Thursday, December 07, 2006

From time to time, like all artists in the modern world, I check to see if my work is being shown anywhere, in places I was not aware at first about. Thanks to Google, it's so much easier than ever before.
I discovered that three weeks ago my film OUT FOR LOVE...BE BACK SHORTLY, was screened in East Lansing Michigan as part of an International Film Festival there :

I don't remember sending them a preview copy. I don't remember them ever contacting me telling me I got accepted to their festival. Kind of wierd. Maybe I should have contacted them and checked how this whole thing came about. The good. More people are seeing the film. The bad: They have forgotten to inform me, the artist. Not good that they think they can show the film, without contacting me. The legal owner of the film. Never mind. This is not for my blog.

The other films in that festival are relatively new films. So it's very cool that my film, is lasting the test of time and is just as relavent as ever.

They say art is tested only after 500 years.

491 years to go for OUT FOR LOVE....


Another article, I'd like to remember to remind me about my trip to Cincinnati. From the Universities newspaper:

Hillel hosts international filmmaker
Film followed with discussion
Katie Hayden
Issue date: 12/2/04 Section: Arts & Entertainment

Filmmaker Dan Katzir visited the University of Cincinnati Tuesday for a screening and discussion hosted by the Hillel Center of his internationally renown film, Out For Love...Be Back Shortly.

In Katzir's film, he documents his pursuit to find love during the period of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's end of reign and assassination.

After receiving his bachelor's degree from Tel Aviv University he studied at The American Film Institute to earn his master's degree in directing. Katzir also served as a lieutenant and paratrooper in the Israeli army. He says that his films are influenced by Russian art and prefers literature to movies for ideas.

At a young age he wished to make films filled with action and drama. However he soon realized that though he had a lot of anger inside him, he was "still an incurable romantic."

After finishing Out For Love in 1997, the film was taken on the road for viewing in 1999. It exposes the process leading up to and the courtship between Katzir and Iris, a young girl serving in the army along side Rabin's granddaughter, Noa.

Katzir made a point not to take a political view on the situation of the times. It truly is "just a love story," Katzir said. He expresses how difficult it was for him to articulate his feelings to Iris. "In my country it seems the only time people express their emotion and love is in large groups during ceremonies," he said. This was quite evident in the movie.

Out For Love is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. There are several graphic images taken from actual footage after terrorist attacks on his hometown.

A few parts of the film are a little slow and at times dry. A lot of it seems to deal with the inner conflict between Katzir and his issues with expressing his emotions toward Iris.

In the beginning his grandmother reveals a piece of her life that appears to be very difficult for her. She expresses emotions such as hope, despair, broken heart, desolation, misery and loneliness. She also tries to conceal these feelings by not allowing herself to discuss it.

The conflict between Katzir and Iris gets frustrating because it revolves around him attempting to tell Iris how he really feels. There are so many opportunities that you wish he would just get it out, but doesn't. The opportunity passes him by and lets the audience down.

Overall the movie is palatable. Katzir selected the music perfectly, utilizing a soundtrack largely comprised of French music.

Be prepared to read, though, because the film is subtitled.

In case you're wondering what happens to the couple in the film, they broke up. She did not enjoy all the attention that the film had attracted to their lives.

After the screening Katzir answered questions about the film.

"I don't know [what the general message of the film would be]. In art, you don't really know what you're trying to say," said Katzir. He prefers to let people view his films and gather from it what they can.

His views on life are that it is complicated, and rather than black and white, "it is many shades of gray."

Katzir has other movies along with a novel titled, Love Is Always the Answer. He is currently living bi-continentally in Los Angeles, Calif., and his home country of Israel. He has no plans for the future, other than "to find a girlfriend."

The Seattle American Jewish Committee says, "Katzir struggles with seemingly inescapable realities, as he yearns to find the peace within that will enable him to fully experience his life."�

Katzir is known for wanting to tell stories about love at any cost. His other productions will be at the Israeli Film Festival and should some make it back to the states for more international screenings they are worth checking out.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Listed on BlogShares

I've joined the stock market for blogs... Let's see what my blog is worth in the real world...

I've added myself to a few blog directories.

Among them Technorati:

Technorati Profile

and also blogdigger:

and last but not least icerocket:



Tuesday, November 28, 2006

An article in todays NY TIMES.

Yiddish still interests everyone, but our film still can't get a tiny screening in that city.
Go figure:

The Charms of Yiddish Theater, and a Chandleresque Tale

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Published: November 26, 2006

THE Jewish people’s tiny share of the human race “suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way,” but the Jew “has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages, and has done it with his hands tied behind him.” So wrote Mark Twain.
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Hazel Hankin via Rivergate Press

Jones Walk, Coney Island, in the ’80s, a scene captured in “Hidden New York.”
Recently Published (November 26, 2006)

Stefan Kanfer invokes Twain’s celestial metaphor for the title of his entertaining new book, “Stardust Lost: The Triumph, Tragedy and Mishugas of the Yiddish Theater in America” (Alfred A. Knopf, $26.95). You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy his wry take on a nearly extinct institution that left an indelible mark not only on the Lower East Side, but also on Broadway and the American stage, and whose history echoes in today’s headlines about immigration and assimilation.

The Adlers, the Thomashefskys, Bertha Kalish, Maurice Schwartz, Abraham Goldfaden and Molly Picon are among the largely forgotten stars of Mr. Kanfer’s hyperkinetic ensemble. Their outsize personalities, coupled with excerpts of the skits and scripts they performed and adapted, provide some of the most memorable passages in his book.

Readers gratefully tag along as Jacob Gordin escorts Henry James on a tour of the Lower East Side, and listen in as Paul Muni theatrically transforms himself during his interrogation by an immigration judge from a crippled, heavily accented greenhorn into a proud and polished young man who speaks English eloquently. “Your honor, it’s remarkable,” Muni announces. “Now that you’ve made me a citizen, I can speak perfectly!”

Mr. Kanfer traces Yiddish theater from its roots in Romania to America, where it thrived for decades, and retells the odyssey of the first Yiddish crossover hit, a 1932 song called “Bei Mir Bist du Schoen.”

Mr. Kanfer calls Yiddish “the Velcro language” because words and phrases from all over Europe affixed themselves to it. Somehow, it survives and, like the Yiddish theater, “not only changed the ghetto dwellers, it had altered the history of Broadway and Hollywood, and thus, to a certain extent, America.” In the end, he concludes, the stardust has not been lost: “Scattered to the winds, perhaps — but lost? Never.”

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I just got this paper, written by a student in the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, which also referenced my film. She sent it to me.
As I think I once had mentioned, I'd love to have all the papers written about my film on my blogs, for others to be able to read. I know lots of papers have been written about "Out for love", throughout the years, taking a look at different perspectives of the film. Some have focused on the film. Some, like this one, just referenced it. Doesn't matter. Some people have emailed me, telling me they didn't like their own paper, so they didn't want it published.
Anyways. I promise not to critic the paper. I'll put it on my website regardless if I agree with the political stance it takes.

Thanks Nicolette, for sharing your work with me and my one and a half readers.



