Warfare Is Not an Excuse

Not only arms and money are vehicles of confrontation. Books and films serve this purpose as well. Clashes in the field of ideology invariably accompany wars, fought on the battlefield itself. In this respect, the Middle East is a region, where such fighting is particularly intense. Remember Saddam Hussein’s Iraq? At the entrance of a fashionable hotel in Baghdad, they put George H.W. Bush’s portrait under the feet of visitors. Now, take a look at modern Israel. A crocodile farm «Hamat Gader» has had reptiles with bizarre names: Arafat, Gaddafi, etc. Sure, one takes on his enemies by a wide array of hostile activities. But, nevertheless, certain degree of respect should be observed even towards your bitter rivals. Sometimes xenophobia is expressed even under conditions of seemingly peaceful coexistence.

Let me cite a fact, which is relatively unknown to the western audience. There is a Soviet movie «Ко мне, Мухтар» (Come Here, Mukhtar! Directed by Semyon Tumanov, produced by Mosfilm Studios, 1965), which deals with exciting adventures of a law-enforcement officer and his police dog. The movie is based on a novel by Israel Metter (1909 – 1996), who was also its screenwriter. What is wrong with it? As a matter of fact, Mukhtar is a popular name among Oriental men. For example, there was an outstanding Kazakh writer and scholar Mukhtar Auezov (1897 – 1961). Needless to say that this movie is insulting to certain ethnic groups. Poor Israel Metter! He didn’t manage to choose an appropriate name for the police dog among great many animal names. Instead, he subtly spread discord by choosing human name for the beast. To some extent, Israel Metter was a predecessor of infamous Danish cartoons.


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