Having spent most of the summer in the Holy Land, Jewdar is only now catching up on our summer films. Even at this late date, however, we are still able to scoop the rest of the Jewish world (okay, except forthis guy) on what should be the most blockbuster bit of Jewish film news of the summer–the fact that inTransformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Michael Bay, one of the Jews who runs Hollywood, has succeeded where decades of Arab terrorists and dictators have failed: Israel has been wiped off the map.
Now, Jewdar doesn’t expect much from a movie like Transformers–namely, that it keeps the little Jewdars occupied for a couple of hours, and spares me from having to hear "Totty, when are we going to see Transformers?!" And in that regard, it didn’t disappoint. In a movie that consists almost entirely of a special effects budget that could eliminate hunger in Latin America, and Megan Fox running in slow-motion, we’re not going to be too much of a stickler for details, and didn’t so much as murmur when pyramids, and even the sphinx, turned up in the Sinai desert. But even with our low expectations, we were a little on the enraged side when the protagonists crossed the border from the Sinai, directly into Jordan.
Having been in Eilat this summer, we will concede that there’s not much of Israel that separates Egypt from Jordan, but it is there. And while it might be argued that we can cut some slack for the sake of poetic license, we’re not inclined to be so generous, since, after all, it would have been just as simple to include Israel, and just pass through it. It wouldn’t have changed the story at all (it’s not like "Jordan" was a character–they just needed to get to Petra.) Perhaps our time in Israel has rendered us a bit defensive, but this smacks of a certain crass commercialism. We recall that back in the day the film Independence Daywas met with calls for a ban in some parts of the Arab World, both because of a Jewish protagonist, but also because it showed the Israeli Air Force helping to defeat the alien invasion. So while it may be that Bay may be the only Jew in the world who can’t locate Israel on a map, we suspect that Israel’s absence has less to do with what Bay didn’t learn in geography, than what he did pick up in Econ 101.