Nicolette Pigeon
The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and the Role of Music
From the time Israel declared statehood in 1948 and launched a war, the Palestinian people—native to the land Zionists wanted—have been marginalized within the State. Because of the second-class treatment of Palestinian-Israelis, the road to peace in Israel is still ongoing. Many wars and uprisings have occurred, taking the lives of thousands of both Israelis and Palestinians. However, the arts have always played a role in shaping and reflecting the attitudes of the people who are a part of the conflict. Music and film are two major mediums through which each side expresses their attitude about the situation. Two categories—education and popular culture—exist where tangible changes can be seen through music and film. In the process, these two art forms help bring Israelis and Palestinians closer to finding a lasting form of peace.
Education in Israel: Divided and Slow to Change
In the sector of education, there are efforts to call attention to the inequalities between Palestinian and Israeli levels of education. To begin with, new groups have been formed to bring these two groups together as young children. Because most Palestinians live in “occupied territory” such as Gaza and the West Bank and because of restrictions of movement, many Israeli and Palestinian children never meet or cross paths with those who are different from them. As a result of that, new organizations have emerged that wish to change this unfortunate reality. In Arthur Waskow’s article “Heal the Heart, Heal the World” from The Jerusalem Report, he details what his group, The Shalom Center, has done to help this rift. For example, the group organized a “Seder [meal] of the Children of Abraham, Hagar & Sarah” to draw attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By joining the Jewish children of Abraham and Sarah as well as the Islamic children of Abraham and his slave Hagar, the group aims to promote unity. They also use music to draw children together.
The center’s endeavor to promote peace is through two sayings: tikkun olam and tikkun halev. Tikkun olam means “heal the world.” This can be translated as actions that bring the world closer to peace and allow for social justice to take place. On the other hand, tikkun halev means “heal the heart.” The main goal of The Shalom Center is for Palestinians and Israelis to find peace within them so it can translate into their actions, promoting peace throughout the world. It is a high goal, but one that can be accelerated through children. Their young minds are pliable to new viewpoints, and new environments stressing acceptance and healing could change the divided situation in Israel. Personally, change must begin with children. Their young minds have an easier time accepting others and changing their way of thinking because they are “new” to the world. It is my hope that The Shalom Center will continue to offer meals and music for Israeli and Palestinian children. The words expressed during the meals and the unspoken words felt while playing or listening to music have the power to change the way these segregated children think of and see others in their country.
In the area of higher education, some have called for extreme measures against state-controlled universities. There are only a few universities in Israel, which are located in Haifa, Tel Aviv, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. All of these universities are situated in places that benefit the mostly Israeli population; they accept an incredibly small number of Palestinians each year. Because very little funding is given to Palestinian schools, these students’ test scores tend to be lower, and as a result, their acceptance at universities is quite limited. Richard Garner sheds light on the higher education issue in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with his article, “Lecturers; Union Supports Boycott of ‘Apartheid’ Israel,” featured in The Independent. To begin with, he details that one of Britain’s largest unions called for a boycott of Israeli universities to protest the government’s apartheid-like Palestinian policies. He goes on to explain why he uses the term “apartheid:”
“An exclusion wall had been built in Palestine to separate the communities, which led to unequal development for the two…we are asking our members […] should we or should we not work with Israeli institutions or individuals who turn away from what is happening in Palestine…” (Garner).
Thus, apartheid here represents the segregation found in higher education between Palestinians and Israelis, with Israeli universities playing a part in its perpetuation. For example, Israeli music academies have given rise to some of the most celebrated classical musicians in the world. Violinist Itzhak Perlman studied at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv and went on to have a great worldwide career. Because he is Jewish and Israeli, he had a much better chance of going to a large Israeli university than a prospective Palestinian student. The “products” of Israeli universities reflect the inequality of education offered at the university level.
Later in the article, Garner brings up the point that many believe a boycott would hurt Israelis’ academic freedom. However, the argument is that they must pressure the benefiting side to bring the Palestinians’ problem to the surface. In this way, it is possible that the State will rethink its policies toward education of the two groups. Progress can already be seen in this arena, as a large Association of University Teachers highlighted three universities as being “complicit in the Israeli government’s ‘abuse’ of Palestinians” (Garner), calling for a boycott of these schools. Unfortunately, the majority of university officials strongly lashed out, causing the association to abandon the motion at a conference.
Popular Culture: Hierarchy, Nationalism, and Musical Fusion
Besides the education sector, those in the popular music area stood to gain the most in influencing the public during the height of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. To begin with, the hierarchy of popular music serves to hinder Palestinian art forms, including music. Ilan Pappé’s article “Post Zionism and Its Popular Cultures” helps define what took place when the agenda of Zionism loosened its hold on popular culture.
Pappé gives a sense of the general direction in which popular culture was heading according to its Zionist approach. In the 90s, artists questioned the State’s control of popular culture. This movement, while most prominent in the 90s, actually began in the 1980s. Artists of every medium began offering works that portrayed a different Israeli self-image. This differed from the State’s early stance on popular culture; the time period of the 50s and 60s showed a strong Zionist slant, geared towards making the new nation unified and whole. Therefore, Israeli nationalism was viewed only through the lens of Zionism. Mizrachim from this generation were often left out of the main loop, and riots began in the 70s to protest this one-track viewpoint. In fact, the Mizrachim invented an organization called “The Black Panthers,” borrowed from African Americans, to show that they were a group to be noticed, not marginalized.
Education also directly influences popular culture, as the way education is handled affects how popular culture portrays the students receiving education. Pappé explains that before the 1967 war with Lebanon, Palestinians were labeled “refugees” through popular culture. Israeli citizenship was just a euphemism for their real station, which was much lower. As a result of Israelis digesting this viewpoint, the Palestinians were left out of popular culture. They had to insulate their own music and film to ensure that it still survived in the ignorant environment. After the Six Day War in 1967, the viewpoint changed again. Palestinians in the public sphere were largely regarded as terrorists. From this conclusion, many came to see the Palestinians as conspirators against the State of Israel; many thought they were trying to destroy the Jewish state. In reality, their objective was to get recognition as true Israeli citizens.
The real changes in education did not come until the 70s, when Haifa University sociologists challenged the Zionist way of looking at others. The early Zionist ideals were challenged; the “few against the many” idea was regarded as obscuring the facts of the “War of Independence.” While many modern readers would see this change as a breath of fresh air, many Israelis balked at their findings. Israel still wanted to believe that their war in 1948 was a holy war (tohar ha-neshek or “purity of arms”). They did not want to believe that it was a terrible event that left many Palestinians without a home or identity. Fortunately, some did believe these viewpoints; post-Zionist thinkers now expose academia’s role in the decline of freedom of thought and critique in Israel. Recognizing that universities and other educational centers perpetuated anti-Palestinian thinking helps those in the arts portray the other side of the story.
Pappé then turns to film endeavors that try to change Zionist thinking. Films before the present day often show racism and Zionist stereotypes. Mizrachim and Palestinians were often regarded as stupid and inferior, and film characters reflect this problem. For example, the 1964 film “Salah Shabati” exemplifies the Mizrachi stereotype; Shabati is rough, dirty, and “drunkenly” slurs his Hebrew. However, films in the 60s and 70s changed. Here, more personal accounts depicted the private lives of Palestinians who had long been discriminated against. They sought to change their stereotypical roles and showed critical views of Israel’s past and future. By the 80s, filmmakers now used romance to show different kinds of viewpoints. In particular, the “Romeo and Juliet” plot was often used. Here, they would switch the roles of villain and hero so that the Palestinian was now the hero and the Israeli the villain. This helped create sympathy toward the Palestinians’ place in history, not just the Israelis.’ In addition, second generation Mizrachi Jews produced films showing the intense frustration felt by the Arab Jews toward the Ashkenazi Jews. The irate tone of the films suggests that they wish to grab the viewer by the lapels and make them pay attention to their own perspective. For Pappé, this was essential to change the dominant viewpoint: “Yet for the Israeli Jewish public, films about “discovery” of past Israeli “sins” had the greatest impact” (Pappé 89). This general film history overview shows the trends that influence more current films about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Other authors shed light on music’s role in promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace. Inbal Perelson’s article “Power relations in the Israeli Popular Music System” examines the hierarchy which dominates popular music and its relation to Palestinians. He begins the article saying the attempts to establish peace agreements have had a positive impact. Groups of musicians began combining languages when peace agreements were under way. Hebrew and Arabic became mixed in lyrics, reflecting an idea to bring the two conflicting sides together. In addition, the period from 1988 onward has seen Israeli Hebrew songs sung by Arabic singers. By doing this, Perelson states that it “…broadens (or could broaden) the defined boundaries of a specific genre within Israeli popular music, called Zemer Ivri” (Pereson 113). Challenging the norms of Hebrew popular songs brings Palestinian musicians and their performances to the forefront.
In addition, songs with beautiful melodies that embody Zionist ideals in the lyrics have been staples at State ceremonies for a long time. Because Palestinians (referred to as “Arab singers,” pg. 113) have stretched the boundaries of this kind of song, they make it easier for future Palestinians to survive in the popular culture environment. This group, then, is seemingly out of place, but it is necessary for exposure. Thus, even with Israelis as the most powerful influence in Hebrew song, Palestinian singers can still exist within the traditional Israeli parameters.
Also, Perelson points out that the conflict between Israeli-Western harmony and a Palestinian-“Oriental” harmony has created conflict within the music world. The view of “oriental” harmony has created the idea that Palestinian music wasn’t nationalistic, it was just folk music. The Israelis discriminated against them based on the fact that their melodies sounded like “ethnic” or “folk” melodies; Western harmony (i.e., Mozart, Beethoven, etc.) was seen as superior. Fortunately, that viewpoint changed in the 40s. Today, groups fuse the two harmonies to create different sounds. Perelson is quick to point out, though, that Israelis have “appropriated” the harmonies to benefit their songs. While some groups seek to promote tolerance of Arabs through this fusion, many do as Perelson concludes, making this kind of harmony suitable for national Israeli songs but not legitimate as their own category of Israeli music.
One group in particular has dedicated itself to the fusion of Eastern and Western music, seen in the article “Abraham’s Children” by Yossi Klein Halevi from The Jerusalem Report. Founded in 1991 by Avshalom Farjun, the group Bustan Avraham (Garden of Abraham) has brought together both Israeli and Palestinian musicians to create new works. The seven-piece band includes Farjun (qanoun), Miguel Herstein (banjo), Zohar Fresco (percussion), Taiseer Elias (oud), Nassi Dakwar (violin), Amir Milstein (flute), and Emmanuel Mann (bass). The two Palestinian Israelis of the group, Elias and Dakwar, willingly create music with their mostly Israeli counterparts to create a new kind of popular music. Bustan is difficult to categorize within the popular music structure because they do not belong in Israeli or Arab popular music exclusively. Their goal is “the creation of an Israeli culture in which both Jews and Arabs can find reflections of themselves” (Klein Halevi 2). Thus, bits from each of their respective traditions remain in their songs, drawing the two sides together.
Bustan has not been the only group to fuse the two harmonies; before them came Habreirah Hativit. Two current Bustan members—Herstein and Mann—were a part of this band. Their ideas influenced Bustan, which now vies for real cultural acceptance. I think mixing two harmonies that are seemingly opposed shows me how influential music can be. In other periods of history, mixing “national” music was nearly considered treason. Consider the effect Wager had with his “Gesamtkunstwerk” (Total Work of Art), the national ideal. His isolation of the German community and promotion of “superior” German music was so influential that Hitler later revered him as one of Germany’s greatest composers and thinkers. It is no surprise to me, then, that efforts to integrate music, not isolate it, can have the opposite effect. There is room for peace between Israelis and Palestinians with the integration of music as a tiny seed.
Film: Reflections of Past Heartache and Hope for the Future
I found a film that explores bringing people of different backgrounds together through music. Entitled Playing for Peace, it was made in 1993 by director Peter Rosen, documenting the New Hampshire Apple Hill Chamber Players’ tour of the Middle East, where they play concerts and give master classes at conservatories. The group stops in four countries: Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. They give scholarships to eleven young students in these countries, inviting them to come to New Hampshire and play for a summer with others from different countries and backgrounds.
The opening scene of each country’s segment shows footage of street life in the area. For example, the opening scene in Syria shows the decorated buildings and bustling street life. This technique sets up the universities and conservatories. Depending upon the country, the facility is new, well-kept, or shabby. For instance, the Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv is a very well-kept facility; here, the study of classical music is encouraged. Israel’s secular population brought the European conservatory tradition here to the Middle East. As a result, the children studying here are quite skilled. The group picks five students and their scholarships are presented at the classical piano trio/quartet concert at the U.S. Ambassador’s home. One student here stands out. Yishay Ratz, a violinist from Carmiel, is troubled about getting leave from the army. Israel’s focus on strengthening the army shows here; Yishay serves as a security agent of some sort. However, he is granted permission from the army to come to the Apple Hill camp.
In Egypt, Cairo is the center for music. At its conservatory, the majorities of students play both Eastern and Western music quite well. Apple Hill finds two students: Ihab Zaki (30 years old) and Mina Mikhail (15 years old). They represent the extremes of the age spectrum at the camp. The main point in Cairo is that the university encourages the mixing of Eastern and Western music. The cellist, Ihab, played both well-known classical pieces as well as modal-sounding native music. This parallel to Bustan creates tolerance of other kinds of music, which can aid peace efforts.
When we arrive in Jordan, it is clear that poverty is more visible and that music is not encouraged the same way as in Cairo and Tel Aviv. Their National Music Conservatory is very new and mostly features beginning violin students. One violinist, Mona Minwer of Iman, is chosen. Here, the emphasis of the film is upon mixing the traditional and secular Arab lifestyles. The University of Jordan campus shows both traditional dress and very popular Western styles. In a small way, Jordan mixes the East and West, and the result is that many students of all ethnicities study here. Among the Palestinian and Iraqi students, we also find European and Japanese students. Thus, while this conservatory was rudimentary in music skill, their approach in combining students of all ethnicities and nationalities is advanced.
Syria, the last country on Apple Hill’s tour, features the world’s oldest city, Damascus. Its arts complex is a towering piece of architecture. Here, classical music has been passed on by Russian teachers who grew learned traditional conservatory training. The group finds some of their best students here because of the intensity of training and the students’ desire to learn. Kinan Athmeh, a clarinetist, and Dania Taba’a, a pianist, are given scholarships to attend Apple Hill. What is most interesting about Syria is its strange mix of music. While staying in Syria and playing concerts, the group finds a Dixieland band that has learned some of the hits. Here, Turkish architecture exists with Russian pedagogy, Dixieland, and Middle Eastern students.
Once the students arrive at Apple Hill, they encounter changes in scenery and attitude. Yishay comments on how green New Hampshire is, while Dania states that she “feels free” here in America. The students feel that way when they begin playing together. The staff at Apple Hill combines the eleven students with four Americans to make quartets (two violins, viola, and cello), quintets, piano trios (piano, cello, violin) and wind quintets. Many members expressed concerns about getting along with their fellow instrumentalists. For instance, Israeli twins Shuli and Tomi Waterman worry about interacting with their Syrian pianist, Dania. After the first rehearsal, though, they are impressed; here, music creates a counter-language to communicate with.
The members of the Apple Hill Chamber Players aim for this kind of interaction. Crossing forbidden boundaries is easier when the language—music—is common to everyone. No matter what level each student had when playing, the goal was the same: to communicate with the others in the group through music. Apple Hill hopes that these students will take their experiences and apply this selfless kind of thinking to their interactions in the Middle East. However, their environment may not allow it. I found the film moving, but the “kumbayah” approach is not very realistic. However, stressing music as a universal language is the key to approaching different people. Finding common ground could be the first step, though small, towards the goal of harmony in the conflict-torn Middle East.
In addition, the film “Yatzati L’Hapes Ahavah—Techef Ashuv” by Dan Katzir (Out for Love—Be Back Shortly; 1997) is an autobiographical film diary mixed with the public events surrounding Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in 1995. Through Dan’s story, we see how difficult it can be to find and sustain a personal relationship in the midst of conflict. In the film, Dan meets his girlfriend Iris Arie in Tel Aviv near Dizengoff Square. When he is out with her, everything is perfect, and his musical choices reflect that; he plays French songs such as “La Vie en Rose.” However, the scenes where citizens of Tel Aviv burn flags and chant “Down with Rabin” are conspicuously quiet. Beyond the shouts of the crowd, there is no sound. Music, then, does not serve the radical groups; they wish to use subjective words to unify against others who do not share their ideas. In contrast, Rabin’s assassination shows a remarkable change in the role of music. The public begins singing a song about Rabin that spread throughout memorials around the country, and the lyrics translated were this one line: “Let the sun rise and sing for peace.” Music becomes an important unifying factor for Israel. Iris sings at the makeshift memorials springing up, and Dan finds it hard to get involved in the singing even when others connect. Thus, even with lyrics, Israel can collectively grieve this way.
Joseph Massad’s article in Palestine, Israel, and the Politics of Popular Culture entitled “Liberating Songs: Palestine Put to Music” details how music can mobilize a minority group to act. One section of the article, “Arab Dream,” shows how one song can transform a community, much the way one song became the public grieving song for slain Prime Minister Rabin. For example, when Arafat signed the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian community was very upset. The following Jordanian-Israeli treaty created more chaos, and the Palestinian national vision was in ruins. However, a new televised song changed the attitude of the entire Palestinian community. The song was entitled “Al-Hulm al-‘Arabi” (The Arab Dream) and showcased many different Arab vocalists. Emotional footage that accompanied the song created collective identification, and had this effect:
“These songs have obviously not brought about the liberation of Palestine […] Nonetheless, the songs both express and register the changing dynamics of the Palestinian struggle, reflecting which segment of the Palestinian people is most prominent at the moment and which form of struggle is imagined as most effective” (Massad 197).
The effect is that the people have a voice. This is important in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because seeing the other person’s viewpoint is important. Music can play an important role in expressing the emotions of conflicting peoples and help bring those involved closer to hearing the other view. While is seems like a long shot, I believe it is a possible avenue toward peace.
Music can play an important role in bringing about peace in the Middle East. Whether it is through education or through music, the main theme is collaboration. Coming together through music can create a common language. While problems in the Middle East are often too complicated for such a simplistic solution, applying music more effectively with peace treaties can show surprising results. Songs and mixed musical groups can be used to unify whole groups of people and draw people of different backgrounds together. It is my hope that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can at least be lessened through music. Ideally, it would serve as the catalyst for changing dividing attitudes in Israel.
Works Cited/Consulted
Garner, Richard. "Lecturers' Union Supports Boycott of 'Apartheid' Israel."
The Independent 30 May 2006.
Halevi, Yossi Klein. "Abraham's Children." The Jerusalem Report (June 1995): 42.
Hofman, John E., et al. Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel: A Quest in Human
Understanding. Bristol, Indiana: Wyndham Hall Press, 1988.
Pappé, Ilan. "Post-Zionist Critique on Israel and the Palestinians Part III:
Popular Culture." Journal of Palestine Studies 26.4 (Summer 1997): 60-69.
Perelson, Inbal. "Power Relations in the Israeli Popular Music System."
Popular Music 17.1 (Jan. 1998): 113-128.
Playing for Peace. Dir. Peter Rosen. 1993. Videocassette. Peter Rosen
Productions, Inc., 1993.
Stein, Rebecca L. and Ted Swedenburg, editors. Palestine, Israel and the
Politics of Popular Culture. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005.
Waskow, Arthur. "Heal the Heart, Heal the World." The Jerusalem Report (June
2005): 47.
Yatzati L'Hapes Ahavah--Techef Ashuv (Out for Love--Be Back Shortly). Dir. Dan
Katzir. 1993. DVD. New Love Films, 1993.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Two more Festivals: Rutgers, NJ and Queens.

