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December 29, 2014 5:37 pm

‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

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The Showtime series 'Homeland' sparked controversy after comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader in its season 4 finale. Photo: IMDb.

A controversial scene in the season finale of Homeland sparked outrage by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader, the UK’s Daily Mail reported.

In the season 4 finale episode, which aired on Dec. 21, CIA black ops director Dar Adal, played by F. Murray Abraham, justifies a deal he made with a Taliban leader by referencing Begin. He makes the remarks in a conversation with former CIA director Saul Berenson, a Jewish character played by Mandy Patinkin.

“Menachem Begin killed 91 British soldiers at the King David Hotel before becoming Prime Minister,” Adal said, referencing the 1946 bombing at the King David hotel in Jerusalem carried out by the Irgun, a right-wing militant Jewish organization headed by Begin.

Herzl Makov, director of Israel’s Menachem Begin Center, said the reference amounted to slander against the former prime minister and Israel.

“To say, ‘Begin killed’? He wasn’t even there,” Makov told Israeli news service Ynet. “The underground resistance group was under his command, and he took responsibility. In addition, three warnings were given to the British to vacate and their commander refused. So there is a dramatic difference between the two cases compared.”

“For me, it is like saying that [Begin and Homeland‘s Taliban leader] are both terrorists, just like saying they both wore brown shirts,” he added. “It is surprising specifically because Homeland is based on the Israeli [TV series] format Prisoners of War.”

Entertainment Weekly reported that Showtime, the network behind the Emmy-winning show, has declined to comment on the issue.

The controversy comes days after the Pakistani government attacked the series for portraying the country as a place of refuge for Islamic terrorists, according to the Daily Mail. Diplomats condemned Homeland producers for depicting Islamabad, the setting of the show’s fourth series, as a “hellhole” refuge for the Taliban.

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  • Steve

    The international community acting through the League of Nations gave Palestine to Britain with the MANDATE that it be formed into a Jewish country. But the colonial-minded Brits got greedy and wanted to keep it. It then realized its need of Arab oil and sold out the Jews, as some others have pointed out here.

  • The most obvious and dangerous cause of conflict and instability in the Middle East is the so-called peace process itself

