February 13, 2008
Submitted by Kamas resident Frances ReMillard
I attended the "Ever Again" film screening/ speaker program presented in colleges and cities throughout Utah this past month.
In the film, tragic scenes of the Holocaust are alternated with images of the 9-11 attack, graffiti-marked Jewish graves, suicide bombings, Imams preaching in mosques, antiwar rallies, Muslims wearing kefias, and many views and references to Palestinians protesting Israel’s occupation. The unfortunate premise of the film is that all of these acts are connected, anti-Semitic and centered on a deep hatred of Jews another impending Holocaust.
What I did not see, however, is the growing body of evidence, including the 9-11 Commission Hearings, the Iraq Study Group Report, London Times study of the 1.6 million British Muslims citizens, and Harvard professor Robert Pape’s extensive research/data bank covering every suicide bombing since 1980. All of these reports conclude that the increase in terrorism, suicide bombings and anti-American anti-Israeli or anti-Jewish feelings are overwhelmingly grievance-based. These acts are not carried out by Muslim religious extremists but by a mix of mostly well-educated, middle-class, religious or secular people who see themselves as fighting for their rights (or their people’s right) to be free of the U.S.-Israeli (and allies) expansionist, colonialist agenda of confiscating their resources, disenfranchising their people and occupying or placing military bases on their land.
I can understand Jewish fears as a response to truly anti-Semitic behavior and lingering fears from the Holocaust. What concerns me about "Ever Again" with its narrow focus and lack of any balanced information about the Palestinian people, was the attempt to present the "others" mostly Palestinians and Muslims as so defective and evil that we need not see these "others" as human or consider their rights.
As Americans we do need to know more about the Israel-Palestine conflict and the United States’ role in it. What this film failed to do was show what so many Israeli, Palestinian, and other activists for justice and peace all over the world have discovered the common desire for a world which supports justice, freedom, international law and human rights for all people; a world which says "no" to spoils of war and territorial or resource gains through war; a world which offers legal recourse, in place of terrorism, as the tool for disenfranchised people to regain their rights and their land.