This week my new film played in two festivals in the East Coast. Rutgers NJ and Queens, NY.

It still hasn't broken into Manhattan, but I guess it's a start.

The battle for recognition continues.,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Veterans Day.
Just another excuse for shopping sales in LA. But in many other parts of the country, it's connected to something bigger. To a memory of a moment where there was a draft. Where people were more willing to be a part of a larger picture. Where people were less cynical and jaded about politics and politicians and so were willing to risk their lives to protect their own societies. A time where people felt the need to give back to their community and spent some of the best years of their lives in a group enviroment learning about team spirit and team collaboration.

This veterans day I spent in a small town. Witnessing something that was real, and genuine and all so moving. Amidst a small group of protestors that reminded me that today the world is a little different, I saw a community come together in a truly sincere way.

So what does the future hold? Will the new world slowly drift to a place where there will be nothing left to hold everything together, or will we find new ideas and causes to unite us all and return the sense of community ?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Amazing review of the Yiddish film in the NATIONAL JEWISH PRESS.
Thanks you Sue for the wonderful review.
Seems like all the stuff I do make people laugh and cry and yet, I can't persuade yet the powers to be, to let me go to the next level. Make a full fiction feature.
Perhaps cause my docs, aren't in a particular genre. They're not funny enough, nor sad enough. They walk that fine line in between combining humour with sadness- like the Yiddish theater's sensibility- laughter through tears, tears through laughter.

What can I say.

It's like I feel I have this very old sensibility, that derives from my old soul. The world is moving forward at 75 miles per hour, and yet I'm moving so slow. Then again the world is round, so that hopefully I'll catch up with everyone else, when they'll be in their second round.

Last night, I discovered that one of the most popular videos on YOUTUBE.COM was made by two Israeli's.

It's gotten 10 million views. It's their version to the Pixies video of HEYA.
Even Kevin Smith did his take on it.

The girls video:

Kevin Smith's version:

I looked, and realized there's some things I guess I don't get.
Then again, maybe Kevin Smith was trying to say that he didn't get it either.
I don't think the two girls who did it, got it either. That's why they later did another video thanking the ten million people who watched it and commented on it.

Then again, maybe no one gets it. We live in a new world- where the random factor is greater than it ever was before. A world where something might become a fad, almost arbitrarily. It's not just about the money and the publicity. There's a much greater oppurtunity - at least in theory, as the internet is still unregulated, and still a great frontier.

Lastly, the thank you video by these two girls to their fans. It's a new world out there. I know in a few years, I'll read these lines and won't understand what the big deal is. But right now, it all seems so wierd. A world where everyone's communicating with everyone else, visually over the net, is so new and groundbreaking.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

11 years to one of the most painful days in my life. The day my prime minister- Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated in the square near my home in Tel Aviv.

The death of Rabin, to my generation was a defining moment. A moment that changed not only the politics in our country, but also killed some of our innocence.

I had the fortunate to meet his wife, Leah Rabin, and become friends with her after my film: " Out for back shortly" . came out. A remarkable woman.
A truly larger than life character.
When I was studying in L.A. she visited me. We had lunch in the same hotel where Pretty woman was shot.
Yes, I know it's shallow to remember a meeting with a great person, by a movie shot in the same. But still, this is not any movie. It's PRETTY WOMAN.
Even Leah Rabin, afraid I might not have known this info, had to mention it.

There's something that always amazes me, in those things that stand out and become Iconic. Leah and Yitzchak Rabin, were iconic. They were both larger than life, and Leah had the oppurtunity after Yitzchak Rabin died, to show the public who she really was. Regardless if she was liked or hated, by certain crowds, she was always respected.

Pretty woman, was also more than a film. It became a cultural phenomena. Regardless if one hates that film or loves it. Everyone has seen it, almost everywhere on this planet.

Anyways, 11 years since our prime minister was murdered. His assassin was allowed to make a child with his new wife.
History has a way of being so unexpected.

Is the world a better place, since he died? Is the middle east a better place since he died?
In the last week 49 Palestinians have died. One Israeli soldier has died. Lots of Kassam missiles were shot on Israel. Hammas wants to escalate the war against Israel and ISraeli's. The Israeli army is escalating the war against terrorism.
The left wing leaning Haaretz newspaper writes that the Israeli army is preparing against a war with Hizballah, the Lebanese terror organization and it's backer Syriah in 2007.
The chief of staff decided to keep the mandatory army service in Israel at 3 years. Just a year ago, they passed a law to reduce it by 8 month or so.

Seems like the world is a much uglier place than it was 8 years ago.
Seems like the middle east is a much uglier place than it was 8 years ago.

What will the future hold?

What will happen in the 15 year anniversery to our beloved prime minister's death?

Only time will tell.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A long Halloween weekend in a city where everyone's in costume most of the year anyways.
Nothing interesting to report about the parties. But I was in a very unique event.
I went to the hollywood forever cemetery (
where thousands had come to celebrate with the dead. A very unique holiday celebrating the dead. Fans built all kinds of interesting things on the graves themselves.

Suddenly death was less scary. It was fun, it was joyous. It was wierd how different cultures perceive death differently.

Death is always painful. But this holiday tried to make it a little more accessible.

A holiday celebration in a cemetery.

Only in Hollywood.

Only in Hollywood forever cemetery.

Long live the dead ghosts.

Some info about the event that was on Oct 28 2006 from the Hollywood forever website:

Celebrating our 107th year anniversary as Los Angeles's oldest memorial park, Hollywood Forever welcomes the City of Angels and beyond to commemorate our 7th annual Dia de Los Muertos. Be our guests as we welcome, honor and celebrate the memories of the beloved souls. Join us as we rejoice and observe the mystical beauty and wonder of this ancient spiritual celebration. Partake of various sacred ceremonial tributes and memorable altar creations on the grounds of the historic Forever cemetery.

history of event

Dia de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever cemetery was originally envisioned for the purpose of providing an authentic venue, in which this ancient tradition could be genuinely observed, celebrated and preserved. Tyler Cassity and Daisy Marquez conceived this festival of life as a platform which would synthesize creativity for the means of remembering the departed spirits of our lives. This event has provided a gateway for those who wish to re-acquaint themselves with their deeply rooted traditions and profoundly engage with one of the most devotional celebrations for the continuous cycle of life.

