Thursday, June 25, 2009

Transformers Wipes Israel off the Map

Yesterday I went with my good friend Lionel Spiegel to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I will not comment on the movie itself other than to say that it was Mystery Science Theater 3000 quality. Lionel and I were laughing our heads off the entire movie and not in a good way; for one thing we were probably being a nuisance to everyone around us. What really caught my attention was how the movie deals with Israel and the Middle East. As with much of what is wrong with how Israel gets reported on in the media, this is a sin of omission rather than commission. The final battle between the Autobots, along with their mostly American allies, and the Decepticons, led by the Fallen (a Monty Python worthy evil villain), takes place around an Egyptian Pyramid, along the border with Jordan. For those of you not familiar with the geography of the Middle East, here is a map of the area in question.




As you can see, while Egypt is very close to Jordan, there is a little resort town called Elat separating Egypt from Jordan. I have been to Elat; it is a beautiful place, perfect for anyone with a sense for political humor. From Elat you can look out and see Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia; all this while remaining firmly in the State of Israel. For some strange reason Michael Bay failed to notice that Israel lies between Egypt and Jordan. (This is all the worse as Steven Spielberg is listed as a producer. One would have hoped that he would have jumped on such a mistake.)
This removal of Israel becomes even more ridiculous when the humans put out a call for help to the Egyptian military, whose country they are in, and the Jordanians and several Jordanian helicopters take part in the battle, mainly by getting blown out of the sky. Last I checked the Middle East superpower in the air is Israel, not Jordan. Why couldn’t we have Israel jets shooting it out with the Decepticons to save the world? This could have even been a good opportunity to stick in a peace process message by having Israel fight alongside the Muslim countries of Egypt and Jordan. Particularly since, even in real life, Israel is at peace with both of these countries.

12 comments:

Miss S. said...

This entry is very "Aish HaTorah" worthy; if it were a bit longer and if you could tie it in with some theme in Tanach (which might just be too corny in the end, now that I think about it).

This movie has had incredible offending power. Before reading this, I read this post on livejournal yesterday that was pretty livid about how racist and sexist the movie was. {Sigh}

Oh well; when does Iron Man 2 come out? :-D

Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of the Jewishness test in Hebrew Hammer... the one about complaining... lol.

Yoav said...

And the even bigger geography fail: no pyramids in Sinai.

fabularasa said...

Wonderful post! Your map made me smile -- it needs a big red "you are here" circle, for all those producers who can only read mall maps. And of course Israeli firepower could not be showcased; you'd kill your foreign distribution, if you did that. Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

How in the hell did they cross from Sinai (noted, of course, for its majestic pyramids and Sphinx), across Israel, into Jordan and then BACK (assuming the pyramid at the end was still in Egypt) in, what, like 10 minutes? Can you imagine Tzahal guys peering through binoculars saying... "Hmmm... a bunch of unmarked GM vehicles and a few passengers. Sure whatever, wave 'em through!"

Chari said...

I love Elat! I was there in 89 and went snorkeling in the Red Sea and thought it was one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth. Saw Transformers last night and laughed often-I also can't believe that I missed those pyramids in Sinai! Wow! I must have been sleeping :)

Anonymous said...

" call for help to the Egyptian military, whose country they are in, and the Jordanians and several Jordanian helicopters take part in the battle, mainly by getting blown out of the sky. Last I checked the Middle East superpower in the air is Israel, not Jordan. Why couldn’t we have Israel jets shooting it out with the Decepticons to save the world? "

Because there are limits even to fantasy, and sadly, there are countries who would rather see everyone dead than be seen asking for or accepting help from Israel. -- Uncle Jack

Anonymous said...

I watched the movie today and i thought completely the same. THERE IS NO BORDER. How could they delete Eilat? Why did they delete Eilat? I couldn't understand that.

Anonymous said...

it was not a fail

Anonymous said...

They deleted it because muslims around the world would have boycotted the film for showing jews coming to save the day in a muslim country and for portraying muslims as too weak to do it on their own.

Elat was not majority jewish until 1947 either. It was Umm Rashrash and mostly arab. It was included in Israel to provide a sea port to the south because of jewish lobbying at th UN. It's not historically jewish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eilat

Izgad said...

Doesn’t that say something really negative about the state of the Muslim world today that they cannot tolerate even the notion of Israel being an accepted regional power on the movies? How about a litmus test; if the Muslim world cannot accept the consequences of the peace process (Israel being an accepted regional power) on film than they cannot be trusted to accept the peace process in real life and any attempts to say otherwise must be deemed as falsehoods.
We need to distinguish between two issues here, the legitimacy of how Israel got Eilat back in 1948 and the legitimacy of Israel’s control of Eilat today, the facts on the ground. For example the United States conquered California under less than morally ideal circumstances. That being said Los Angeles is an American city and does not belong to Mexico. As an American citizen I would be justified in being offended if a movie cut out L. A. and implied that it was not American territory simply to not offend Mexicans.
Eilat became Israeli territory because Israel was in occupation of the place at the time of the UN cease-fire. No dark Zionist conspiracy there.

John said...

i so totaly agree... seeing those 2 jordenian choppers made me go mind numb! jordenian airforce is a joke (no offense) compared to israeli's airforce.

from the part they got to egypt and got attacked i was longering to hear the sentence "someone contact israel, we need help!" i mean, for fuck sakes!!! egypt?! jorden?! israel's F-16i, blackhawks, cobras, Airforce commando and what not could have easily get the job done!
i got very disappointed...
and i couldnt stop laughing when they drove 2min from petra and got to the pyramids :D:D:D:D i mean seriously.. its like 400km distance between the two of those xD

nice plot... bad directing and choice of scripts..