This documentary and video material has been selected to help you get to grips with this particular conflict. Some of the videos I’ve been directed to by my wonderful I-P course tutor, and some of them I’ve found myself. Where possible, I’ve embedded the videos into this article.
1. For getting a good overview: The Promised Land? (Al Jazeera English)
This three-part series offers an excellent overview of the history right from the roots of modern Zionism in the later 1800s, right through to the present day efforts for peace. Overall, it’s relatively balanced and dispels a lot of the myths (like the idea that Palestine was a barren land when the Jewish people started to settle there), and helps the viewer understand how this conflict developed into what it is today. Each of the three programmes is split into two parts, each lasting about 10mins. Here’s part one of the Pioneers episode.
2. For hearing both sides of the story: The Doha Debates
Take a standard debating format, add in some provocative statements about the Middle East and then put the studio in Qatar, complete with controversial speakers and an astute audience, and bam! You have yourself the Doha Debates. Sponsored by BBC World News, here are a couple you might find particularly interesting:
- This House believes the Palestinians risk becoming their own worst enemy
- This House believes it’s time for the US to get tough on Israel
3. For seeing how many Israelis and Palestinians are moderates who want peace
OneVoice is a campaign which aims to bring together the moderate masses on both sides to work together, challenge the extremists and ultimately bring an end to the conflict. Right now they have 650k people signed up in support of a peaceful two-state solution, roughly half of them Israeli and half of them Palestinian. This video features people from both sides talking about the movement, and their desire for peace.
4. For seeing first hand how some are working together to fight for peace
A low-key ‘fly on the wall’ clip showing how Israeli activists are working to support the Palestinians in resisting settlers. It comes from that great blog Global Voices and their recent interview with peace activist Ibn Erza.
5. For understanding how debate on Israel is stifled in the USA
This is a montage of interviews with Professors Walt and Mearsheimer, whose article on the Israel lobby questioning whether support for Israel was in the US national interest caused significant controversy in America back in 2006, leaving them open to charges of anti-semitism and un-americanism. What I love about it is how nervous the interviewers are; they sort of know it’s their responsibility to be balanced and objective, but can’t bring themselves to challenge the status quo, and insist on asking questions like ‘do you consider yourself to be a patriot?’
If you know of any other videos that provide an insight into this conflict, be sure to comment on this article and let us all know about them.