign funding.
Why is there no mention of this aspect of her legacy? Perhaps if Kennedy paid half as much attention to her legacy in which thousands of Palestinians were dispossessed or murdered, rather than his criticism of the director’s decision to include too many scenes in which she (Meir) smokes cigarettes, his argument and critique of the movie would have actually been based on the omission of key historical events that led to the deaths and dispossession of thousands, rather than the anxious smoking habit of a racist prime minister.