The speaker using the old overhead projector would gradually uncover his subject one line
at a time. He’d move the overlying paper down, but very slowly. If you stayed awake, and if he held your interest, you wanted him to reveal his next point quickly so you could figure out where he was headed—and perhaps learn something. You knew there was more coming, but it took so long, a little bitty line at a time. Thankfully PowerPoint put an end to the overhead projector.
Covering carefully the hidden secrets of life in the Holy Land has remained successful in the United States. For example, we here have never realized that the much lauded new forests we’ve financed, that “make the desert bloom” were often planted over Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948. “…hiding their remains under vast
‘green lungs’ planted by the Jewish National Fund for the purpose of ‘recreation and tourism.’ Such a forest of pine trees was planted over the destroyed village of Lubya. Only the diligent and meticulous work of later generations, spearheaded by Mahmoud Issa, now living in Denmark, has enabled visitors today to trace the vestiges of the village and join in the commemoration of the sixty people who lost their lives there. (At the last main crossroad of the Nazareth-Tiberius road.) Written by the acclaimed Jewish historian, Ilan Pappe. “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” One World Publications, 2006, pages 154-155.
Now there seems to be a crescendo of voices that are telling the stories hidden for so long to us in America. In “Breaking the Silence,” video and print, Israeli solders tell of their abuse of Palestinian civilians, demolishing their homes and other actions they now regret. http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/
Two movies nominated for Academy Awards are available in theaters and DVD. “Five Broken Cameras,” a heart-rending defense of a Palestinian village protesting non-violently the hated “Berlin” wall that would destroy their homes and livelihood.
Or “The Gatekeepers,” a powerful documentary of retired Shin Bet directors who share their dismay at what their own “FBI” has done to civilians in Israel/Palestine.
Last night on CNN, “In the season premiere of ‘Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown,’ the host and crew make their first trip to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. While the political situation is often tense between the people living in these areas, Bourdain concentrates on their rich history, food and culture, and spends time with local chefs, home cooks, writers and amateur foodies.”
It concentrated on life and food in both Israel and Palestine. The lack of freedom in the West Bank and Gaze came out in the warm encounters. Perhaps the first time for some Americans to see what it is like to live under two generations of military occupation.
We could wish our Senators understood. One recently wrote back to us on Senate Resolution 203.”If enacted, this resolution would express the U.S. Senate’s support of a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The resolution would also emphasize the special relationship between the United States and Israel rooted in shared interests of democracy, human rights, and mutual protection.
Mutual protection? How can one government continue to take the homes and lands of another people, illegally, who have no protection from it by laws or a non-existent constitution. Settlers continue to displace Palestinians. Now 550,000 and counting.
Human rights? For example, many children and adults currently imprisoned under “administrative detention” without legal recourse or even any charges—for six months, renewable indefinitely. Some for years. Arrests occur daily, children, usually at night.
Democracy? When an entire people whose land is occupied by a stronger state, have no voice or vote in their own treatment or taxation. We Americans rebelled in 1776. They commit to non-violent protests only (except for a few remaining militants in Gaza.)