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Steven Spielberg Responds to Jewish Backlash

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Feb 01, 2006 | 10:58am EST

Director Steven Spielberg has leaped to the defense of his latest movie Munich, after fundamentalist Jews attacked the Oscar-nominated film for allowing the Palestinian side of the story to be portrayed.

Munich, which is up for five Academy Awards next month, tells the based-on-fact story of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics and the retribution by Israel's secret service Mossad.

Jewish Spielberg insists the film is an unbiased portrayal of the horrific events and hopes the movie will act as a "prayer for peace" in the troubled Middle Eastern region.

He says, "The Jewish community, have grown very angry at me for allowing the Palestinians simply to have dialogue and for allowing (screenwriter and frequent critic of Israeli policies) Tony Kushner to be the author of that dialogue.

"Munich never once attacks Israel, and barely criticizes Israel's policy of counter-violence against violence.

"It simply asks a plethora of questions. It's the most questioning story I've ever had the honor to tell. For that, we were accused of the sin of moral equivocation. Which, of course, we didn't intend—and we're not guilty of."

In December, Jewish author Jack Engelhard attacked the film, saying, "Spielberg is no friend of Israel. Spielberg is no friend of truth."

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