    Let me advance an interesting opinion: The most dangerous cause of instability in the Middle East is the so-called peace process itself.
    I know this is an unusual point of view. Give me a chance to describe my theory.
    By my count, there have been at least 25 major outbursts of violence between Jews and Arab-Palestinians in the Middle East since 1920.
    Every one of these conflicts ended in a similar way. Either outside powers imposed a ceasefire — or else Israel halted military operations, before the campaign was accomplished and just before a ceasefire could be imposed.
    Every one of these conflicts began in a similar way, too: with a renewed attack by the Arab side, or else (as in 1956 or 1967) by Arab violations of the terms of the previous armistice or ceasefire and a blockade in the Suez Canal.
    Think for a minute how unusual this is. Wars usually end when one side or the other decides it cannot continue fighting. The losing side accepts terms it had formerly deemed unacceptable because the alternative — continued fighting — seems even worse. Wherever have you heard the vanquished calling the terms.
    I doubt many Hungarians are delighted to have lost more than half their territory to neighbors in Romania and the former Yugoslavia. The Bolivians still remember the loss of their Pacific coast to Chile in 1884. Some in Indonesia continue to regard East Timor as rightfully theirs.
    Yet for the most part, these nations have reconciled themselves to these unwelcome outcomes.
    Exactly the opposite has occurred in the Arab-Israeli dispute.
    Egypt lost the Sinai Peninsula in 1956, but got it back by pressuring Israel. It lost the Sinai again in 1967, and again recovered it (although this time the right way, after signing a formal peace). I might mention that when Egypt gained its independence, it did not include the Sinai.
    Syria lost the Golan in 1967, attacked Israel in 1973, lost again — and still demands the return of the territory.
    Arab-Palestinians rejected the 1947 partition, resorted to war, lost, and to this day demand compensation for their losses.
    It is like a game of roulette where the management stops the game whenever you begin losing too badly, with promises to refund your money as soon as it conveniently can. What gambler could resist returning to the tables?
    I understand why Western governments have acted as they have. They have feared that unless they somehow smooth the situation, the world oil market will be upset and radical ideologies will spread through the Islamic world. Just like the Arab oil embargo of 1973.
    What they do not see is that their efforts to contain the problem have in fact aggravated it, and accelerated the hostilities by the Arabs.
    Think of this alternative history:
    Suppose that the Western world had not intervened in 1949. Suppose the Israeli war of independence had been fought to the bitter end: Arab armies breaking apart and fleeing, as they have in the past, commanders laying down their arms, columns of refugees crossing the Jordan River.
    The 1949 war would have ended not with an armistice, but with a surrender. Arab-Palestinian refugees would have had to settle in new homes, just as the million Jews expelled from their former homes in the Arab lands resettled in Israel.
    The outcome would have squelched any hope that more fighting would have yielded a different result — and the more decisive result might have dissuaded Arab governments from any further attempts to resort to force.
    Now Think of another scenario.
    In the 1990’s, the former Yugoslavia erupted into war. New states with new borders were carved out of the old country. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced. Horrific atrocities were committed. Happily, the conflict end. The displaced adjusted to life in their new homes. Former enemies may still mistrust each other, but violence has faded and seems unlikely to return.
    Suppose instead the world had agreed that one of the combatant ethnic groups — the Serbs, say, but it really does not matter — retained a permanent inextinguishable right to reclaim its former homes with all its new offspring’s. Suppose the world agreed to pay displaced persons from that group billions in foreign aid on condition that they never permanently resettled in the territory to which the ethnic group had moved. Suppose the world tolerated Serbian terrorist attacks on Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo as understandable reactions to injustice. The conflict and violence would continue.
    Would there be peace in the former Yugoslavia today?
    The Middle East peacemakers for the most part act with the highest of intentions and the most exquisite patience. But instead of extinguishing the conflict, they have prolonged it. A peace process intended to insulate the Arab world from the pain of defeat has condemned the Arab world — and the Arab-Palestinian people above all — to an unending war, which is initiated by the Arabs.
    Every war must end — and end badly for at least one of the belligerents. It is time for this war to end too, and at last. May the victor be merciful.

  • steven L

    Whoever compared Begin to a Taliban showed a blissful ignorance of the facts. No one should be surprised if it comes from the left. An antisemitic Jew. What surprises me is that no Israel reviewed this insulting absurdity and claims a false moral equivalence when Begin showed the highest level of ETHICS.

    • spktruth

      HOMELAND IS A progandist program that most educated people in the US KNOW is propagands. It is “unusal since the show was bssed on a Isaelie propaganda program…did you Zionists actually believe it was going to be PRO Israel…all the time. LOL





    • greentree

      Well why is Esau not a Jewish name out of interest?

      • Daniel

        Read the book of Genesis. Esau/Esav is not portrayed very positively, but granted other patriarchs are occasionally not put in the best of light either. Esau/Esav: He’s a wild hunter who gives into his base impulses (for instance gives away his birthright because he’s hungry coming back fromthe hunt and wants food), he marries women his parents disapprove of. 🙂 NOt a Jewish role model. And he becomes the patriarch of a neighboring nation in southern Jordan, the Edomites, who were occasionally hostile and Edom ultimately became seen in late antiquity/middle ages as a symbol of hostile/barbaric European powers (Romans, Crusaders). Romans also like hunting, celebrating the kill…
        (Ironically, the Edomites/Idumaeans – who always spoke a language very close to Hebrew – were forced to move into Judea in the Persian/Greek periods due to Nabataean/Arab incursions northward, and later converted to Judaism under the Hasmonean Dynasty (a king forced them to give up their own polytheistic traditions and become part of Judean society proper), so their descendants became Jews…)

        • Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated while they were yet in Mother’s womb. Quote from scripture unable to quote ch. verse at moment. It’s there .

