the Netherlands

The trials of making a film in Gaza

I am on a plane, on the way back from Palestine to my apartment — a quiet, private place set in rainy Amsterdam. It is there where I will edit my film, a love story set in the Gaza Strip. I have just finished shooting it, the first dramatic feature to be made about Gaza in more than ten years. And it took me seven years of continuous development and fundraising to shoot it. Susan Youssef recounts her experience for The Electronic Intifada. 

The Façade of the Israeli Cease-fire

This morning I opened the Haaretz Internet website to read the following headline: “Olmert decided: we will retain cease-fire; IDF has bombed a tunnel in northern Gaza Strip.” An inevitable coffee stain appeared on my shirt. Although this headline screams absurdity, it constitutes the essence of Israel’s propaganda, and many an Israeli will not find it ambivalent. I have to admit that a year ago, I would have found it reasonable as well. The logic is simple: army officials say that the IDF has a perpetual green light to operate against terrorist groups on their way to commit their suicidal operations inside Israel. 

Fighting for the Next Generation

Only a few hours after my fiancee, a 24-year-old Dutch musician and I, a 29-year-old Israeli musician and writer, arrived to Israel for the summer vacation, the war in Lebanon broke out. At first, no one dared to call it by the W-word; the media described it as a swift military operation to retrieve the kidnapped soldiers while teaching Hezbollah a bitter lesson. Everyone agreed with an across-the-board solidarity that it was a noble and imperative cause. The Israeli flag was brandished on balconies, cars and T-shirts, left and right-wing politicians were sharing spoons to stir their afternoon teas, and graffitists sprayed the walls with jingoistic ‘Go Israel!’ or ‘Let the IDF win!’. 

Court Diary from the February 2004 ICJ Hearings

Victor Kattan, a correspondent for Arab Media Watch and occasional contributor to EI, was at the International Court of Justice in the Hague during February 2004 to report on the hearings to determine the legality of Israel’s West Bank Barrier, dubbed the “Apartheid Wall” by Palestinians. On the day the ICJ gives its advisory opinion, 9 July 2004, EI reprints Victor Kattan’s Court Diary from the hearings that took place from Monday 23rd February to Wednesday 25th February 2004. 

In Memoriam: Deir Yassin

Fifty-six years ago, 11-year old Fahimi Zeidan lived with her family in the Palestinian village Deir Yasin. The village, which was home to more than 700 residents, was a prosperous, expanding village at relative peace with its Jewish neighbours with whom much business was done. However, on April 9, 1948, Zionist forces entered the home of Fahimi Zeidan, ordered her family to line up against the wall and started shooting. Fahimi, two sisters and brother were saved because they could hide behind their parents. But all the others against the wall were killed: her father, mother, grandfather and grandmother, uncles and aunts and some of their children. 

Nablus: what it really means

I left Palestine on Thursday night. Security at Ben Gurion Airport was tight. As always, thanks to my Arab sounding name, I got a special treatment. ‘Excuses for any inconvenience’, says the security officer at the airport, ‘it’s for your own security’.