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GAZA STRIP Film Mon Feb 3 UCSC 7pm

Despite audience enthusiasm and excellent reviews in the New York Times, Village Voice and Variety, "Gaza Strip" has been turned down by HBO, POV & NOW w/Bill Moyers & Frontline & Wide Angle (all PBS), and the Sundance Channel. Europe is broadcasting it. Why can't this film be shown in the United States?

Committee for Justice in Palestine at UCSC proudly presents:


A Documentary Film by James Longley, 75 min

Monday, Feb 3rd
7:00 pm
Classroom Unit 2 at UCSC (near Baytree Bookstore)
Free Admission
Despite audience enthusiasm and excellent reviews in the New York Times, Village Voice and Variety, "Gaza Strip" has been turned down by HBO, POV & NOW w/Bill Moyers & Frontline & Wide Angle (all PBS), and the Sundance Channel. Europe is broadcasting it. Why can't this film be shown in the United States?

Committee for Justice in Palestine at UCSC proudly presents:


A Documentary Film by James Longley, 75 min

Monday, Feb 3rd
7:00 pm
Classroom Unit 2 at UCSC (near Baytree Bookstore)
Free Admission
A refreshingly unfettered look at the Israeli-Palestinian situation in the occupied territory, Longley's documentary is a unique experience, a film which gives a voice to a population largely ignored by the mainstream media.

Shot almost entirely in a cinema vérité style and presented without narration, the film focuses on ordinary Palestinians rather than politicians and pundits.

GAZA STRIP is an extraordinary and painful journey into the lives of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip struggling with the day-to-day trials of the Israeli occupation.

In January of 2001, Longley traveled to the occupied territory.

His plan was to stay for two weeks to collect preliminary material for a documentary film on the Palestinian Intifada.

It was during his stay that Ariel Sharon was elected as Israeli Prime Minister.

As violence erupted around him, Longley threw away his return ticket and filmed for the next three months, acquiring nearly 75 hours of footage.

GAZA STRIP follows a range of people and events following
the election, including the first major armed incursion into "Area A" by IDF forces during this intifada.

More observation than political argument, GAZA STRIP offers a rare look inside the stark realities of life under Israeli military occupation.


"Gaza Strip" website:

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Interesting but skewed

I attended the screening of "Gaza Strip" last night at UCSC. At the well attended event, I learned from the organizers that Gaza "is illegally occupied by the Israeli army and that they are there to "humiliate, bulldoze, and to kill." The organizer then explained that since the filmmaker is "an American, he does not have a vested interest in the topic of the film."

The opening screen of the film states regarding the residents of Gaza that "most were purged in 1948" and that after years of unproductive talks the Intifada "broke out."

Okay. All by itself. No one started it.

The story is told by a 13 year old who dropped out of school in the 2nd grade, can't read, and by his own account throws rocks at Israeli soldiers daily, steals copper, steals oranges, steals tomatos, sets tires on fire, and sneaks in to burn Jewish fences. He is the main source for political and historical information on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Okay.

We are told that Gaza is a "prison camp" because 1.2 million people live on 112 square miles of land. Contrast this with San Francisco which has 450,000 people living on 47 square miles of land. By the way, they are both on the beach.

Everyone in the film blames Israel for all their problems. Not one word is said about suicide bombings, snipings, kidnap-torture-murders by Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Tanzim, El Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Hizbollah, Fatah, the PLO, or PFLP. Instead we are told that "the Jews want to push us into the sea." Hmmmmm. I thought it was the Arabs who wanted to push the Jews into the sea. Like in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973. Old news,right?

No doubt life in Gaza Strip is unpleasant and downright depressing. But the film does little to reveal either the cause of their suffering or invite the viewer to do anything but express hatred towards Israel.

BTW-- the IDF soldiers are in Gaza per the terms of the Oslo accords signed in 1993 by both Israel and Arafat's Palestinian Authority, also never mentioned in the film.

Great Review by Becky

It's nice to see that not everyone has given up their power to discern objective journalism from propoganda.

I haven't seen this movie, but will gladly when it is on videotape.