At the heart of this sacred event are the meticulously individually crafted altars and spiritual shrines. These dazzling private tributes and offerings which provide a linkage between ancient traditions and modern customs chronicle the perpetual relation between faith, family and history. Representing and understanding the vitality of this ancient custom, Celine Mares conceptualized the necessity of incorporating this enigmatic mystical custom to thrive within the realms of the Forever cemetery.

Interwoven into this effective visionary ensemble lies the creative commitment of Alberto Hernandez, who has continuously maintained and strengthened the core foundation of this uniquely inspired event through providing a linkage and emerging bond with the many culturally mindful artisans from our diverse community.

In the spirit of the goddess Mictecacihuatl, known as the “Lady of the Dead,” and Samhain, the Celtic day feast of the dead, Hollywood Forever has engrained and developed a much desired and appreciated emotionally driven chord with its surrounding community. On the eve of the 7 th year anniversary of this benevolent observance Tyler, Daisy, Celine and Alberto continue along with countless committed volunteers and artisans to call upon the living to engage and summons the spirits of our lives who shaped, inspired and left their prints engraved in our souls. By providing our community with a genuine setting to learn the importance and significance of this celebration, the original objectives of the founders have been realized and internationally recognized by “tens” of thousands of new and returning faithful visitors who have been continuously welcomed as guests and interactive participants to this annual and growing community based festivity.

Our Spirit of Culture

Home to the oldest memorial park in Hollywood dating back to 1899, Hollywood Forever is the only cemetery in the country which opens its gates and welcomes its surrounding community to commemorate El Dia de Los Muertos. Hollywood Forever is genuinely focused in striving to bestow a memorable occasion by embracing the celebratory process of death and dying through providing a historically recognized cultural setting for this festive event and sacred observance. This community based event encompasses and visually illustrates a Pre- Columbian ancient jovial traditional view of death with a modern eclectic celebratory observance.

history of tradition

Dia De Los Muertos is one of Mexico's traditional holidays reuniting and honoring beloved ancestors, family and friends. It is an ancient and enduring ritual when the living commune with the dead – a mystical night when the veil is lifted between their two realms and they may share a day together.

The historical roots of this celebration date back to the pre-Hispanic cultures of Meso-America of the indigenous people, especially the Nahua (Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecas, Tlaxcaltec, Chichimec, Tecpanec) and others native to Mexico more than 3,000 years. When the Spaniards conquered the country, this indigenous custom was rooted so deeply that, after five centuries of colonization, it has continued to survive and remain as celebrated as in its first days.

Throughout each period in Mexican culture, death seems to hold no terror. In Mexican art, legends, and religion, death has not been a mysterious and fearful presence but a realistic recognizable character as much a part of life as life itself. Dia De Los Muertos expresses this perspective: it is not a mournful commemoration but a happy and colorful celebration where Death takes a lively, friendly expression and is not frightening or strange. There is no place for sorrow or weeping for this could be interpreted as a discourteous to the dead relatives who are visiting gladly.

Indigenous people believed that souls did not die, that they continued living in Mictlán (Place of Death) a special place for them to finally rest. On Dia De Los Muertos, tradition holds that the dead return to earth to visit their living relatives. It is believed that although these relatives can't see them, they can surely feel them.

This night is an important feast and evocation. It is a time when family members share memorable stories that evoke the lives of their ancestors . Offerings and altars are created to welcome and commemorate the dead. Marigolds and incense are offered in abundance because it is believed their aromatic scents guide the dead to the place where the feast is being held. . A profusion of candles dispels the darkness just as the souls are being illuminated from the shadows of death. Altars are created with photos, mementos, fruit, bread, and other favorite things of the ancestors being welcomed and honored. The artifacts of these altars also provide the opportunity to teach children about those who came before them.

Dia De Los Muertos is a time of celebration on remembrance. It is also a time to come to terms with our mortality and become aware of the cycle of life and death. Rather than deny and fear death this event teaches us to accept and contemplate the meaning of mortality.

“Life is a great surprise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.”
Vladimir Nabokov

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A very powerful article I read in the Jerusalem Post.
It's about Jewish culture, but I think it's relevant to any culture. An article about belonging. About culture, history, and the future: » Opinion » Op-Ed Contributors » Article
Oct. 24, 2006 22:55 | Updated Oct. 24, 2006 23:19
Jewish identity - lite

Set across a green cover, a piglet christens this fall's issue of Heeb Magazine promoting its food issue. Heeb is a biannual publication subtitled "the New Jew Review."

A highly-cited article in B'nai B'rith Magazine by Richard Greenberg and Deborah Nussbaum Cohen says New Jews are "fresh-faced iconoclasts," who are "thirsting for Jewish meaning and community, even though their definition of those terms often differs radically from the commonplace. Even though they often are ambivalent about the nature of their Jewish identity."

The identification of the New Jew has come at a critical time for the community. Fearing the breakdown of Jewish continuity, Jewish leaders are desperately looking for a way to reach out to elusive unaffiliated young Jews.

From the largest of federations to the smallest of family foundations everyone wants to hear what these Jews are saying. To make affiliation to the Jewish community more appealing, the past two years have seen nearly a dozen studies emerge on what makes this young Jewish population tick.

The most celebrated of the studies was conducted by sociologist Steven M. Cohen and historian Ari Y. Kelman, funded by the UJA-Federation of New York and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.

Entitled "Cultural Events & Jewish Identities: Young Adult Jews in New York," it set out to test the claim that "Jewish cultural participation strengthens Jewish identities among young adults."

To answer this million dollar question, Cohen and Kelman reviewed data from the National Jewish Population Survey and found that even the most unaffiliated of Jews consume cultural Jewish products such as books and movies. They then interviewed 30 young Jews attending cultural events run by community-funded New Jew organizations in 13 non-Jewish locations in New York, such as bars and clubs with no observable Jewish marker. The events investigated were for the most part Jewish in aesthetic but with little to no Jewish traditional content -parties with a Jewish rapper, or employing Jewish wedding rituals for a punk rock show.

CELEBRATING THIS study, the UJA held a symposium concluding, according to notes taken by blogger Steven I. Weiss, that more resources need to be poured into events. To ensure maximum effectiveness in attracting the unaffiliated, they advised events should be cultural in focus and held in neutral - non-Jewish - locations.

Unfortunately, the most remarkable aspect of the Cohen/Kelman study has been ignored: The findings show that the majority of the Jews found attending cultural events - parties thrown by Heeb or surrounding klezmer music - already have extensive Jewish backgrounds.

Graduates of Hebrew schools, day schools and Camp Ramah, these Jews do have a history of engagement with the Jewish community - even though their current status is formally "unaffiliated."

This finding turns the tables on many assumptions: If young American Jews are not affiliating despite being more educated and engaged then ever, what causes Jews of my generation to leave the community behind?

CONSIDER THE spirit of our age, which is universalizing. The guiding zeitgeist emerging is one that stresses commonality and downplays deeper distinctions, reducing differences in culture to little more than consumer choices made by individuals instead of guiding elements of distinct peoples with distinct historical missions.

To use a computer model, today humans are thought to be running the same fundamental operating system, only choosing different programs according to preference - one program for Shabbat, another for Ramadan.

In other words, the assimilation of this new universalizing system has made collective institutions seem outdated to Jews who would like to do-it-themselves and shy away from the compromises that come from doing-it-together as a larger community.

What makes this assimilation so hard to see is that it looks and smells like particularism. Individuals wear their ethnic colors on their sleeve and spice their foods with traditional flavors. But one should not be mistaken. Just because someone looks Jewish and sounds Jewish does not mean that they will act Jewish.

Just because you drink Manishevitz and go to a klezmer concert does not make you any more Jewish than were you to drink tequila and listen to salsa.

In this sense, multiculturalist universalist Jews are as Jewish as the characters on Seinfeld - which is to say, not very. They are Jews on the street, but global citizens in their heart.

Heeb's focus on Jewish esthetic is an expression of this multicultural universalism. Ambivalent about their attachment to a collective distinct from humanity as a whole, Heeb's editors fight the cognitive dissonance of their audience with humor. According to Heeb's editor and publisher, Joshua Neuman, Heeb's mission is no more grandiose than having fun.

"If you're Jewish," he wrote me in an e-mail, "I think you might enjoy our magazine - that's pretty much it."

And fun it is. Taking Jewish stereotypes to extremes, requiring little more from its audience than knowledge of a few Yiddish phrases and an esthetic appreciation of Jewish food and humor, Heeb certainly is enjoyable. I buy it, and have each issue since it was first published.

The Jewish community has loved it too, lavishing tens of thousands of dollars a year in donations to Heeb through a fiscal sponsor, the NFJC, allowing the for-profit media group to benefit from a robust cash account.

I'M NOT sure that's the best way to preserve a distinctive Jewish people with a distinct mission of justice and culture that transcends mere esthetic choices.

Either the multiculturalist ethos will lead my generation to assimilate into the global community, thereby loosing our potential power as a collective actor, or we will use multiculturalism as a tool to open new pathways to a Hebrew identity shaped by Jewish knowledge and history.

If we believe the Jewish people to be inherently valuable, we should recognize that it is not enough to be Jewish in symbols.

Laughing about Heebs is great once in a while, but only after a robust Hebrew identity has been encouraged by programs that demand more from us than a night on the town listening to klezmer music.

The writer is editor and publisher of PresenTense Magazine.

Monday, October 23, 2006

This weekend I went to a 1930's themed party in the legendary Hollywood towers.
It was unbelievable. Like entering a time machine into a different era. Everyone was dressed so perfect. You could see they had invested time both in researching and in finding the proper clothing for this occassion. There was a band playing 30's music, lots of champagne, and a women dressed like a street cigarrette seller, handing out free chocoloate cigars and cigarettes.

The two worlds I live in. On the one hand, a huge chunk of my heart is still in Israel. Reading the news. Watching on the CNN and Fox news websites the developing stories about the region. On the other hand I live in a city where people are constantly looking for new and exciting things to excite themselves.
Kind of crazy, how these two worlds are so different.

Seems like the Middle east is ruled by hatred. Ruled by lots of negative emotions.
Most of the energy of most of the people isn't towards making their lives better, but is condensed into hating one another.

Here in LA, everyone is living such a different life, not caring that much about anyone but themselves and their own goodness and well being, and in doing so, allowing their imaginating to work extra hours.

Can a man live in his heart in two continents?
I don't know. At the moment it seems hard. I guess like a person can't physically live in two places at once. Perhaps also the heart can't do so either.



Sunday, October 22, 2006

Part 2. My new friends commentary blog.

One of the cool things of the modern world, is that if you want to know what a lot of people are really thinking about something, all you have to do is simply log on to their blog, and Kaboom. You get to see inside their heart, brain and soul.

I noticed that my new Jordanian Friend, commentataed about the event we both attended on the website, I already quoted her yesterday. I actually posted this yesterday, but for some reason it didn't stick.

Here goes again. My attempt to help kep for prosterity, the thoughts of my friend about the new film institute.

Friday, September 22, 2006
RSICA: Something Big

I just got back from New York where His Majesty King Abullah announced The Red Sea Intitute of Cinematic Arts. This is a film school for the Middle East, and it will be in Aqaba. It's a 3-year MFA program done in partnership with the USC school of cinema and will be modeled after USC and AFI's approaches to teaching filmmaking. This is a dream becoming a reality. As a child growing up in Jordan, I always wanted to make movies. Now kids can grow up with such goals that can be attainable in Jordan, learning from industry professionals from around the world. The first class will beging in September 2008 as the facility has yet to break ground. You have to start somewhere, and there simply isn't a better place in the Middle East than Jordan.

