Sunday, November 28, 2010


I saw the movie Budrus yesterday. It is a documentary covering the non-violent protests in the West Bank village of Budrus that succeeded in altering the course of the separation wall.

While the movie is upbeat, it leaves unsaid that Israel learned from the experience and now imprisons non-violent protest leaders in order to decapitate the efforts in other Palestinian villages such as Bi'lin and Nil'in, to re-route the wall.

The movie has an interesting cast of characters, real people doing what they think is right. We have an IDF captain who tells us in perfect American English that it's too bad about the situation but Israelis need to sleep at night. He doesn't address the fact that it isn't the separation wall that is being disputed, but the route it takes through Palestinian lands.

We also see an Israeli border policewoman who sympathizes with the plight of the Palestinian women she forces away from their lands but, of course, does what she is told, later retiring from the force to enjoy a family and comfort in Israel, helped in its endless expansion at the expense of the helpless by her efforts.

A HAMAS member sees the value of non-violence, people from Israel and other countries participate in opposing the destruction of olive groves, some getting arrested briefly for their efforts.

The young men of Budrus cannot be prevented from throwing rocks and eventually there is live fire from the Israeli troops who are frustrated in their efforts to sweep aside the people from their land so the bulldozers can work unimpeded.

Will this movie someday be in the category of "The Battle of Algiers" for the window it provides on oppression and resistance? It might be. Time will eventually force Israel to face a world and a world of Jews that repudiate it. As the move to the right becomes ever more extreme, even those who support Israel in the United States will be repulsed by what they see happening with their funding. The old generation that could dismiss one wrong (Zionism) because of another (the Holocaust) is passing from the scene. Young people see the oppression by Israel for what it is. For all the military might Israel possesses, Zionism is an extremist proposition that rejects humanity at large in favor of a few. This movie shows how the Palestinians have learned to use their strength, their humanity, and the moral high ground they undoubtedly possess in a way that makes the possession of weapons a liability for their oppressors.

No comments:

Post a Comment