Caught in the Crossfire

Arab-Americans, one year later. A new PBS documentary delicately explores the lives of “100 percent American, 100 percent Arab” citizens, who find themselves permanent outsiders in a season of war. []
“Caught in the Crossfire,” however, explores only one facet of the dynamic: the Arab-American as victim. In trying so hard to make an audience like its major characters, and so to accept Arab-Americans as decent folks just like us, the film actually strips those characters of the complexity of emotion and experience that makes them fully human.

But the attacks were not just what one of Mr. El-Yateem’s fellow clergymen calls a “terrible, sad thing that happened to all of us.” They were undertaken, or at least rationalized, by Mr. bin Laden in the name of Arabs and Muslims worldwide. So what do Ms. Dergham, Mr. El-Yateem and Mr. Nasser think of that? What could it have been like to be an Arab-American cop last fall when the search for Al Qaeda confederates in New York and elsewhere began? What did Ms. Dergham, as a journalist writing for the Arab media, make of conspiracy theories of Israeli involvement?

One never knows, either because the filmmakers never asked or they chose to excise the answers. Ms. Dergham talks only vaguely about the importance of seeing both sides of an issue. Very early in the film, Mr. Nasser offers an apology for the Sept. 11 assault. But that misses the point. It’s not an apology a viewer seeks; it’s insight into what three articulate and decent Arab-Americans think and feel in their innermost selves. [New York Times]
The register’s article is pretty pro Palestinian and shows a bit of the European Palestinian support.

Finally, the actual disputed history account is here:


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