Oh, and it was really cool to finally meet the big chief.

posted by Amin Matalqa @ 12:36 AM

At 1:51 AM, Anonymous said...

I read what blogger Laith Majali posted about the film school and it said the school is also open to Israelis. Imagine, sitting next you will be an Israeli who is an IDF reservists and who may have killed or maimed an Arab few kilometers away from the film school. And then we in Jordan will help him make films about evil and terrorist Arabs. This is like Israeli film schools admitting skinheads and neo-nazis. Will we go along with anything if the price is right?

At 6:09 AM, Lubna said...

did you meet any of the big chief's half brothers? i'm curious about ali?? :D

At 10:37 AM, Amin Matalqa said...

I have to tell you, my friend, I have made some wonderful Israeli friends at the AFI, and it's quite narrow-minded of anyone to think that all Israelis want to kill Arabs or depict them as terrorists. There are many peace-loving Israelis who want peace. So please open your mind. We have to start talking to each other and there is no better a place than in film, where artists will show the humanity of their cultures to the world. If all people thought like you do, we would never have peace in the Middle East. My grandfather was Palestinian, and was ousted in 1948. I want dialogue between Arabs and Israelis more than anyone.

At 10:39 AM, Amin Matalqa said...

Hi Lubna,

I met Prince Ali a few times before, most recently in Jordan. He's very charismatic and funny, but as you may know, he's already taken. His wife, Princess Rym is the head of the Royal Film Comission.

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous said...

"it's quite narrow-minded of anyone to think that all Israelis want to kill Arabs or depict them as terrorists."

Except that Israel is a democracy and ever since Israel was founded, the majority of israelis voted for one government after another that continued stealing arab land, killing arabs, and expelling arabs, long before there was hamas or terror. Not to mention that in Israel mnilitary service is for all israelis. So chances are your israeli friends may have killed or shot or abused an innocent Arab. I used to hold you in high regard, I no longer do.

At 12:10 PM, Anonymous said...

Another anon.

So Amin, does the jordanian film school plan to have the israeli students sign a pledge not to ever make films defaming Arabs? How will you know the jordanian film school will be admitting "good" israelis? Background checks?

And as for dialoug with Israelis, I am sure the israelis would love to dialoug with Arabs who never plan to return to Palestine. It makes their job esier.

Amin, I think you will succeed in Amreeka. You say all the right things.

At 6:00 PM, Amin Matalqa said...

Look, I am not a fan of Israel's government. I was in Jordan when they attacked Lebanon. I despise Sharon and his likes. Olmert has joined the ranks. But you will find that many Israelis are not represented by their oppressive government. You have to get this through your head. Just like not all Arabs are terrorists, not all Israelis are Arab-haters. This should be a simple concept people should grasp. Anytime you generalize and reduce a people into a single opinion, you are doing yourself a disservice. Hate has never solved anything. Hate will never solve anything. Your way of thinking will continue to drive the viscious circle of hate. Nothing personal. I don't even know you. But please do open your mind to understanding that people are individuals with indivual opinions and beliefs. And artists and filmmakers will lead the future to understanding the humanity in both sides. Don't be so stupid to think that an Israeli will want to come to Jordan to learn how to make movies so he can go back to Israel and portray Arabs as terrorists.

At 11:55 PM, Anonymous said...

"Anytime you generalize and reduce a people into a single opinion, you are doing yourself a disservice"

What generlization? there is an invasion and innocent people are getting killed daily. and those who are killing them are Israelis and your drinkign beer with them. Do you think they will confess to you and say how many arabs they have killed or abused?

You did not answer the other questions posted. How can you tell a good israeli from a bad israeli? those who drink beer with are good israelis? will that be the test of admitting Israelis to the jordanian film school.


Check One:


At 12:50 AM, Banan said...

We are confusing two issues.

Amin has no control over who attends AFI be it Israelis (with blood on their hand or otherwise), Russians, Germans, ...AFI is an American school and they go by their own rules.

But in Jordan, we have a moral responsiblity and a business interest. Few Arab students will join this school knowing there will be supremacist jews (nice or not) attending the same class. This is bad for business, because most will prefer to go to Egypt or Morocco. Worse yet, another Arab country will open a competing business school with the only advantage of NOT permitting Israeli soldiers to sign up. Where do you think Arab and Muslim student will go? NOT TO JORDAN. Bad business.

But above all, there is something sinister about using the arts to shove Israeli soldiers down our throat when the Israelis themselvs will NEVER permit a Palestinian to attend their universities.

Amin, you are really going out of your way to defend a position that is bad from a business poitn of view and from an ethical point of view.

At 4:25 AM, Amin Matalqa said...

You're rushing to assume that I drink beer. How do you know that I drink beer? What if I don't drink beer?

What I am defending is the concept of humanizing one another. I am also telling you not to generalize.

And finally, I am telling you that this is essential for peace in the Middle East. I'm not going to tell you what to love or hate. It's up to you. It's your loss if you want to keep your ears closed.

At 4:41 AM, Amin Matalqa said...

By the way, this is so typical. Instead of recognizing how amazing this is, having an international film school of the highest standard in Jordan, something amazing for the future, you're nitpicking a little detail and complaining and wining.

At 6:51 AM, Anonymous said...

"What I am defending is the concept of humanizing one another."

Tell that to your Israeli friends. Ask them if they are willing to humanize those they had expelled from their towns and villages. See if they are willing to let them return to their homes? At the conceptual level, what you are saying souds great. But at the practicle level, your Israeli friends will ditch you at the moment you ask them to treat Arabs equally and allow expelled non-jews to return and live with jews. Amin, you can talk peace all you want to me and I will agree with you. But you are dealing with people who don't think non-jews have the same human rights as jews. don't take my word for it. Go as your israeli friends, and jewish friends too, if the are willing to accept the return of non-jews to their homes. Then come and talk to us about peace and dialoug. without substance, these are nothing but coup out words for those who don't give a damn about the misery and suffering of arabs. this way you and the israelis look like peace-lovers and those of us who want peace with substance look like assholes and radicals. Go ask your israeli friends the questions that will show us how committed they are to equality between jews and non-jews.

At 8:46 AM, Amin Matalqa said...

I think we all know there are radicals in Israel, and hostile immigrants, settlers, who have that hatred you're talking about. Those are not the people that will make the world a better place. Do yo actually think that all Israelis don't want to live in peace and harmony with Arabs? It's a basic human value, love your neighbor as you would love yourself. So what I'm saying to you is that in order to arrive at that substance you speak of, we need to communicate. Not through guns, not through yelling (although that's inevitable with Arabs and Jews, it's in our nature), but through communication. Film is one of the most powerful mediums of communication in this day and age. So if we teach our people how to make movies, good movies, and imagine if we also learn that Jews are not too different from Arabs, then we might actually get somewhere. I would rather have that than fueling the viscious circle of fanaticism. That's how we can have substance. If you disagree with me fine. I agree with you that there's an incredible amount of cruelty and injustice forced on the Palestinian people. I despise the Israeli governments for what they've done. But you have to give the people a chance to speak out. This is what film will do.

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous said...

Again, you speak at the conceptual level and you say things that we all agree with. But please ask your Israeli friends if they are willing to treat Arab as equal to Jews and as such allow those non-jews they have expelled to go back to their homes? it's that simple. it's not rocket science and it's not open to philosophizing. The Civil Rights movement and the Anti-Aprtheid movements were not about conceptual but legal. The Israelis would love for us to speak conceptual for the next 200 years. But the key difference between bullshit and honesty is in the substance. Now will you please ask your israeli and jewish friends the Question and tells us what they belive and if their answer is a YES are they willing to go public with it or is it the usual bullshit they say in private and as soon as they lan in Tal Aviv they don their Zionazi helmets and go shooting Arabs. SUBSTANCE PLEASE!

At 9:31 AM, Barak (not) said...

Shalom, I am Barak Gilad and I want to make peace with Arabs. But I will shoot every non-jew who will try to return back to Holy Land. Other than that, I am peace-loving and I love all the Arabs and I love love. And above all, I like cinema and filmmaking. To all the radicals out there, why won't you shake my hand and make peace?

At 10:07 AM, Amin Matalqa said...

Fair enough. I'll ask that question and let you know what they say.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous said...

Thank you Amin.

At 12:09 AM, Anonymous said...

Not the same A ...a different one.

Anonymous I.....Stop laying a guilt trip on us. You failed to bring peace to us your way. Your fathers and grandfathers failed us before you. Now that we are making headways you lay a guilt trip on us. We are not responsible for what hate is doing to you and your friends. We will not succumb to to the old tried and failed methods. Don't be afraid of a future with peace and a promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all in the region. You are not going to get an inch of land, an iota of redress, a miniscule of a grievance resolved if all you do is complain and lay guilt trips on ones who take one small step forward.
Jordan made peace with Israel. About time you made peace. Start with yourself first and maybe, just maybe you'll see the light at the end of the tunnel.

At 2:37 AM, Anonymous said...

"We will not succumb to to the old tried and failed methods."

Since when is equality tried and failed? It workes in the Civil Rights movement and it worked in ending Aptrheid. If equality is tried in Israel, it will succeed.

"Jordan made peace with Israel."

The government made a treaty. Every survey conducted in Jordan says Jordanians do not agree with this treaty and do not consider israel a peacful country. if there was a referendum or democracy this treaty would have ended the day after it was signed.

At 3:20 AM, Muhannad said...

To Anon2:

And you have no problem if the israeli setting in the class next to you commanded an IDF tank that killed Lebanese women or flew a warplane the bombed Palestinian children?

You must be proud of yourself being someone resistant to guilt. How can parents raise people to gorw up like you? You should write a book about it.

May be we are selfish. True I never got bombed or shot at by Israelis, but I tell you I feel awful when I see those photos of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians torn to shreds. But you are a strong person, a person with neo-character, a Mr. Data, unlike those weaklings like us who still care even when we are not the ones who are directly in pain.

But it's all about money at the end. It has always been about money and who gets it. The carrot si tasty and the donkey needs a carrot.

At 4:02 AM, Anonymous said...

"About time you made peace. Start with yourself first and maybe, just maybe you'll see the light at the end of the tunnel."

I love it when people talk conceptual to avoid the horrific truth. how comde you ask me to make peace when I am not the one who occupies and I am not the one who assasinates and I am not the one who expells? I am the one against all of these things but to you that makes me the radical but the Israelis are the peace-loving people and we saw how peace loving they are in Lebanon.

How come you never point your question to the Israelis who are killing women and children?

Truly grotesque morality, always find ways to be in the good graces of the strong and the rich against those in need of our support and protection.

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous said...

Wow same old drama we hear whenever something good for our country comes up! wake up ya'll and start with co-exsistance...or shall we make it into a movie starting Gear and Aniston so that you all race to the cinema to watch and enjoy?

