‘Nonviolence doesn’t always work – but violence never does.’ Madge Micheels-Cyrus
Just came back from TRAFFIC, an art gallery in Al Quoz that also host some great community events. This evening they screened the award winning feature length documentary “Budrus” directed by Julia Bacha, which tells the true story of an inspiring non-violence movement led by Palestinian family man and community leader Ayed Morrar.
Budrus is a small village in Palestine, close to the West Bank border. In 2003, the Budrus community employed strictly peaceful protest methods to oppose Israeli soldiers trying to build a “separation barrier” through their land; a wall that would wipe out 40% of their land from which generations of the villagers have grown their sacred olive trees, as well as destroy half of a large cemetery.
After 55 non-violent protests, the Israeli Government decided to change the route of the proposed “separation barrier”, thus saving the cemetery and 95% of their land. This was an incredible victory for the villagers, and a great example to the whole world of what can be achieved through peaceful resistance methods.
I think the thing that uplifted me the most about their movement, was the fact that Fateh and Hamas members united along with Israeli’s, both men and women- in the name of justice.
Contrary to what the popular media would lead you to believe, Israeli’s and Palestinian women play a crucial and powerful role in the peace movements in Palestine. And watching the documentary- wow these women are often more fearless than the men!
‘I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, “Mother, what was war?” -Eve Merriam
In relation to the documentary, director Julia Bacha gives a powerful speech on TEDEx, drawing us to the importance of paying attention to non-violence. She argues that the media need to give non-violent movements a voice so that they can spread positivity, so that people can be encouraged and feel that they are being listened to.
Sadly the media stays hauntingly silent when it comes to stories such as the story of the village of ‘Budrus’, though very vocal when it comes to stories of suicide bombers.
Perhaps they are worried that if they show films of Arabs uniting with Israeli’s, and both being beaten and shot at by Israeli soldiers… people might get confused as to who the terrorists are!
That is why we must independently make an effort to unite in the name of humanity and do what we can to support peaceful movements across the world. Lend our ears to listen to the voices of people who need an audience.