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Forums  >  Write a Review  >  Middle East Cousins in Peace - Reference to "Yes"
Author Post
at 02:48, 7 Sep 2006
Posts: 1
Middle East Cousins in Peace - Reference to "Yes"
Sally, I hope you read this. Beautiful movie. It made me cry
...and "Yes" it was a great affirmation of..(that's an e-mail in itself),

I'm a Jewboy from Joburg (S. Africa). I call my Lebanese friends "Cousin". It's not concilliatory...It's meant (reference to Ishmael and Isaac in the bible)
Perhaps, I'm naive in believing that this outlook can be applied elsewhere
...especially in Palestine/Israel.
It starts with the minds of the children. Israeli children view Palestinians as the
"Other people", and visa versa. If both Palestinian and Israeli children were encouraged to see each other as coming from the same people, perhaps it would sow the seeds of acceptance.

Understanding starts with knowledge. I was touched by your reference to
understanding Israeli Foreign policy as starting with the Holocaust (Robert Fisk - Pity the Nation). It starts way before then. Towards the end of the 19th century a Jewish officer in the French army called Captain Dreyfuss was sent to Devils Island, wrongly accused of being a spy, and purely predicated on unadulterated anti-semitism. It was the witnessing of this event that made Theodore Hertzl (presently recognized as the figurehead father of the State of Israel) come up with the notion of "Zionism"...A belief that the only way Jews were not to remain **** on peoples' shoe was if they had their own country, with a means to defend themselves against being the perpetual scapegoat to the misguided anger of the ignorant lumpen proleteriat, who were incited into starting "pogroms" created by a manipulative nobility to take the focus off their exploitation of the masses (whew!...excuse the mouthfull).

Sally, this is my legacy, along with my family in Belarus who are no more. The German Einsadts patrols, aided by the local populace, surrounded their village and shot them like dogs when they crawled out looking for food.
Palestinians don't know this. Why should they? All they know is (if that) that an arrogant English and French politician (Sykes and Pico) divided their land into Palestine and Trans Jordan, resulting in a flux of European Jews arriving and taking their land. The Jewish Holocaust isn't their problem!

Sally, the bitter irony is that under the rallying cry of "never again" have we Jews not gone too far the other way. In suffering persecution, shouldn't it teach us to not persecute others? Such is the anger in the human psyche that altruistic idealism is often rendered weak in the face of power politics. I say that having witnessed a young Israeli soldier loudly berating an old Palestinian man and stripping his honour in front of his family struggling to make it accross a border crossing.

Every time I put forward a suggestion for peace in the Middle East, I can't help feeling like a detached Westerner. Unlike Israelis and Palestinians, we don't have to live by what comes out of our mouths. They come up with suggestions that don't work ...they pay for it in blood.

But "Yes", I am going to start up a forum of understanding - a website called "Cousins". Will you be the first honorary member?

I loved the poetic diction of your movie...ballsy move! I'm sure people told you that the rhyming would reduce the poignancy of what was being said. added to it.

My real name is Norm Buten. I won a British Advertising Award (D&AD) for the first TV spot on my URL ( If you have time, please check it out.

I'll also be sending this e-mail to the "TALK TO SALLY" link. Forgive me if there is any repetition.
at 10:34, 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 1
Middle East Cousins in Peace - Reference to "Yes"
Many thanks for your post. Sally Potter is out of the country and will respond in due course.
sally potter
at 03:25, 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 193
A forum of understanding ... good. Every such step is a good step. I like the idea of being a cousin. We are indeed all related, and it is when we forget our commonality that we slip deep into trouble. Trauma, whether individual or collective, seems doomed to repeat itself unless it has the opportunity to be healed – by being acknowledged, witnessed, transformed. The ‘truth and reconciliation’ forums in South Africa are an inspiration in this regard.
Knowledge about the historical experience of whoever is the ‘other’ helps to understand actions in the present…again, that applies to individuals as well as societies. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us on this message board.
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