When would you all wake up and think as individuals that make a diffence , after all it's usually an individual at the end who bombs himself after being brainwashed by so-called united groups' crap, where were they to protect our innocent?

Still those individuals taged the rest of us arabs as terrorists? same way you are generalizing all individuals as being and having to be with one view of thinking...

When many of you are filling the seats of theaters everywhere in Amman assuming i generalize , People like Amin aspire and inspire many of us to follow our dreams and make that screan you watch rather than to re-live one non-stoping terror nightmare over &over again!

By the way...Ramadan kareem, arn't these bitter feelings supposed to pause durring the Holy month?

Congrats to all those who see beyond the horizons on the good news about our Jordanian film school, may it be a gate for a better future to all those who believe in this art...

This site is for a film makers journey...if you have something to say about that then you are in the right place ...othrewise...there are many other blogs where you can express your negative thoghts..try

Cant wait to see the Captain Abu Raed site soon...Best of luck always

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous said...

so let me get this straight: those who want to stand up to murderers and supremacists and want to stand for the victims are negative and anti-peace.

Those who only think of themselvs and want to play sidekick to the rich and strong are pro-peace and positive poeple.

How interesting.

At 8:05 PM, Anonymous said...


i met amin in the AFI.

my name is oded. a jewish religous israely.

i want to say that it is easier to hate than to love. it is harder to build than to destroy.

anyone who is afraid to talk or avoids it is beneath those who do try.

i beleive that meeting people and tallking to them will only help treach an understading.
by the way- if amin wants to move to israel- hw could stay in our apartment till he finds his own i invoited him this last summer to do.
i am not worried by the narrowminded who object positive thinking and actions.

they are simply a waste of time.


At 8:50 PM, Amin Matalqa said...

Thanks everyone for being involved in this debate. Thanks everyone for talking, venting, and voicing. I hope a message can be reached here, that though dialogue we can come to understand. Through love, we can come to understand that we're all the same in the end. I'm not being idealistic. I'm being hopeful that maybe we can stop blaming and hating and start looking forward. Being progressive.
Much love to both side of the argument.

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous said...

To all of the anonymouses
The Goal is Justice (not just us),
Address of Grievance (not just grieving), Unity of purpose(not just perpetual disagreement), Peace with the enemy (not just piss on the enemy.
You don't make peace with your friends. You make peace with your enemy.

At 12:39 AM, PeaceLoving said...

"You make peace with your enemy."


At 12:53 AM, kinzi said...

Amin, I'm excited for the film school and what it will mean for the kids in school now who will become Jordan's reps in the industry in the future.

Nothing good comes easy, God bless you as you fight the good fight to make it happen.

At 2:00 AM, Shlomo said...

To Peaceloving Arab:

Peace to you too cousine. We can all get along if we make an effort. The good news is that for you, the effort is minimal. Just stay put and unpack your bags. I love you, God loves you. Lets hold hands. We must learn to love one another.

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous said...

Every thing is possible when there is peace. So make peace. Lets make peace. We'll work out our differences. You can come and live among us. We will love you just as much. There is already 2 million like you living among us. They weren't expelled. We know how to do it. If you don't know how to do it we'll take time out to teach you about democracy, minority rights, rule of the majority, limits on power, liberty, rule of law and order, free market, free speach, representative rule, religious freedom, personal responsibility. I hope all of your countries will be open for us to live in them too in peace among you. You know some of us were expelled from the Arab world as well. Do you think you are up to it?

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous said...

To Israeli: "You can come and live among us. We will love you just as much."

Great. Can you please post the Israeli law that permits expelled non-jews to return to Safad? Either I did not read anything about this new law or you are just another lying israeli who talks peace while pulling on the trigger.

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous said...

You can't put the horse before the cart dear friend. Peace comes first. Democracy has an inherent law and it is just as valid as the right to breath. Its called freedom of movement. That we can negotiate while we are making peace. I envision a peace treaty that will allow some the right of return to their homes among us. As I expect some of us will be allowed the right of return to their home among you. Lets face it no one is an island.

At 7:01 PM, Anonymous said...

Sorry "the cart before the horse".
Please go to there you'll find lots of peace loving people from both sides. You may find it interesting and open for discussions on all issues.

At 9:30 AM, Remote Control said...

The Israeli gift that keeps on giving. When you cut throught the bull, this is what Israel is all about...

BBC: 'Million bomblets' in S Lebanon

Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK

Explosives expert prepares to detonate cluster bombs in Majdal Sellem, south Lebanon
There are three times more live devices than previously thought

Up to a million cluster bomblets discharged by Israel in its conflict with Hezbollah remain unexploded in southern Lebanon, the UN has said.

The UN's mine disposal agency says about 40% of the cluster bombs fired or dropped by Israel failed to detonate - three times the UN's previous estimate.

It says the problem could delay the return home of about 200,000 displaced people by up to two years.

The devices have killed 14 people in south Lebanon since the August truce.

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous said...

More Israeli love. Peace to all. Love one anothers. Why can't we just get along.


Medics: IAF air strikes in Gaza kill girl, 14, wound seven

By Gideon Alon, Haaretz Correspondent and the Associated Press

Israel Air Force air strikes on a house in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah early Wednesday killed a 14-year-old girl and wounded seven other people, hospital officials said.

At 3:22 PM, Lubna said...

Yes, she is the head of the Royal film commission, and I do like her:) I know he's taken; he's just my favourite member of the royal family.

Besides this, I am with this School; it’s a humongous, amazing, good step forward for Jordan! It makes me proud.

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At 9:32 AM, karima said...

"Avnery: Violence is part of the resistance to occupation. The basic fact is not the violence; the basic fact is the occupation. Violence is a symptom; the occupation is the disease - a mortal disease for everybody concerned, [both] the occupied and for the occupiers. Therefore, the first responsibility is to put an end to the occupation. And in order to put an end to the occupation, you must make peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people. This is the real aim, this is the real task."
This is a quote from Uri Avnery, an Israeli journalist living in Israel. I recommend you read more of what he writes. Here is one Israeli who does not share the politics of his country. As I certainly don't. But this does not mean that I make all Jews my enemies. I have many Jewish friends and have grown up in a country, Tunisia, where the Jewish community has existed for over 2,000 years. I now live in Morocco where the Jewish community, although shrunk over the years, is still an important part of Morocco. As a matter of fact, today, Yom Kippur, I, as a Muslim, am invited to break the fast with my Jewish friends. This... is what I call friendship, dialogue, communication, tolerance...
And to end off - another quote:
"Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people."
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964)

Amin - keep up the good work!

At 11:48 PM, Raz said...

As a Jew and an Israeli may I say that this is the first time I have seen an arab blog. As I read some of the comments I am amazed at most of your distorted perceptions of History, I thought at least Jordanians whom I have meet a few would have a greater grasp on reality. Why is it non of you are aware of the arab massacers against Jews as far back as the 20's
(hebron) these are not made up massacers like the ones that muslims make up(deir yassin,Jenin,and i can go on)
how about all the REAL terrorist actions by muslims against Jews b4 '67. How about Jordans destruction of Jewish artifacts from 48-67 while Jordan illegally annexed Judea and Sameria. How about the fact that the muslims where "southern Syrians" and Egyptions until 1964 then decided they where "Palastinians". How about the 5 wars (which you lost) muslims started against the Jewish people in order to wipe them off the map...not to reach an agrement but to kill us..okay enough history how about today, 1.5 million muslims live in Israel,are members of the Kennest, and suprem court. muslims go to our schools every day and my doctor is a muslim and get this a women as well!! As far as returning to your"homes" well it was in 98% of the cases your own leaders who told you to leave your homes and wait till the Jews where pushed into the sea, and do you mean that the 850,000 Jews who where forced to leave arab lands from 48-54 should be allowed to return to there homes? and is this not just another attempt by the muslims to rid the area of the 1 and only Jewish nation by war of the womb? As far as the killing of today goes your "fighters" hide behind women and children hoping they will be killed for propaganda and we in Israel mourn those innocent deaths, while you celebrate the death of ours!. Stop making the same mistakes of your fathers and grandfathers , accept the Jewish nation allow the return of your brothers and sisters to there muslim homes as Jews accepted arab Jews to there Jewish homes, hold your leaders accountable for your plight and culture of death you embrace, and for heavens sake please stop reading your own propoganda and maybe there will be peace!! And I love how you laud over those Jewish writers who are on the fringe left of Israeli society.

At 12:05 AM, Raz p.s said...

If the muslims would lay down there weapons we could have peace...If we Jews would lay down our weapons we would be dead!!

At 5:21 AM, Anonymous said...

these negative coments are quite surprising, but also predictable. i live in israel with my israeli arab wife, who grew up here. she loves israel because of all of the freedom and privileges she has. she grew up in an arab town and, according to her, experienced 99% of the prejudice she's felt from her fellow muslims. sure, jews treated her bad because she is an arab, but nothing like her fellow arabs. she has travelled to the west bank, gaza, and other middle eastern countries and realizes how blessed she is to live where she does, and not under such arab oppression.

i am a also christian and we live in a jewish city becuase of my job. we tell everyone we meet who and what we are and have never had a problem. our religious jewish neighbors have been nothing but nice to us and they adore my wife.

say what you want about the zionists, but i know one thing: i could not be as free and open about who i am in any other place in the middle east. israel, with all her faults, is not the way you describe it. it is amazing to see such ignorance.

mike, who loves arabs and jews

At 7:12 AM, JOKE said...

great. after the jerusalem post article we will have all these israelis posting with arab names telling how great israel is to arabs and how nasty arabs are to other arabs.

At 10:30 AM, Anonymous said...

I am an Israeli reservist who is also a student film-maker. If I were to go the film school, I strongly expect that I will be sitting next to an Arab related to someone who has either blown up or stabbed to death many of my relatives or friends. All the pain they have caused me will not stop me because I know that the future is in peaceful co-existence. The previous post is for narrow minded fools who live in the past and know only death and fear. Peace is for the brave.

At 11:10 AM, Dan said...

Right on Amin! Make movies... not war.

Since when are Israelis the only one that are bloodthirsty demons?? Israel's government accepted one terrorist with lots of blood on his hands, yassir arafat, as a negotiating partner and in the end it was he would could not abandon the pornographic violence of terror and the corruption of politics. If Palestinians were to put someone up as a leader who was serious about real negotiations (rather than presentating maximalist demands in a media savvy way), then Israeli public opinion would sway quickly into a positive direction.

This school is a great idea, and Arabs and Jews attend school quite well together in Universities all over Israel. Why not an Arab country as well?

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous said...

"rather than presentating maximalist demands"

funny, a russian jews right to return to a country he never stepped foot is is a god given right.

A non-jew's right to return to a land he was expelled from in 1948 is maximalist demand. All along i thought that was a basic human right.

Israel is a supremacist freak show.

At 3:06 PM, Anonymous said...

"Arabs and Jews attend school quite well together in Universities all over Israel. "

Really? you mean Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews.

So what? Jordanian of all religions and races to go to the same schools in Jordan.

but how many palestinians are permitted to go to israeli universities openly and freely? NONE. So don't expect us to roll the welcome mat for you.

