By Elizabeth Willoughby on
Documentary maker Julia Bacha has, for nearly a decade, been filming Israelis and Palestinians who are trying to end conflict through peaceful protest. The trouble, she says, is that media does not report on peace – only violence.
“I spent my time filming dozens of Palestinians who are using non-violence to defend their lands and water resources from Israeli soldiers and settlers,” says Bacha. “These leaders are trying to forge a massive, national, non-violent movement to end the occupation and build peace in the region. Yet most have probably never heard about them.”
Bacha believes in the power of attention: “[Both violence and non-violence] are forms of theatre seeking an audience for their causes. I believe that what’s mostly missing for non-violence to grow is not for Palestinians to start adopting non-violence, but for us to start paying attention to those who already are.”
In 2003, Israel announced that the separation wall that they were building between Israel and the Palestinian territories would go through the town of Budrus. Bacha says the consequences would have been the annihilation of the Palestinian village since it meant the loss of 40 percent of their lands and free access to the West Bank.
Instead, the villagers lead a peaceful resistance, which after ten months convinced the Israeli government to move the route of the barrier back to the internationally recognized boundary, the so-called “green line”. No international media reported this triumph and little is reported about the peace movement.
“This silence carries profound consequences for the likelihood that non-violence can grow or even survive in Palestine,” says Bacha. For her part, she created this documentary – Budrus.
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