If Only It Were So Simple: Israel’s Peace Dilemma
We made a documentary in Israel, but it wasn’t the one we went there to film. Originally, we wanted to make a film about Sderot, an Israeli city located a half-mile from the Gaza border. Sderot has endured incessant bombing from Gaza since Israel left in 2005, and our goal was to highlight the past, present, and future of the resilient residents. These brave people have put up with living just a hop, skip, and jump from Hamas militants intending to kill them with crude, homemade rockets. Yet they do not move away.
Our intended film would seek to represent these dedicated Israeli’s who risk their livelihood living in the center of the battleground. However, when we were in Israel complications arose. The bombing we sought to depict in our film was actually so intense when we were there, we were unable to even travel to Sderot. Our film, it seemed, was in ruins. But we made do.
We understood we still had a story to tell, even if we could not personalize it by including the actual sentiments of the residents. It wasn’t just about Sderot. It was about Israel as a whole, north to south. What we really were trying to say was that people needed to understand Israel’s security concerns first before jumping to conclusions about how to achieve peace in the Middle East. The ongoing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have revolved around the notion of “land for peace,” the idea that Israel must give up land in order to achieve peace. The issue is more complex than that though.