BTW, how many Arab children have you buried in Lebanon? Or is your specialty Arabs in Gaza? Or may by you are a pacifist who just likes to man checkponts and watch pregnant arab women abort their babies and old men with kidney problems perish.

You go fix your problems with the palestinains then you can come and talk to us about co-existance.

I find it rather disturbing that you think you can just drop by for coffee as if things are normal and as if we don't watch the news of your murders. just a couple of days ago you bombed two teenager to shreds. They were biking together. before that you killed a 14 years old girl. And almost everyday you send your snipers and missles to snuf the life out of so many non-jews. So you are either an emotioanlly troubled person who sees nothing wrong with killing Arabs then trying to be friends wiht them. Even the White South Africans had enough decency to know none of their black neighbours really liked them very much. But here you are a clinically self-absorbed human being who is totally incapable of seeing the ugliness of your actions and how they affect how others preceive you. I think the west has sheltered you for so long to the point you are incapable of telling right from wrong and decent from indecent.

At 10:47 PM, Anonymous said...

mr anonymous needs to get over his anger. life is not fair. we don't always get what we want, deserve. we can either brood about it and feel sorry for ourselves, plot revenge OR we can stop the madness.

but, hey, everybody is doin' it so let's keep the fire burning!

At 1:07 AM, Anonymous said...

signed (above) mike

At 3:00 AM, Anonymous said...

MR HOTAIR SAID: "we can either brood about it and feel sorry for ourselves, plot revenge OR we can stop the madness."

More fluffspeak that has no substance.

There are two madnesses and feel free to stop them anytime you wish: occupation & ethnic cleansing.

When you succeed, come and tell us the good news and we will buy you coffee. Other than that, you are full of worthless hotair.

At 6:46 AM, Anonymous said...

the only ethnic cleansing that hapened is removing jews from gaza (judenfrei). you know, ending the occupation there.

hyperbole in word or thought is simplistic and uneducated. jews don't hate arabs. take it from someone who lives here in the middle of them.

hate will destroy your soul, especially when the zionists have done nothing to you.

At 8:07 PM, Anonymous said...

What a fascinating blog this is. It's a real revelation to start at the top of this thread and listen the the Israel bashing. As soon as someone who points out the opposing view on reality, all the locals go ballistic.

I totally agree with everything that Raz said. To conveniently leave out the reality of history is wrong. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and on and on. Property confiscated. The Palestinian Arabs were told to leave and, as always is the case in war, populations shifted. The only difference here is that the Arab countries have kept, with the cooperation of the UN, thousands in refugee camps. Why? Why haven't these people's talents as farmers, herders, and on and on, been taken advantage of by the parent Arab countries... this is a historical first. Jews have ALWAYS had a presence in the M.E. Take the ball bearings out of the suicide belts, and make movies.

At 5:34 AM, Anonymous said...

"Hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and on and on."

I am appauled at your talent for deception and distortion.

I lived the cold war years and I remember the pressure the US and the West applied on countries like USSR, Ethiopia, Yemen, and others to let the Jews leave to Israel. the US used blackmail, money, coercion to force those government to support airlifts of jews to Israel.

Yet here you are lying with a straight face about these airlifts as if they were some ethnic cleansing campaign against Jews.

I hate your lies.

Of course there were attacks against Jews, but hardly at the scale Arabs suffered at the hands of Jews in Israel and US. but the departure of jews from Arab and non-Arab countries was a compaign paid for and financed by Israel and its friends to beef-up its jewish majority. Even today, this ongoing.


At 11:24 PM, Anonymous said...


you say:
"US and the West applied on countries like USSR, Ethiopia, Yemen, and others to let the Jews leave to Israel."

my nextdoor neighbors are iranian jews, had to leave iran in the dark of night. yesterday i was with an iraqi jew friend, had to leave iraq the same after proprety confiscated.

you can debate the scale and who was hurt the most (which is debatable). arabs are treated well in israel, better than arabs treat palestinians and arab christians. and arabs are treated bad ing the US?? whatever. by the way, do you help make palestinian refugees lives better, or just use them for your rhetorical purposes?

you can use partial facts, facts without context, mold them to your advantage or whatever, but when will you ever get over it and try to work towards peace? israel got out of gaza, lebanon, sinai, is on record for offering the golan back to syria (many times), and was planning to get out of the west bank until the war. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT??? arabs have it pretty good in israel (since, for example, jerusalem arabs completely object to being citizens of palestine if given the choice).

i think you are not interested in the whole truth, are prejudiced, and love to hate. but, hey, that's cool because everybody else is doin it. and why palestinians, if you really care about them, will continue to suffer.


At 3:25 AM, Anonymous said...

"my nextdoor neighbors are iranian jews, had to leave iran in the dark of night."

If you want to lie, make it beliveable. There is still an Iranian jewish community living in Iran. Same in Iraq. Why?

I could care less what your israeli iranian neghbour says. Israel is based on many lies and Israelis are partners in these lies. I have no reason to belive your post because facts on the ground say you are lying. The paid-for airlifts, the jewish communities in Muslim countries, etc. You can't hide those with personal stories that only you can confirm.

Lets take this jewish explusion and exile story further. Here you have Israel, a nuclear state. its a regional super power and has a strong economy and a powerful military. How come there are more jews outside of Israel than in Israel? In your history books, you made up stories about jews being forcebly scattered becuse someome expelled them from Israel. Well here is Israel...TA DA! still, most jews live outside of Israel. Forced expulsions?

But you know how we know zionism is built on lies. The first lies is that "Israel is a land without poeple for people without land"

With few exceptions, I have never met an Israeli that did not lie. Lying is part of the Zionist culture. It's necessry to provide cover for its racist ideology.

At 7:13 AM, Anonymous said...

why should i explain anything to someone who has their mind made up? my neighbors feared for their safety, real or perceived. they had to leave without anyone knowing, lest they be prevented and be in trouble, real or imagined. is it unimaginable for muslims to react to jews wanting to go to israel? look at your own irrationalality and i can understand.

you are a prime example why i do not live among muslims - everything is a conspiracy and everyone is a lair. you are truly pathetic. even if jews were the monsters you claim them to be, i'd take them any day over your worthless lot. thankfully i have that choice.

get a life, preferably in the real world.


At 4:17 AM, Anonymous said...

SHALOM ARABS!!! I am Shlomo again. Remember me. i love the idea of film school where I can go and relax after I kill arab family of five. but i am sure you will understand since peace means you have to compromise, dialoug, and reach out. I want to reach out...oh...never mind the blood on my hand. love conquers all....Peace brothers...Sorry but I have to leave now. I see an arab kid in my crosshair. have to clean some land....Shalom...shlomo


IDF troops kill five family members in Gaza clashes

By Amos Harel, Mijal Grinberg and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents and Reuters

Israel Defense Forces troops killed six Palestinians, among them five relatives, during raids in the southern Gaza Strip Thursday, witnesses and medics said.

They said troops backed by helicopter gunships entered the village of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis, at dark, touching off clashes. Of the five relatives, three were armed militants of the ruling Hamas party's militant wing. They were identified as Abed Rahman Kadiah, 25, Salah Kadiah, 25, and Naeel Kadiah, 22. The other two family members were bystanders, named as Adal Kadiah, 40, and his 13-year-old daughter Suhaib Kadiah.

The fourth militant was killed later Thursday as clashes raged into the afternoon. IDF troops opened fire on the man as he advanced toward them under cover of a large crowd.


The IDF confirmed its forces were operating in the area looking for facilities used by militants. Troops fired on gunmen who tried to attack them, an army spokesman said. At least 11 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes.

"This is an area believed to conceal tunnels and other forms of infrastructure used by terrorist groups," he said.

Militants fired anti-tanks missiles at troops raiding the area, but there were no casualties among the soldiers.

Earlier Thursday, the Israel Air Force destroyed the house of a Hamas militant in the Jabalya refugee camp, which the IDF said was being used as a storehouse for weapons.

Also Thursday, two Qassam rockets fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip landed in open fields in the western Negev. There were no injuries in either incident, but some farmland was destroyed in one of the blasts.

In overnight raids in the West Bank early Thursday, IDF troops arrested 12 wanted militants. Troops came under explosives and gunfire while operating in Nablus and Tul Karm. There were no soldier casualties in either incident. A Palestinian was wounded during the Nablus operation, but his condition has not yet been confirmed.

In a separe incident Wednesday, IDF troops killed a would-be suicide bomber attempting to infiltrate the security fence south of the Karni crossing and a wanted militants in Nablus.

Troops operating in Nablus Wednesday also killed a wanted Palestinian militant from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, Abdullah Mansour, who they said attempted to detonate explosive near their position. Mansour's relatives said he was killed by a single bullet to the head as he looked outside his window at gunbattles taking place outside between militants and IDF troops.

The IDF's offensive in Gaza, ongoing for almost four-months, was launched after IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was abducted and two of his comrades killed in a cross-border raid on June 25. Israel has since mounted several major military operations in Gaza aimed at retrieving Shalit and stemming cross-border rocket fire by militants. Around 230 Palestinians, half of them civilians, have been killed.

The governing Palestinian faction Hamas, some of whose gunmen took part in Shalit's abduction, says the soldier should be traded for Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Israel has publicly refused a prisoner swap although political sources expect it to relent as part of an Egyptian-brokered deal.

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous said...

above: did you read your article??

"three were armed militants" (ie, terrorists)

oh, and this is good:

"fourth militant was killed later Thursday as clashes raged into the afternoon. IDF troops opened fire on the man as he advanced toward them under cover of a large crowd"

it's revealing how your "militants" use palestinian civlians as human shields or israeli civilians as targets. nice.

by the way, thanks for proving my point for me.

"If Palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be peace. If Israel lays down their weapons, they will be dead."

peace, mike

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous said...

so this is how you get away with murdering people. you just say they are militants, no court, no justice, no proof. Just a sniper bullet or a missle. Just cold blooded murder, and all you have to offer us is an accusation that no one can verify. The Nazis said many terrible things about jews that they did not feel they had to prove. Are you asking us to accept your low-standards and theirs as suffcient to kill innocent people? Why deny this same standards to other terrorists groups, now that we seem to have a new acceptable standard for murder? So next time someone shoots an israeli all they have ot say is "jewish militant" and that should make it morally and legally acceptable and world opnion should understand. right? but of course if murdered Arabs are not militants, they are collateral damage, like the poor girls you have butchered today. Net result is you kill anytime and it's ligitmiate because arabs are either militants (and that I guess means you can kill them) or collateral damage (like the hundreds of lebenese women and children).

So you are just a killing machine directed at Arabs. wow. and you want to sign up for an arab film school and we are suppose to welcome you. Shit man, what will guarantee that you won't kill your arab classmates if you suspected they were militants? you have immunity when it comes to killing arabs.

You know what, no wonder very few arabs feel any sympathie for your losses. You are just cold blooded butchers with no remorese and no humanity.


IAF missile strike on Hamas man's Gaza home kills 8-year-old girl

By Amos Harel, Mijal Grinberg and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents and Reuters

Oct 13, 2006

At least two Palestinians were killed and seven injured, one seriously, in an Israel Air Force missile strike on the Gaza City home of a Hamas leader Thursday night.

