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UICA will screen powerful film on Palestinian resistance to the Israeli Wall

January 3, 2011

If you are confused by the news media reporting on Israel/Palestine, with the focus on government posturing and so-called peace talks, then I would highly recommend that you see the documentary Budrus.

Budrus is the name of a Palestinian village that has responded non-violently to the Israeli plan to build the “separation wall” that would cut through the village land. Wanting to protect their olive trees, cemeteries and not have the ominous presence of the Israeli wall near their homes Budrus villagers began organizing daily demonstrations against the wall’s construction.

The film is filled with inspiring actions and inspiring words from Palestinian men, women and children who courageous face down Israeli soldiers who sometimes beat them with clubs and shoot tear gas, rubber bullets and concussion grenades at unarmed villagers.

The filmmakers also include interviews with Israeli soldiers and officials who make claims about the necessity of the wall to protect Israeli lives and some who believe that the resistance is illegal.

After weeks of protesting the people of Budrus were joined by Israeli activists, international observers and even a delegation of anti-Apartheid activists from South Africa. This type of solidarity did not prevent the Israeli military from increasing the repression and eventually occupying the town of Budrus itself.

However, after 10 months of non-violent resistance the Israeli government decided to cut their losses and re-route the wall to allow Budrus to keep its olive groves and cemeteries.

This film not only is an inspiration it humanizes Palestinians in a way that few documentaries have. We see how Palestinians organize, we go inside their homes, we hear from both young and old, and we see how the Israeli occupation impacts them on a physical, emotional and psychological level.

This film is important to those of us who live in a country that has continued to support this kind of Israeli repression since the 1967 war. Budrus does not talk about how the US has provided diplomatic, military and economic support for Israel, but it does show us how the $3 billion (annual) of our tax dollars are being used.

The film is also important in that it shows that using non-violent resistance is not just about not using violence, but the willingness of people to fight back by standing in front of bulldozers, not allowing Israeli soldiers to club them and even physically dismantling the parts of the wall that are made from fencing. There is nothing passive about the kind of non-violence that Palestinians use that is documented so well by the filmmakers.

The film starts this Friday (January 7th) at UICA and will only be playing for one week. Check the UICA webpage for times and dates of the screening. This film will change how you see the Israeli/Palestinian conflict!


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