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Suicide bomber rewrites the script

05/01/2003

Israel Television is reporting tonight [April 30] that one of the hospitalized victims of the beachfront bombing is Jack Baxter, a U.S. film director who came to Israel to do a documentary on the Marwan Barghouti trial but decided instead to make a film about how life goes on at Mike's Place despite the violence that surrounds us here.

Suicide bomber rewrites the script

Joseph M. Hochstein
MideastWeb News Service

TEL AVIV, April 30 --- Israel Television is reporting tonight that one of 16 people who remain in hospital after a suicide bombing at a Tel Aviv beachfront pub is Jack Baxter, a U.S. film director who came to Israel to do a documentary on the trial of Fatah Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti but switched to a much different topic.

According to Channel One, Baxter dropped the Barghouti project and decided instead to make a film about how life and music go on at Mike's Place, the beachfront pub, despite the violence that surrounds Israelis in their daily lives.

Baxter and his crew were filming at Mike's Place last night because Tuesday evening at the pub has become a local institution --- an open stage, with blues musicians dropping by for jam sessions.

Two of the three people killed by the suicide bomber were stars of Baxter's documentary --- Caroline Dominique (Dom) Hess, 29, a table server who emigrated six years ago from France, and Yanai Weiss, 46, a fine guitarist who kept the jam sessions more or less organized and had a day job in a high-tech company.

Baxter's film also shows pre-bomb footage of a smiling and dancing security guard named Avi. If not for Avi the security guard, who kept the bomber from entering the small room where more than 50 people were gathered, the death toll almost certainly would have been higher than in any prior suicide bombing in this country. The security guard, heavily injured, was reported in stable condition in a Tel Aviv hospital.

A high death toll in the 1 a.m. bombing would have compounded the immediate problems of the Israel government, which also had on its plate the start of a general strike at 6 a.m. today, and later in the day was to receive the international "roadmap" proposal for a two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The New York Post, where Baxter once wrote news stories, said the director may be best known for his 1994 documentary "Brother Minister: The Assassination of Malcolm X (1994)," narrated by Roscoe Lee Browne and with a musical score by Annie Lennox. Baxter was co-writer and co-director with Jefri Aalmuhammed.

Baxter's collaborator on the 1994 film also served as technical consultant on Islam for Spike Lee's 1992 drama "Malcolm X" starring Denzel Washington in the title role and Angela Bassett as the wife of the U.S. black nationalist leader who was assassinated in 1965.

Copyright 2003 by Joseph M. Hochstein and MidEast Web for Coexistence

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by Editor @ 09:25 PM CST [Link]

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Replies: 1 Comment

You know these suicide bombers make me wonder what a Palestinian society will be like. I agree they should have their own state but based on the violence they practice on civilians, I wonder if that violence can just be turned off or if a Palestinian state in the future will be factions killing factions instead of killing Israelis. Once killing unarmed people becomes ok, I am afraid it is going to ruin the new Palestine, with Palestinians killing other non-righteous Palestinians. Hope it doesn't happen but I wonder.

Posted by Emma @ 05/13/2003 11:57 PM CST


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