Samer Badawi writes: In a pre-interview with a television news producer yesterday, I found myself stammering over a familiar question: as a Palestinian, do you have any hope for the future?
Steeped in the day-to-day of our “conflict” with Israel, I find it difficult to respond to such banalities – not least because I’m in no position to represent all Palestinians.
So after attempting something articulate with the producer, I decided to get in touch with my friend, Emad Burnat, the Oscar-nominated director of 5 Broken Cameras and as good a gauge as any of the situation in the West Bank.
If you’ve seen his film, you’ll know why. In it, Emad documents his West Bank village’s nonviolent struggle against Israeli land grabs. Produced from more than 700 hours of footage, the documentary features intimate portraits of Bil’in’s leading nonviolent activists, who maintain a remarkable sense of hope amidst the violence and tragedy that surround them. But here’s the thing: the earliest of the film’s footage dates back to 2005, when common wisdom had it that the Second Intifada was over.
So when I asked Emad today if a third intifada was coming, his response wasn’t surprising. Instead, it reminded me of something he published just before his appearance at the 2012 Oscars:
“I come from Palestine. I have lived my entire life under military occupation, and I have no memory of a time without struggle.” [Continue reading…]