          • L. Frederick Kauffman

            From Malachi, I believe.

          • L. Frederick Kauffman

            Yes, Malachi 1:2-3.

          • L. Frederick Kauffman

            Also quoted in the Christian New Testament, Romans 9:13.

        • spktruth

          Genisis and the ole Tesstament is a fraud and hoax on the whole world. We have moved on to the NEW Testament. Jesus was a Palestinan.

          • K


          • amensch

            You are quoting the late Yasser Arafat who said Jesus was a Palestinian. Everyone knows Jesus was Jewish as there were no Palestinians then. By the way Arafat wasn’t even a “Palestinian” he was Egyptian.

  • Robert Davis

    Excellent list,it is a good idea! As to lerner that canadian jewess critic of Harper,her leftist view is horrendous,one should remind her,money doled by govt.s welfare is not the main thing in life as lefter communists think! Why not WORK to make a living instead of trying to squeeze the money she loves so much from the rich? communists are a bunch of good for nothing!

  • Arty Cohn

    Thank you!
    A very true and clear statement.

    • Arty Cohn

      Thank you, YJ Draiman.
      A very true and clear statement!

  • Paul

    He did it, simple as that. Justified or not that’s another debate, yes lots of other people have done similar hideous things and worse but he still did it. And he took responsibility for killing all those people. He was the head of a terriost organization (as the word is defined) and he became prime minister. Whatever your feelings about it, what homeland said is fact.

    • American

      Thank you for your honesty.

    • elliot davis

      complete drivel Captain Barker was the Brits commander who had his command and control centre at the King David Hotel-ie it was a perfectly legitimate military target

      Barker was a jewhater supplying the mainly muslim pro Nazi arabs with arms whilst stopping jews from obtaining weapons. His men had already killed Jews in cold blood

      The Stern Gang etc were set up to DEFEND jews from being massacred in pogroms, or killed by Fedeyin Arab Terrorists -which had occurred countless times These ARABS are the terrorist not the Jews

      To this day the Pals are the terrorists that massacre innocent and target civilians -not Jews

      Go read a history book Pally and save us the Arabist propaganda drivel

    • Robert Davis

      I am not sure the british army would have left Palestine without some terror. Let us not forget the british are not a Palestine population,they only had an occupation army. Israel has a LEGITIMATE population to defend not the british. Begin’s Jews were defending their territory not the british nor the arab imperialists with the help of far left and far right nazi socialist antisemites.

    • steven L

      The Muslims in their zeal to eliminate Israel brought on themselves this and many other catastrophes until 01/12/2015. And many more catastrophes are to come.

  • Alan Carter

    They don’t get it. It was Great Britain and its pandering for Arab oil .The Brits hung Jewish boys prior to the King David event…The Jews warned them about what would happen plus also told them to evacuate the hotel used by the British officers.

    • This new “Revisionist” retelling of history falsely called “Science” is an insult to any intelligent person. I’ve noticed National Geographic heads the list when it comes to this so-called revisionism. Suddenly this so-called science can tell us more about individuals and events than the historians who wrote of the people and events who were living during the time of their happening! And the gullible, untaught masses gobble up every word these psuedo-historian shmucks feed them.

    • leon

      Extract from the book “Palestine’s question” by Henry Laurens T2 page 552
      Irgoun has just phoned to the british headquarters in King David at 12:35 pm 2 minutes before the first explosion. 8 minutes after they phoned to the french consulate, a street aside, to open their window to see the others explosions and the third phone call,15 minutes after was for “the Palestine post”a newspaper near the hotel. Knowing that all employees will quit the King David at 1PM, as everyday, the murder intention cannot be negated.91 assassinated: 41 arabs, 28 brits, 17 jews and 5 others.

      • Wolff Bachner

        Now tell the readers who Henry Laurens is. A French Arab specialist who writes for several major Arab publications renowned for their Jew hate and Israel bashing.

        I love the way the Israel haters always trot out some loon to make their point, and then we find out the person’s shady, Jew hating past.

