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An Open Letter to Steven Spielberg

Tuesday, 12 November 2002 12:00 AM

Dear Mr. Spielberg,

As a Jew who lives in south Florida, I read with interest about your recent visit to Cuba. "I really want to make a movie here," you were reported as saying when you arrived in Havana.

Here's some recent press coverage on Israel:

I read that you had an eight-hour meeting with Castro, which you described as "the eight most important hours of my life." Were you aware of his views on Israel? Here are four recent examples:

Books Cuba has published on Israel include "Zionism: The Fascism of the Star of David" and "The Other Face: The Truth about the Secret Relationships between Nazism and Zionism."

Lest you think Castro's demonization of Israel ends at propaganda, he has been at the vanguard of anti-Zionist violence. When Syria and Egypt attacked Israel on Yom Kippur in 1973, Castro sent thousands of troops including tank commanders and pilots to Syria. Cuba has trained Arab terrorists since the 1960s.

In the late 1980s, Castro even sent an orthopedic surgeon to Iraq to remove a lethal tumor from Saddam Hussein's back. The surgeon, Rodrigo Alvarez Cambras, visited Hussein in April for his birthday with a message of solidarity from Castro.

The Iraqi News Agency reported, "Condemning the Zionist crimes against our people in Palestine, Cambras described them as Nazi crimes. … He called on the world and its governments to take a decisive stand against the crimes of the Zionist aggressors."

Martin Luther King Jr.'s words to an individual who attacked Zionism come to mind: "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking anti-Semitism."

I read that you addressed the Cuban-Jewish community, which you might know is less than 10 percent of its size since Castro came to power. If Cuban Jews criticize Castro's venom against the Jewish homeland, they can be charged with "crimes" such as "disrespect" and "enemy propaganda."

Here are the words of Cuban Jew Tony Fune, a husband and father: "I understand that we have no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom to travel, no freedom to choose how we will educate our children. And I understand that's not right."

Imagine what it feels like to be a Jew in Cuba: to see Israel constantly demonized, its enemies glorified, and not be able to say a damn thing about it.

Please tell me you didn't know the above. Please tell me you didn't know that Castro systematically violates Cuban Jews' human rights and equates Israel with the Nazism you indelibly depicted in "Schindler's List." Do you still want to make a movie on the soil that embraces those who would obliterate the Jewish homeland?

Sincerely yours,

Myles Kantor

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Dear Mr. Spielberg, As a Jew who lives in south Florida, I read with interest about your recent visit to Cuba. I really want to make a movie here, you were reported as saying when you arrived in Havana. Here's some recent press coverage on Israel: I read that you had...
Open,Letter,Steven,Spielberg
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2002-00-12
Tuesday, 12 November 2002 12:00 AM
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