JERUSALEM (Jul. 21)
Two Knesset members submitted urgent motions yesterday calling for an investigation of attempts by certain “political elements” to suppress a television play dealing with an incident of Israeli brutality toward Arabs during the 1948 war for independence.
The play, now in the final stages of editing, is a television version of the novella “Hirbet Hiz Eh” by the prominent Israeli writer, Yizhar Smilensky. The story tells of the removal of Arabs from their village by Israeli soldiers. Yosi Sarid of the Labor Alignment and Meir Payil of the Sheli faction pointed out in their motions that Smilensky, who signs his works 5. Yizhar, is one of the most famous Hebrew writers. His stories are included in literature courses on the high school and university levels in Israel.
Many of his war stories are based on incidents of misconduct by Israeli soldiers toward Arabs and critics say that they create the impression that such incidents were typical of Jewish behavior and a matter of high policy. The Broadcast Authority will preview the edited film before deciding whether to put it on the air. Some commentators said the attempt to ban the film is a foretaste of what the Broadcast Authority will have to contend with from the Likud government which is “very sensitive to delicate national problems.”