  • Jon R.

    So as long as Homeland regales us with Islamic terrorists, it’s A-OK. But when it brings up the issue of a Zionist terrorist who then became head of the government of a state that “doesn’t deal with terrorists” then it’s become “controversial”.

    In other words, what has happened is that the show has exposed Jewish hypocrisy about terrorism and Jews don’t like that. What else is new?

    • LBJeffrie

      Jon R., stop whining about Jews already.

    • elixelx

      Begin was fighting an occupier in his homeland. If the palestinians do so then there is an equivalence. BUT YOU KNOW, you scoundrel, that anti-Jewish, anti-terrorism extends far beyond the borders of Israel.
      Have you ever heard of a Jewish/Israeli suicide bombing London buses, Madrid trains, Bali discotheques?
      If so, do tell (with a link)
      You are a scoundrel and a rogue who will use any available stick to beat your bug-bear.
      May you be hoist upon your own petard!

    • elliot davis

      garbage… they were targeting a LEGITIMATE MILITARY TARGET see the difference Pally?

      How many Muslim killed by Muslims in terrorist and Muslim state attacks in the last few decades Pally-MILLIONS, how many Pal terrorists killed by IDF-about 20000

      see the difference? wheres ur outrage pally?

      take yer hatred elsewhere hater

    • Robert Davis

      jon : if you cannot make the difference between a Jewish population in Palestine and fake imperialist “palestinians” and other jihadists you must be somewhat …deadbrain! sorry for being forthright.

    • Pearl

      You’re a regular Jew hater, aren’t you. As long as the Jews are being hounded and slaughtered you and your kind are happy. If all the Jews of the world are anihalated until none are left standing, you are happy. Tell me who will blame if not one Jew is left standing? Who will you denounce? You, all you anti-Semites are poor excuses for humanity. Maybe the Arabs, and terrorist will turn on you.😂

  • Robert Davis

    Whether Begin is responsible or not of this terror action is not the issue. Jews needed Palestine and Palestine for theirs by History and law(San Remo,Sevres article 80 etc.) therefore they had to expel the Brits no matter how.Talibans are not defenders they are part of a political group who wants to rule the world by terror,perpetual terror.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin are two very well known very outspoken Israel-Haters.

  • How about comparing the Brirish murderer Frere with Hitler. The Zulus gave them cattle and land and then one of their cowardly battalions went into Masinga and murdered womwn and children.
    The also murdered women and children during the Boer war in concentration camps.
    Your hypocrisy is beyond belief as the you had no business to start the 1st world war.One of the great tragedies of last century is Germany not winning the 1st world war.
    Satanic secret English occult societies planeed all this evil.

  • steven L

    Systematic lies and misrepresentations are weapons of choice of the fanatics. We all remember Goebbels so well, copied by the Muslim fanatics. Will madness win? So far YES. The “Psychotics” are out of the asylum and taking over the world.
    Where are the wise MEN?

  • Leon pachter

    Menachem Begin did not shoot His nephew in the head brutally killing him . Menachem Begin did not stab an innocent woman to death because she was a Muslim – Ametican. Begin did not execute non militants at close range merely to gain intelligence information
    To compare Menachem Begin to the savage Taliban Terrorist is a miscarriage of justice ,to say the least
    Shame on Showtime !!!!

    • hasnain abbas

      well he wouldn’t but he killed 90+ people which is bigger figure than those killed by taliban leader in the show. #ThinkTechnically!

      • leon Pachter

        There are three types of lies
        1. Lies
        2. Big lies
        3. Statistics and #s
        this is just like the Gaza conflict
        where the # of perpetrators killed outnumbered the victims.
        The victims were then accused of “disproportonality” because the numbers did not even out equating the two

  • Carl

    “it is like saying that [Begin and Homeland’s Taliban leader] are both terrorists” – Well, that’s exactly what they are saying. Who cares about the FACT that the Irgun warned the British in advance, unlike Taliban and Palestinian terrorists whose design is to kill randomly and without warning. Or the FACT that the King David was legally a military installation once taken over by the British army for their headquarters, very similar to the status of Hamas mosques and hospitals and UN schools in Gaza. And just like the pre-state Israeli forces, the IDF continues to provide warnings before attacking such civilian installations that their enemy has militarized.