Will I learn anything new? Nope.
Will I learn that life basically sucks for a lot of Palestinians? Nope. I already know that.
The real issue, as Becky nicely points out is, why does life suck so bad for Palestinians?
Oh, it's the occupation Stupid? Thanks for pointing that out.
I'm personally against the "Occupation." I think that there should be a 2-state solution to this whole conflict.

But there is a big problem here. Many, wait, make that MOST, of the Palestinians DON'T WANT A 2 STATE SOLUTION. They want an end to Israel.
As long as they approach the situation from that perspective and continue to actively try to harm Israelis, I find it hard to scold the Israelis for having the audacity to protect their country and their citizens.

While I don't agree with all of his points, Daniel Pipes lays out some hardcore logic that is hard to argue with.

Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace
by Daniel Pipes
New York Post
February 18, 2003

Why are Palestinians so angry at Israel? There are two possible reasons.

Political: They accept the existence of a Jewish state but are angry with this or that Israeli policy.

Rejectionist: They abominate the very existence of Israel and want to destroy it.

Which is correct has many implications. If Palestinians only want changes in what Israel is doing (such as building towns on the West Bank), then it is reasonable to ask Israel to alter those actions - and the main burden of resolving the conflict falls on Israel.

But if Israel's existence remains at issue, then it follows that the conflict will end only when the Palestinians finally and irrevocably accept the Jewish state. Seen this way, the main burden falls on the Palestinians.

If it's a routine political dispute, diplomacy and compromise are the way to make progress. But if the Palestinians reject Israel's very existence, diplomacy is useless, even counterproductive, and Israel needs to convince Palestinians to give up on their aggressive intentions. More bluntly, Israel would then need to defeat the Palestinians.

Which interpretation is correct?

In a spring 2002 poll of residents in the West Bank and Gaza conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center, a Palestinian organization, 43 percent of respondents called for a Palestinian state only in the West Bank and Gaza and 51 percent insisted on the state in "all of historic Palestine," code words for the destruction of Israel.

Thus, Palestinian rejectionism flourishes. But the outside world averts its collective eyes from this fact. Those institutions and individuals with a megaphone - in both Israel and America, not to speak of the United Nations, the left and those in diplomatic, journalistic, artistic and academic circles worldwide - generally assert that Palestinian acceptance of Israel has occurred and focus instead on Israel's need to "take risks for peace."

In contrast, only a small number of conservatives in Israel and the United States point out the continued power of Palestinian rejectionism.

Given this backdrop of mostly wishful thinking, it is remarkable to see how realistically the Israeli and American electorates view Palestinian intentions. The Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University found in fall 2002 that 18 percent of Israeli Jews believe the Palestinians have accepted Israel's existence and 71 percent think the opposite.

To learn American views on this issue, the Middle East Forum recently sponsored a poll asking a national cross-section of 1,000 likely voters, "Do you believe that the goal of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority is to have a small state living in peace alongside Israel, or is its goal the eventual destruction of Israel?"

The response was clear. Nineteen percent of respondents said Arafat seeks a small state living in peace alongside Israel; 61 percent said he seeks the eventual destruction of Israel.

(Technical aside: The other 20 percent didn't know or refused to reply. This poll, conducted on Feb. 11-12 by the New York polling firm McLaughlin & Associates, has an accuracy of +/- 3.1% at the 95 percent confidence interval.)

Not only are the Israeli and U.S. numbers strikingly similar but even more noteworthy is how the U.S. electorate ignores the overwhelming consensus of authoritative voices and, by a more than 3-to-1 ratio, understands that Palestinian rejectionism lies at the heart of the conflict.

This insight testifies to the wisdom of a free and informed people. It also has great potential significance for U.S. policy, signaling to the Bush administration to heed its own electorate and recognize that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict persists because Israel is, not what it does.

This means abandoning the habit of pressing Israel to make further concessions to the Palestinians and instead aiming to convince the Palestinians that Israel is here to stay. This might entail such steps as:

* Discouraging Palestinian anti-Semitism and other forms of incitement against Israel;

* Reassessing antiquated U.S. policies that help keep the Palestinian "refugees" in limbo;

* Endorsing tough but necessary Israeli actions to end Palestinian violence; and

* Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem.

The sooner Palestinians, leaders and public alike, come to terms with the unalterable reality of Israel's existence, the better it will be for all concerned.



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