Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Response: Arna's Children

They embraced, the soft crushing of fabrics releasing a dust of stress, their muscles relaxing into each other's support. It had just become real. The anger, the violence, the destruction of lives, these had all previously been empty words. Suddenly the simple rejection of Israeli occupation through fighting, by any means necessary, had been hammered home. The suicide bombings and civilian attacks have been put side-by-side with the demolishing of houses and massive military invasions. Arab houses loaded up with high caliber weaponry, the point is to resist, to preserve a people, to die fighting. Boys laughing in an art class are transformed into the heads of resistance before our eyes, shouldering M-16's and knocking spyholes in their houses to shoot from. The war zone is there all the time, it takes only a shift of circumstance to bring it to the forefront.

They wept, two foreigners wrapped together, for someone else's tragedy. They wept for the generations of death Palestine has to endure. For the individuals with no choice but to be caught up in the struggle, dying on both sides. Nobody's sure why it has to happen. But it's happening. Today.

They think of the third intifada. How many of my students from Balata will kill themselves or die in a firefight in the streets of their refugee camp? Is the boy so quick to pick up camera skills also an excellent sniper? Do our brightest humans have to die in arms?

You can see the full film here.

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