    • elliot davis

      correct Carl

      but Jewhaters hate facts eh?

    • leon

      “Who cares about the FACT that the Irgun warned the British in advance…” yes, you are right: 2 minutes before, see above.

  • I have read more than one biography of Prime Minister Menachem Begin. He was a true statesman, we could use more like him. But, as an honorable man he would be the first to take responsibility for the terrorist attacks of the Irgun. At that time in Israel’s history, force of arms was the only way to get the British out. And shortly after the destruction of the David Hotel, they decided that the Mandate had become too costly for Britain that was broke after two world wars. Shortly after that attack, they left and Ben Gurion founded the state of Israel by declaration. As soon as that was achieved, Begin forswore violence and urged his Irgun members to deliver their weapons to the Haganah and join forces with it, who were the forerunner of the Israel Defense Forces. I have not seen the series so I cannot talk about the way in which things were presented. But one need not be present to be responsible for an attack – it is he who gives the command who takes responsibility and I am sure, Mr. Begin did, and would do it again. Truth-telling is just one of the hallmarks of great men. (and women).

    • elliot davis

      Your very confused Kitty How can a British military command and control centre NOT be a legitimate target in war ie in NO SENSE was it a terror attack-unlike the Jews slaughtered in cold blood by the Brits under his command U calling the Brits terrorists too? or america for their treatment of civilin slaughter in the Vietnam war? or Hiroshima?????? nah thought not


  • Michael Chenkin

    The King David was a legitimate military target, and the attack was undertaken for specific operational reasons. The British, whose only lawful right to be in Palestine was to facilitate the creation of a Jewish Homeland, had and were doing everything in their power to prevent this – resulting in hundreds of thousands Jews dying in the Holocaust because they couldn’t go to their homeland (see The Struma, for instance). Begin led one of the most active groups seeking to get the British, who no longer had any lawful right to be in Palestine, out of Palestine. The wing of the King David that was attacked contained the headquarters of the British military that was going after Begin and his men. The attack was simply to destroy the British files. Between the criminal arrogance of the British commander who ignored the three warnings, and the inexperience of the Jewish bomb makers who created a bomb much more powerful than intended, the unfortunate loss of the British soldiers occurred.

  • Yussel

    I was shocked when the statement was made that the script did not include a response refuting the comment. A low point for an otherwise very well done series.

    • amensch

      I am not shocked by the statement. It is consistent with the well established anti-Semitic/anti-Israel bias prevalent in the American security and foreign relations community. Why else is Pollard still in prison?

  • Jeff Blankfort

    How many warnings did Begin and his Irgun give the Palestinian residents of Deir Yassin before they were massacred? It was an event in which he took great pride. He also had 18,000 dead Lebanese and Palestinian civilians on his hands, excluding the several thousand murdered at Sabra and Shatila in 1982 with IDF assistance.

    • Menachem Begin was not responsible for Dir Yasin. He was in the opposition. David Ben Gurion was the prime minister. Look it up Jeff.
      As to Lebanon, i was there in 1982 as part of the incursion into Lebanon by Israel.The PLO with Arafat took over Southern Lebanon and attacked Israel on a Daily basis and causing plenty casualties on the Israeli side, i know , I ws there.
      At the same time in case you did not know, a suicide bomber killed 245 US Marines in the barracks in Beirut, did you know that?
      About your Sabra and Shatila story,well, I was there too and saw with my own eyes the Christian militia entering the camps and killing Moslem Palestinians. Not the Israelis! I was there !! An eye witness. There was nothing Israel could do to stop the killing. These were Lebanese Christians paying back what the Palestine did did to them the night before and the Druze to the Christians and so forth.
      We’re you there? Did you see the civil war raging in Lebanon since 1975 before Israel ever got involved?
      I just happen to read your comments and luckily I can respond to your allegations as an Israeli soldier who was there to see it and witness the massacre of the US Marines by a Palestinian suicide bomber. Look it up Jeff.
      have a peaceful year.

