In his compelling new video Gazonto, Canadian filmmaker John Greyson reimagines Israel’s massive bombardment of the Israeli-occupied and besieged Gaza Strip as if it were an attack on his home city Toronto.
Greyson imagines specific attacks on Palestinian homes, schools, mosques, hospitals and other institutions that Israel perpetrated since 7 July as if they had occurred on real-life Toronto sites including a well-known café, CBC TV, the University of Toronto and the Scarborough Injury Rehab Centre.
The film uses the device of a simulated video game to show how the horrifying effects of Israeli violence against Palestinians are rendered distant or invisible while the violence itself is celebrated.
The “video game” wherein the viewer is addressed as if they are the “player” also forces us to think about complicity and what those of us in Canada, the United States and other countries arming and supporting Israel can do to end such lethal intervention.
Gazonto asks viewers a simple question: what would happen to Toronto, or to your city, if, like Gaza, six thousand places had been heavily bombed in just a few weeks?
Since Israel’s bombardment began, its attacks have killed 2,127 Palestinians, including 512 children, according to the latest count from Al Mezan Center for Human Rights.
On Saturday, Israeli warplanes completely obliterated a 12-story apartment building “without giving any specific explanation that can be verified,” Al Mezan said.
“Al Mezan’s investigations indicate that no military activities took place in or around it. Hundreds of its residents, most of whom are families headed by employees of the Palestinian Authority, were displaced,” Al Mezan added.
Israeli occupation forces “also destroyed a large shopping mall in Rafah and caused damages to dozens of homes in the Rafah refugee camp,” according to the group.