This afternoon I received an email from my sister who’d seen the film ‘My Love Awaits Me By the Sea’ at the Palestinian Film Festival in Toronto on Friday evening. In her email, she told us how moved she was by the film, and especially by the ‘transcendent and indomitable spirit of the Palestinian people.’

My father replied with the comments below, which he gave me permission to share. I’ve edited them slightly for privacy and clarity. His first language is Arabic so you’ll hear the odd rhythmic anomaly.

My father was born in Marjeyoun, a town on Lebanon’s southern border, the eldest son in a family of eight children. After the Jewish Agency seized the land we owned in what became northern Israel, he abandoned his aspiration to become a lawyer like his grandfather after whom he was named, and instead emigrated to Canada to support his family. Here is what he wrote:

“On my recent birthday [my daughter and her family] invited me for dinner and a movie.

The film we saw, ‘Five Broken Cameras’, was a Palestinian-European award winning film. It’s real, no editing, hard cut, the reality of everyday life of children in the West Bank, living near the ‘chosen people’, the gangs of ruthless criminals and the shameful shrine of Israel to humanity and enlightenment, their great wall of racial hatred.

Even for me, growing up and living the Palestinian tragedy all my life, it was a very difficult movie to watch.

The film recorded real and unvarnished incidents involving assault, humiliation, barbaric criminality that speak of the depth of the monstrosity of the very soul of young Israelis.

As a parent I was at pain (still am) trying to understand the spontaneous use of torture – like the reaction of dogs infected with rabies – to the simple, natural and innocent journey of a child going to school carrying his books in a school bag slung on his back. I am tortured with this madness.

The thought of what kind of people the Zionist school is producing and unleashing on the occupied homes, streets and fields of Palestine and the world is very troubling for those who wanted to build a shrine on a hill for the world. It is a monstrous desecration of the rivers of sacrifices and immense contributions Judaism and Jews gave to the world.

If I was Jewish what would I think and feel about this barbaric rabies culture of Israel that has consumed its young and its society with such depravity, such soulless, un-Jewish behaviour?

This indeed must be a self-inflicted Jewish tragedy!