      • Ronen Zilberman

        Thank’s for standing up for the rest uf us Duby !

      • Ruby Lee

        To see the truth of the Lebanon war, read
        “Because They Hate” by Brigitte Gabriel.
        She lives through it…..and then come and
        make comments. Or google “Brigitte Gabriel
        videos to see her tell her story on YouTube.

  • To truly understand the status of this territory in Greater Israel we have to first differentiate between the personal and the national.
    Of course there is land privately owned by Arab-Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, what many call the “West Bank” in seeming deference to the Jordanian occupation, which invented the term as juxtaposition to its eastern bank. These areas, like privately owned territory anywhere in the world, cannot be touched unless there is very pressing reason for a government or sovereign power to do so. These areas, according to Ottoman and British records, constitute no more than a few percent of the total area, meaning the vast majority is not privately owned.
    However, to contend that these territories are “Arab-Palestinian” on a national level is problematic. To claim an area belongs to a particular nation requires the territory to have belonged to that people, where they held some sort of sovereignty that was broadly recognized.
    All of these criteria have been met historically by the Jewish people, and none by the Arab-Palestinians.
    In fact, the Jewish people were provided with national rights in these territories not just by dint of history and past sovereignty, but also by residual legal rights contained in the San Remo Treaty of 1920 and the League of Nations Mandate, which were never canceled and are preserved by the UN Charter, under Article 80 – the famous “Palestine Clause,” that was drafted, in part, to guarantee continuity with respect to Jewish rights from the League of Nations.
    For the past almost 2,000 years, since the destruction of Jewish sovereignty and expulsion of most of its indigenous people, it remained an occupied and colonized outpost in the territory of many global and regional empires.
    The Ottomans were the most recent to officially apportion the territory, in what they referred to as Ottoman Syria, which today incorporates modern-day Israel, Syria, Jordan and stretching into Iraq. Before The Ottoman Land Code of 1858, land had largely been owned or passed on by word of mouth, custom or tradition. Under the Ottomans of the 19th century, land was apportioned into three main categories: Mulk, Miri and Mawat.
    Mulk was the only territory that was privately owned in the common sense of the term, and as stated before, was only a minimal part of the whole territory, much of it owned by Jews, who were given the right to own land under reforms.
    Miri was land owned by the sovereign, and individuals could purchase a deed to cultivate this land and pay a tithe to the government. Ownership could be transferred only with the approval of the state. Miri rights could be transferred to heirs, and the land could be sub-let to tenants. In other words, a similar arrangement to a tenant in an apartment or house as having rights in the property, but not to the property.
    Finally, Mawat was state or unclaimed land, not owned by private individuals nor largely cultivated. These areas made up almost two-thirds of all territory.
    The area recently declared “State Land” by the Israeli government, a process which has been under an intensive ongoing investigation for many years, is Mawat land. In other words, it has no private status and is not privately owned.
    Many claims to the territory suddenly arose during the course of the investigation, but all were proven to be unfounded on the basis of land laws.
    Interestingly, it should be clearly understood by those who deem Judea and Samaria “occupied territory” that according to international law the occupying power must use the pre-existing land laws as a basis for claims, exactly as Israel has done in this case, even though Israel’s official position is that it does not see itself de jure as an occupying power in the legal sense of the term. It is only a liberator of its ancestral land.
    None of these facts are even alluded to in the many reports surrounding the government’s actions in settlement and housing. This is deeply unjust and a semblance of the relevant background, history and facts would provide the necessary context for what has been converted into an international incident where none should exist.

    • Robert

      Thank you for a very scholarly reply.

      Do you have more historical information?
      Could you tell me your sources for this?

      As a British expat living in Israel it would b good to to know more

    • Wolff Bachner