I can’t handle the truth

Incredibly well acted and directed as 'Bethlehem' was, its message was unsettling on so many levels.

'Bethlehem' poster 521 (photo credit: Ari Bussel)
'Bethlehem' poster 521
(photo credit: Ari Bussel)
Jack Nicholson was absolutely right! I can’t handle the truth.
I need him to sit on those walls, and I want him to sit on those walls. What’s more; I don’t want to know what he needs to do to keep those walls up.
The other night I saw the movie Bethlehem, about an Israeli intelligence agent. Incredibly well acted and directed as it was, its message was unsettling on so many levels.
It showed another side of the Jewish homeland, gritty, raw and oh dear, violent and graphic.
Was it true? Probably.
Do I need to see it up close and personal? No.
Do I know that Israel is fighting a war for its existence every minute of the day and night? Of course.
Do I understand there are soldiers in the IDF and Shin Bet agents risking their lives to prevent terrorist attacks and keep Israel safe; that Mossad agents must be cleverer, sneakier and twice as effective as any other covert operators in the world?
Yes, and I applaud them every day. Even though I have no idea what they are up to, until they are busted by some stupid American slip up.
I need to know that Israeli agencies leave no room for sentiment or sentimentality, as I am weak and sensitive enough for all of us.
I cry when the children in the world, no matter what country or religion, are hurt, maimed, or starved. Being a bleeding heart is my job.
Israel doesn’t need gushy sentimentalists running the espionage show; it needs those with a robotic-like resolve who have compartmentalized their hearts and save their love and trust for family and friends. Plus more importantly, possess the wisdom to know who is who.
Portraying Israeli agents as weak serves to undermine the deterrent they provide to the enemies of the Jewish people. The message must be clear and succinct to all who would seek to destroy us: “Don’t even think about messing with us, for we have superhuman capabilities. Much like Hebrew National, we answer to a higher authority.”
The Intelligence community of Israel is dealing with a different animal.Enemies of Israel are not just determined to destroy the Jewish homeland, they are determined to destroy every Jew everywhere.
This is different from other nations.
The CIA is out there hunting enemies of America and Americans. MI5 is seeking to erase Britain’s foes.
Mossad has a far greater agenda, because Israel and Jewish people are synonymous.  They are never separated in the eyes of the enemy.
The mantra is, “First Israel must be destroyed, then every Jew everywhere.”
However, I am satisfied just to know Mossad is on the job.I don’t need to hear every success, nor do I rest easier if I am privy to the facts of every covert operation in which they participate.
It is enough to know they exist and function.
Watching a movie about an Israeli agent who is destroyed by his own humanity is akin to drinking ten cups of Espresso at bedtime. Sleep will be highly unlikely.
I don’t want to see an Israel that looks like the Bronx. I need to see the Milk and Honey, lush, green valleys Moses led the Jewish people across the Jordon River to fulfill God’s promise.
I don’t want to see agents who forget their training and good sense in a momentary slip to become weak and are brutally murdered for their folly.
I need to know they are on that wall, doing whatever they need to do to secure Israel and to protect the Jewish people.
They cannot afford humanity, for their task is a superhuman one, far and above those of mortal men.
Do I expect them to be superheroes?
Without a doubt.
Do I need them to be faster than speeding bullets and more powerful than a locomotive? You bet.
If they slip, if they err, the future of an entire people is at stake.
Yes, Jack Nicholson was right.
I sleep nights under the very protections Mossad and Shin Bet afford me, even here in America.
And that’s all I need to know.
If I am Walt Disneyesque in my film choices, so be it. The world is not counting on me to save it, and Heaven help it if it ever is.    Norma Zager is an award-winning investigative journalist and author. Her passion for Israel has driven her to dedicate the past decade writing and having a radio show about Israel.