In 1917 the British Cabinet expressed support for the creation in Palestine of a homeland for the Jewish people, without prejudicing the civil and religious rights of non-Jews then living there. This is the Balfour Declaration.
In this film, people living in Israel and the presently-occupied West Bank Palestinian Territory speak about their lives a hundred years after Balfour. Their joys and struggles, opportunities and frustrations show something of the complexity and challenge faced by many in that part of the Middle East.
Filmed in Palestine and Israel in October 2017, precisely a century after the Balfour Declaration, this film highlights some of the contested issues which constantly touch the lives of ordinary people from all backgrounds.
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During filming, Grant Barclay recorded a range of other conversations which weren’t included in the final piece, yet offer insights into aspects of life in Israel and Palestine.
What is it like to travel through Checkpoint 300 from Bethlehem as part of your daily commute to get to work in Israel? It’s a journey thousands endure every working day. This short film also poses questions about how Joseph and Mary in the Christmas Story might have fared if they were to try the biblical journey today.
Politics of Israel-Palestine 101
This introduction to the politics, economics and life experiences of those living in Israel and Palestine (including Gaza) is provided by Strategic Consultant Daniel Sherman. Daniel Sherman’s work focuses on peace, shared society and development issues. Formerly Senior Staff in the IDF, Daniel developed social welfare initiatives for disadvantaged Jewish communities in Europe. He also served as International Director for Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem and now lectures internationally on Israeli-Palestinian relations and Israeli civil society. This interview was recorded in October 2017 and describes the prevailing situation at that time.
Jews and Arabs in Israel and Palestine
This overview of life for different groups of people who live in Israel and Palestine is provided by John Howard, who served until recently in the Methodist Liaison office in Jerusalem. John’s longstanding interest in issues of justice and its promotion through peaceful means makes him ideally suited to provide this bird’s-eye view of legal, economic and practical issues which people of various ethnicities face living in Israel and Palestine.
Life in Gaza
The Department of Service to the Palestine Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches operates throughout the areas in which Palestinian refugees live. Here, George Majads, one of the Programme Officers, describes life at the moment in Gaza, sometimes described as the largest open prison in the world.
A drive around Efrat
Ever wondered what a Jewish settlement in the West Bank looks like? In this whistle-stop car journey round part of Efrat, a growing settlement some four miles within the West Bank in the Judean hills (yet still on the Israeli side of the Security Barrier) you get an inside view.
Tent of Nations
Daoud Nassar of the Tent of Nations, which received the World Methodist Peace Award in 2017, here explains the situation in which the family finds itself as it struggles to maintain its presence and land in the face of significant Israeli opposition and claims that the land be surrendered to the Israeli State.
Learning at Tabeetha School
Tabeetha School in Jaffa, Israel, enables students from various ethnic backgrounds to learn together. Operated by the Church of Scotland with roots going back more than 150 years, this school helps students recognise and address challenges of discrimination as they prepare for life. Here, some of the pupils speak about life at school and their hopes for the future.
What’s special about the Scots Hotel, Tiberias?
The Church of Scotland operates a boutique hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is much more than a quality resort in a religiously significant land: the approach it intentionally takes towards employing and supporting staff from a range of ethnic and religious backgrounds makes it a place of hope and demonstrates what can be done to address discrimination. Here, some staff members talk about working at the Scots Hotel.