Hamas turns on longtime ally Assad, nonviolent activist charged with assaulting a soldier despite video evidence, and two television stations raided by IDF in this week’s top #Palestine stories.
All posts tagged nonviolence
Yousef Munayyer - Last weekend, as tens of thousands of unarmed refugees marched toward Israel from all sides in a symbolic effort to reclaim their right of return, the world suddenly discovered the power of Palestinian nonviolence. Much like the “Freedom Flotilla,” when nine activists were killed during an act of nonviolent international disobedience almost a year ago, the deaths of unarmed protesters at the hands of Israeli soldiers drew the world’s attention to Palestine and the refugee issue.
The world shouldn’t have been so surprised. The truth is that there is a long, rich history of nonviolent Palestinian resistance dating back well before 1948, when the state of Israel was established atop a depopulated Palestine. It has just never captured the world’s attention the way violent acts have.
New York, New York – Most of the media coverage surrounding
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict focuses on stories of violence and despair.
Little is known about the growing Palestinian-led non-violent movement that has
united rival Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas, and encouraged
hundreds of Israelis to cross into the West Bank and Gaza for the first time to
join this non-violent effort.
A new feature documentary film
Budrus, produced by the Washington, DC and Jerusalem-based organisation
Just Vision, documents non-violent Israeli and Palestinian civilian efforts to
resolve the conflict. It tells the story of Budrus, the village where this
movement was born.
The founder of this movement, Ayed Morrar, also a
Palestinian community organiser in Budrus – just northwest of the West Bank city
Ramallah – brought women to the heart of the struggle in cooperation with his
daughter, Iltezam Morrar. In 2003, in response to the separation wall/fence
slated to expropriate part of their land, both father and daughter initiated a
non-violent movement that is still continuing today. The movement aims to stage
non-violent protests to change the route of the separation wall/fence off of
The film captures images of Palestinians’
weeping over lost olive trees, Israeli border police struggling over whether to
use violence against Israeli peace activists, and Palestinian youth being
chastised because their rock throwing at Israeli soldiers threatens to turn a
peaceful movement into a violent confrontation.
Some of the most moving
scenes show Palestinian women are jumping away from bulldozers, and a female
Israeli soldier establishing a rapport with Palestinian women in Budrus. While
this film captures the story of this village in particular, its larger goal is
to show that change can be accomplished in the Middle East through peaceful
Budrus made its world premiere debut at a gala screening
at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2009. The evening concluded
with a keynote speech by Queen Noor Al-Hussein of Jordan. She praised the film,
stating that Budrus “gives an enormous amount of hope… It’s a story
which will have an impact and can help bring [about]
Budrus received the Panorama Audience Award Second Prize
at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2010 after premiering to
sold-out audiences. The film is currently being screened in Canada and will soon
be shown in Europe.
This feature documentary was directed and produced
by award-winning filmmaker Julia Bacha and co-produced by Palestinian journalist
Rula Salameh and filmmaker and human rights advocate Ronit Avni. Skillfully
mixing footage from multiple sources and conducting interviews with Israelis and
Palestinians, Budrus captivates viewers throughout its entire 82-minute
dialogue in Arabic, English and Hebrew.
Just Vision was launched in 2003
to ensure that Israeli and Palestinian civic leaders are taken seriously as
partners in the quest for peace and are visible, valued and influential in their
field. Budrus is the second film by Just Vision. Its first award-winning
film Encounter Point told the true story of everyday leaders who refuse
to sit back and watch the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalate, and who choose
instead to promote non-violent solutions to the conflict.
Budrus may be difficult to watch for those emotionally invested in
Israeli or Palestinian society because it displays negative aspects of both
communities. Part of its charm, however, is that it challenges audiences to
re-examine some of the stereotypes they may hold about this conflict. As Iltezam
Morrar says, “I now know not all Israelis are the same.”
attitude spreading amongst Israelis and Palestinians – as well as
Budrus‘s message of non-violence – will bring us one step closer to
resolving this conflict.