The Palestinian Day Book
A seven-series documentary film project
The Palestinian Day Book is a documentary film project by Atasov Film Travel, presenting the life of the Holy Land as it is insufficiently or biasedly covered by the media - and, in general, needs to be known more. Our film crew visited Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nazareth, Hebron, Haifa, Nablus, Acre and other cities and places, and met many interesting people. Most importantly, we felt how tragic and unacceptable is the contrast between the vast cultural, historical and spiritual heritage of the Holy Land and the terrible mess which is generally called the "Middle East problem."
This land has a cultural heritage of the world's significance, many historical monuments , and the most important shrines of Jews, Christians and Muslims. There are three seas, perfect health resorts, picturesque landscapes, and many other tourist attractions. In 2019, 4.5 million tourists visited Israel. The potential for economic development and social progress for Israel and Palestine is enormous. But the unresolved "Middle East problem" and the constant tensions in the region have a bad effect on tourism, economy, and on all spheres and aspects of life.
Tourists are generally unaware of the fact that Palestinian Arabs don't really benefit from the Israel's economic development. Palestinian enclaves are turning into ghettos. Overpopulation of the cramped and declining urban areas, unemployment, drugs, crime, aggression and marginalization. The Israeli authorities build separation walls, fences, and checkpoints everywhere. For security reasons, freedom is severely restricted. The Arabs are gradually being pushed to the fringes of life. "We must decide on division as a philosophy ... We want to separate us and them as much as possible," the former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin once said. This strategy is consistently implemented.
Well, the world's history has seen many attempts to resolve so-called "ethnic questions" - for example, through cleansings and apartheid. But as we know, such attempts never give any positive result. It is pretty obvious that today the state of Israel is trying to find a "final solution to the Palestinian question." In practice it means making life for Palestinians as tough as possible, but it is the road to nowhere. On top of that, the Israeli practices, in some ways, are similar to "the final solution of the Jewish question" in Germany ("Endlösung der Judenfrage"). Such analogies are inevitable, albeit annoying. Apartheid and human rights abuses, even for "security reasons", never solved anything, but only made the problems even more difficult to solve.
The Arab-Jewish confrontation is probably as old as political Zionism, although anti-Jewish excesses in the Middle East have occurred before. The number of victims can't be counted. A great wave of Jewish pogroms swept the Arab countries after the end of the First World War and continued after it. Eventually, the Jews who had lived in Arab countries for centuries moved to Israel.
The same thing happened in Palestine. Ancient historical Jewish communities in cities such as Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed, Gaza, Haifa, Ramallah, Jenin, Acre and many others have been attacked. As a result of the riots and hostilities, millions of people, Arabs and Jews, were forced to flee their homes. Today, the vast majority of Palestinian Arabs are displaced persons and their descendants. In fact, the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews are displaced persons, too, and for similar reasons.
Those who claim that all the Middle East troubles are due to Zionism and the policies of the Jewish state should remember that the state of Israel was nothing but a response to the oppression and henicide of Jews in various countries and lands, including Palestine. Ultimately, it was not the Zionists who created but those who for centuries sought to resolve the "Jewish question" in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. This way, the so-called "Middle East problem" emerged - the problem that continues to trouble the whole world in our time.
Today the Holy Land is divided through the length and breadth, and in all kinds of ways. But all these walls and barriers only materialized in metal and concrete the confrontation and enmity that had long divided the Arabs and the Jews, and brought a great deal of suffering to both nations. In fact, all these barriers are the Wailing Walls.