Tuesday, December 9, 2014

arm around Menachem

Anwar Sadat; Jimmy Carter; Menachem Begin

The next scene, it's the tops of ancient buildings.  It's night.  At bottom of screen it says, "Jerusalem."  One of the buildings looks ghostly, because at the top are two dark windows, side by side, and under them one dark window-space -- so it's kind of like a face.

Camera-and-Audience-View pans gently down, gliding to the side, down some more, until we see Congressman Wilson and Gust Avrakotos sitting at a table with Zvi Rafiah, Israeli arms dealer.  The place they're in is one of those spaces where it's partly indoors and partly outdoors.  Two men stand guard near the table.

Charlie Wilson -- We need you, Zvi.  You're gonna be our man inside the Israeli Parliament.

Zvi Rafiah -- I'm not in the Israeli Parliament.

Charlie -- That's what's gonna make you so effective.  No one has your pull with the 10th Knesset.  No one has your relationship with the Speaker.  And we are gonna -- We're gonna need your arm around Menachem,

when he finds out that we're working with Egypt and the Saudis.  [he speaks to Gust] -- Tell him.  Tell him why we need him.

Gust Avrakotos (grumbling) -- I'm not saying anything.

Charlie -- Why not?
-- I don't know who the [heck] these two other guys are.

Charlie -- Well, aren't they bodyguards?
Gust -- Not ours.
Charlie (in a gently suspicious, lightly chiding tone) -- "Zvi-eee?"

Zvi Rafiah, found out, with a slight head movement and flicking motions with his hands, dismisses the two standing-up guys.  Then, bristling with a sort of "are-you-crazy" skepticism, he says to Congressman Wilson, "Now, just to sum this up in a nutshell. 

You want me.
To move Israel.
Toward a partnership with Egypt.  Pakistan, and Afghanistan."

Wilson -- "And Saudi Arabia."

Zvi -- Well, just a couple of problems I can foresee, [sarcasm popping] -- off the top-of-my-head!

Wilson -- Look.
Zvi -- Charlie...
Wilson -- I know.
Zvi -- Pakistan and Afghanistan don't recognize our right to exist.

Charlie -- Calm down.
Zvi -- We just got done fighting a WAR, with Egypt, and every person who has ever tried to kill me and my family, has been trained in Saudi Arabia.
Gust Avrakotos -- That's not entirely true, Zvi.  I mean, some of them were trained by us.

Charlie -- Gus, come on.  [to Zvi] It's his sense of humor.  It's a bit of an acquired taste.  Now, Zvi, look at me.

Charlie taps his fingertips on the table several times, punctuating.

Charlie Wilson -- Now Zvi, look at me.  This is the front of the Cold War.  It's not in Berlin, it's not in Cuba, it's not in Czechoslovakia.  It's in a pile of rocks called Afghanistan.  These are the only people who are actually shooting at the Russians. ...

{Charlie Wilson's War.  2007.  Directed by Mike Nichols.  Screenplay written by Aaron Sorkin.}


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