Palestine Remix is an interactive tool that allows users to view or use parts of various Al Jazeera documentary films on Palestine to create their own productions. As part of a blog series MEMO will be remixing one video every week, highlighting an aspect of life in Palestine or an issue related to the Palestine-Israel conflict.
The founding of Israel resulted in more than 750,000 displaced Palestinians, who have since not been able to return to their own homes one way or another. The founding of Israel, also known as the ‘Nakba’ or ‘catastrophe’ marked the end of the British Mandate and the birth of Israel as a state.
The forced expulsion of Palestinians is a method practiced since the Nakba, and was established as an official government policy in March 1948 called ‘Plan Dalet’. To this day, the main objective of this policy has not changed – Palestinians must be systematically removed or displaced in order to create a Jewish demographic majority in Israel and make Arabs a minority- thus providing cover to the occupation of Palestine, meaning there were never Palestinians there in the first place and to prop-up the ‘right of return’ for Jews to Israel.
There are usually pretexts used by the occupation in order to disguise the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, a common one would be ‘security threat’. This particular excuse has worked and continues to work very well because the Israeli authorities simultaneously rationalise the volume of Palestinians they target by labelling them as ‘threats to national security’ and gain sympathy from international communities against the ‘Palestinian terrorists’. No doubt this has a hand in fuelling Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism from around the world from people who oppose Apartheid in Israel and those who believe in establishing the Jewish State of Israel.
The remix video starts off with telling the story of Fayrouz, a Palestinian refugee- just one of plucked out of thousands who have experienced the occupation’s’ brutality from a young age and forced to grow up before their time so that she could have a chance at survival. Growing up in such harsh conditions, Palestinians have become resilient and stubborn in their nature and personalities. The hardened exterior of Fayrouz means she can conceal her weaknesses from her enemy in order to survive.
To counter, the occupation tries to find ways to tear through forms of resistance and break the will of the Palestinian people. A key example would be during the second Intifada, where Israel ‘negotiated’ the deportation of 13 Palestinian citizens rather than then the usual of expelling them.
The second part of the remix tells the story of Palestinian resistance fighters who barricaded themselves inside the church of Nativity and were surrounded by IDF forces, a standoff which lasted 38 days. As the IDF had completely encircled the area they were able to break the resistance by offering them safety in return for their exile to Europe. Cut off from all forms of outside support, and their internal conditions worsening, Israel had them right where they wanted them. 13 Palestinian resistance fighters were stripped of their identities and culture in return for the safety.
This particular situation you would think was quite unique and doesn’t happen very often, however if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture which Israel is painting; a state without the indigenous [Palestinian] people, banished from their own land and the theft of their lives and heritage.
For the Palestinians who have been exiled to other countries, returning to back their homes remains a number one priority. They refuse to let Israel’s racist policies stop them fighting for their homes. The struggle continues through various forms of activism as Palestine is embedded in the heart and soul of each person and cannot be erased so easily.
A European tour with Rawan Damen: looking into how innovative and interactive technologies are changing how news is received. Rawan Damen, dynamo behind Palestine Remix project will be delivering an interactive session on the Palestine Remix project. Click to register.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.