An IDF spokesman confirmed the air strike targeted the house of a Hamas commander, Sharaf Farwana, in the Sajaiyeh section of Gaza City near the border with Israel.

Farwana survived the attack, but the strike killed his brother, 25-year-old Aiman Farwana, and a 8-year-old girl.

The latest strike came after six Palestinians were killed in a clash between the Israel Defense Forces and militants in southern Gaza earlier in the day.

Shortly after the IAF strike, Palestinian gunners fired a Qassam rocket at Sderot. The rocket slammed into a electrical powerline and plunged the city into darkness. There were no reported casualties.

Also Thursday, a Hamas militant identified as Majid Darbiya was gunned down in Beit Lahia by unknown assailants.

Hamas vows revenge
A spokesman for the Hamas military wing earlier on Thursday vowed the group would take harsh revenge for the IDF operation in Gaza, in which six people - including four militants - were killed.

Five of the dead were members of the same family.

"In light of the ugly crimes in Khan Yunis and the northern Gaza Strip, we will bombard and strike in every place, north and south. The response will be powerful and will cause the earth to tremble. The enemy must now wait patiently for our actions," he said.

Witnesses and medics that said troops backed by helicopter gunships entered the village of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis, at dark, touching off clashes.

Of the five family members killed, three were armed militants of the ruling party's militant wing. They were identified as Abed Rahman Kadiah, 25, Salah Kadiah, 25, and Naeel Kadiah, 22. The other two family members were bystanders, named as Adal Kadiah, 40, and his 13-year-old son Suhaib Kadiah.

The fourth militant, Mohammed Barakha, 23, was killed later Thursday as clashes raged into the afternoon. IDF troops opened fire on Barakha as he advanced toward them under cover of a large crowd.

The IDF confirmed its forces were operating in the area looking for facilities used by militants. Troops fired on gunmen who tried to attack them, an army spokesman said. At least 11 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes.

"This is an area believed to conceal tunnels and other forms of infrastructure used by terrorist groups," he said.

Militants fired anti-tanks missiles at troops raiding the area, but there were no casualties among the soldiers.

Earlier Thursday, the Israel Air Force destroyed the house of a Hamas militant in the Jabalya refugee camp, which the IDF said was being used as a storehouse for weapons.

Also Thursday, two Qassam rockets fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip landed in open fields in the western Negev. There were no injuries in either incident, but some farmland was destroyed in one of the blasts.

In overnight raids in the West Bank early Thursday, IDF troops arrested 12 wanted militants. Troops came under explosives and gunfire while operating in Nablus and Tul Karm. There were no soldier casualties in either incident. A Palestinian was wounded during the Nablus operation, but his condition has not yet been confirmed.

At 12:21 AM, Anonymous said...

you're right, when a jew kills an arab it is unforgivable.

-when palestinians kill each other in gaza, or
-shi'ites kill sunnis in iraq by the hundreds, or
-sunnis kill shi'ites by the hundreds, or
-the sudan genocide, or
-"honor" killings on a daily basis in the muslim world, or
-weekly beheadings in thailand, and
-and all other jihad murder around the world....


no, the jews are much worse (that probably explains why you dance in the streets, bellies full of batlawa, when jews are killed. gotta maintain that "honor", no?

bottom line: muslims have BIG problems, and it's not jews. you can't blame everything you do away on others.

a little personal responsibility would go a long way, but your disasterous pride and ego won't let you.

you got problems? look in the mirror. only you can fix them.

you can have the last word. i'm outta here.

peace (you should try it), mike

At 3:07 AM, Anonymous said...

Mike, what is you IQ? how did you get from Palestine to Iraq? Do you ADD? Or u just plain slow? or is this the ususal if i am out of excuses, run to another topic? must be an IQ issue.

At 5:38 AM, Anonymous said...

Hello Arabs and Yellow Race people. We want to make peace with you low lives. Israel is a liberal western white democracy, not yellow. Please remember that....Peace...Israeli ambassador to Australia

Foreign Ministry slams envoy's comments about 'yellow race'

Oct 13, 2006

By Charlotte Halle, Haaretz Correspondent

The Foreign Ministry on Friday condemned remarks by the Israeli ambassador to Australia in which he told Haaretz that the two countries are white sisters amid "the yellow race" of Asia.

"If the article is accurate, this is a grave and unacceptable remark," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The ministry said it will not return to business as usual if an internal examination confirms that the ambassador, Naftali Tamir, in fact made the comments attributed to him.

Tamir said that due to what he characterized as the racial similarities between Israel and Australia, the two countries should work together to enhance ties with other Asian countries.

"Israel and Australia are like sisters in Asia," Tamir said in an interview with Haaretz during a visit to Israel this week. "We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians. We don't have yellow skin and slanted eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are not - we are basically the white race. We are on the western side of Asia and they are on the southeastern side."

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous said...

Guess all Israelis act in the same way ... even they tell you, how they love to live in peace with thier arab neighbours , but at the end they will stand against YOU!

no matter where your from jordan, ...., but this will all end for thier own good not for our good, so think about it again and make your own thoughts .


At 5:23 PM, Anonymous said...

"Guess all Israelis act in the same way ... even they tell you, how they love to live in peace with thier arab neighbours"

I guess when you are a democracy that elects its leaders, that means the killings and the brutality and the ethnis cleansings are the choice of the majority in Israel. Unlike the so called peace in jordan, which is the choice of leas than 1% of the population. Jordanians don't like to watch fellow human beings murdered by poeple they are forced to shake hands with.

Is that all you have to offer for all the killings you have committed? Your silly post?

Words are cheap and meangless when contrasted with your daily killing sprees. Actually, they reflect a deeply disturbed mentality when the killer extends a hand of peace then goes the next day to kill some more.

At 2:58 AM, Anonymous said...

democracy in Israel ? this is strange thing to say ... you have to learn the real meaning of democracy before having one thought that Israel is a democratic place... what happend to all Minorities living in Israel ? Muslims, Christians, others..., one example of your called democracy in Israel in why Muslims and Christians beeing banned to practice or pray in thier holy places, when the Jews allowed to have totaly free access to enter thier own worship places!

the ONE rule in Israel says " If your not Jewish your not a citizen "

Now you tell me what type of Democracy is this when your beeing tagged to be second or 3rd Grade citizen of your own Land ?!?

Another Blog about the same event:

Thursday, September 21, 2006
HM the King announces: A Jordanian School for Cinema
Start building your cinematic portfolios if you want to apply in 2008.

NEW YORK, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- King Abdullah II of Jordan presided over a ceremony in New York City on September 20th marking the creation of the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts (RSICA) in Jordan's Red Sea resort town of Aqaba. The institute is a joint effort of the Royal Film Commission of Jordan and the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California. The institute will enroll men and women from the Middle East region in a specialized learning environment dedicated to teaching all disciplines of the cinematic arts.

The Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts is in line with His Majesty's efforts to harness the skills of Jordanian youth by exposing them to the latest technologies in filmmaking and production. The institute would also contribute to His Majesty's vision of establishing a hub for intellectual and creative capital in Jordan, where youth in the region can be equipped with the necessary tools for success.

His Majesty drew on the expertise of filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who recommended the partnership with USC, to make this project a reality.

"When His Majesty the King approached me on the subject of a Jordan-based, world-class film school serving every country in the Middle East, including Israel, I immediately saw the importance and significance of such a venture for the people and the future of the region. I knew as a trustee of USC and a member of the school's Board of Councilors that the university had the exact expertise he needed for this incredible initiative," Spielberg said.

"The Middle East is a melting pot of cultural richness and diversity with story-telling traditions as old as time, yet contemporary cinematic stories from the region are in short supply," said Mr. Mouasher. "In establishing this institute we will draw from a diverse and vast pool of cultures and experiences, to offer a more complete idea and multi-faceted perspective to the viewer, and the world audience."

The University of Southern California is home to the oldest cinema program in the United States, which was founded in 1929 as a collaboration between USC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The School of Cinema-Television has over 10,000 living alumni who are among the entertainment industry's most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts and industry executives.

USC faculty and staff teams traveled to Jordan to conduct pilot programs in 2005 and 2006. Those experiences will now be formally expanded into the RSICA, a fully accredited and free-standing graduate school that will offer a three-year Masters of Fine Arts Degree through advanced education in cinema, television, and a wide range of dynamic screen-based media.

Construction of the RSICA campus is set to begin in early 2007 in Aqaba, a special economic zone in Jordan on the Red Sea, bordering Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. Its facilities will include digital screening rooms, post-production, animation and interactive media laboratories; sound stages with green-screen and motion capture capacities; high-end professional video production packages and an extensive digital and print library.

Faculty will be drawn from industry, arts and academic institutions around the globe. Students will be admitted from Jordan, as well as the entire region, with first admissions in September 2008, and the first graduating class in June 2011. Admission will be based on a competitive portfolio, clear evidence of talent and outstanding personal expression, as well as strong potential for creative collaboration.

posted by Laith at 1:17 AM

Anonymous said...

"world-class film school serving every country in the Middle East, including Israel"

The New Middle East? You can count me out.
3:34 AM
jameed said...

yalla balki shaghalnak mu3eed hanak
5:56 AM
Rambling Hal said...

What's the link to this article, can you post it please? Ibleeze??
6:50 AM
Ibrahim Owais said...

This is amazing ...
we really need such a thing in the region...

Thanks for sharing ...
6:54 AM
Ghaith Al-Amaireh said...

I’m really glad to hear that, a couple of months ago we hosted Ms Merva Faddoul from The Royal Film Commission and she talked a lot about improving and going world wide because we have some really good talents like yourself and Mr. Matalqa. I’ll be waiting for the day where we would see a decent Jordanian movie.
5:34 PM
User06644 said...

I commend the Jordanian Government and their people! The acceptance of Israelis into an Arab society is a ray of sunshine in such a dark part of the world. I wish all Muslim countries accepted the inevitable, the State of Israel.
1:46 AM
Deena said...

Hey Laith, check this out, your blog got mentioned in an Israeli paper!
5:37 AM
Steve said...

Great idea and a long time coming. Many will want to have this experience and great work will certainly come from this. Congrats to all who are behind this but especially to the Jordanians and their progressive leadership.
10:26 AM
Anonymous said...

Jordan is so fucked up it need a heating fule not a Cinema school.
4:08 PM
Anonymous said...

Hi Laith,
i'm not quite sure if you are the one supporting this whole idea about the Media center with that terrorist state ( Israel). i think instead of goign around travelling and selling your brothers and sisters blood, water and land, you should go back to Karak where people are dying from cancer because of nuclear Israeli trash dumpped right next to your home town. make sure you solve your family's problems starting with the way they discriminate agains the women in the family to the Wasta and corruption that takes place in Jordan.
i think you and all the people behind this are pathetic, you run after money like dogs! make sme wanna throw up.
may be you should concider the Jordanian presioners in the Israeli presions before you make such an eventful activity with the anemy. you know htat to them you are nothing but a dof, right?
to hell with you. as they say: "elli sta7o, matoo"
ciao Majali
2:39 AM