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Palestine is Still The Issue (Activist Version)

John Pilger returns to the Middle East and questions why there has been no progress towards peace.

A printer-friendly version of this page 53 minutes
Directed by Anthony Stark
Produced by Christopher Martin
for Carlton International Media Ltd
Written and Presented by John Pilger

In 1977, the award-winning journalist and film-maker, John Pilger, made a documentary called Palestine Is Still The Issue (1977). He told how almost a million Palestinians had been forced off their land in 1948, and again in 1967. In this in-depth documentary, he has returned to the West Bank of the Jordan and Gaza, and to Israel, to ask why the Palestinians, whose right of return was affirmed by the United Nations more than half a century ago, are still caught in a terrible limbo -- refugees in their own land, controlled by Israel in the longest military occupation in modern times.

"The fate and struggle of the Palestinians," says Pilger, "are not just critical to the overdue recognition of their basic human rights, but are also central to whether the region, and the wider world, are plunged into war. Israel is now one of the biggest military powers in the world. While nothing changes, the dangers become greater. This is a film about a nation of people, traumatized, humiliated and yet resilient. In trying to liberate less than a quarter of historic Palestine, they have had no army, no air force, and no powerful friends -- and have fought back with slingshots and now with the terrorism of the suicide bombers."

In a series of extraordinary interviews with both Palestinians and Israelis, John Pilger weaves together the issue of Palestine. He speaks to the families of suicide bombers and their victims; he sees the humiliation of Palestinians imposed on them at myriad checkpoints and with a permit system not dissimilar to apartheid South Africa's infamous pass laws. He goes into the refugee camps and meets children who, he says, "no longer dream like other children, or if they do, it is about death."

Continually asking for the solution, John Pilger says it is time to bring justice, as well as peace, to Palestine.

Grade Level: 10-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2002     Copyright Date: 2002
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-958-4

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DVD Features
Besides playing the program straight through, you can also play it by chapters. The chapter stops have been chosen to give teachers and others immediate access to key portions of the film. In addition an extensive 20-page Special Report is included in the DVD-ROM portion of the disc. The report provides vital background information on the history of the conflict from 1897 to the present day. Included are a timeline, sections on the land area, the refugees, the PLO, the occupation, house demolitions, water, the settlements, Jerusalem, the peace process, five detailed maps of different ways that have been suggested to settle the land issue in the West Bank, the Al Aqsa Intifada, victims, the Israeli use of force, assassinations, the siege of the Palestinians, Operation Defensive Shield, the suicide bombings, Israeli conscientious objectors, why there are no international monitors, who supplies the weapons, international law, and hope for the future. Also included are an extensive list of websites, a bibliography, and a complete list of references for the statements made in the guide.

John Pilger's web site

Awards and Festivals
Certificate of Merit, Chicago International Television Awards

Conflict Resolution
Human Rights
International Studies
Islamic Studies
Middle East
War and Peace

Related Titles

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The Gaza Strip has been a virtual prison for Palestinians for over fifty years.

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Paying the Price
John Pilger exposes the devastating effect that UN sanctions had on the children of Iraq during the 1990s.

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The New Rulers of the World
Award-winning journalist, John Pilger, investigates the realities of globalization by taking a close look at Indonesia.

Inside Burma
John Pilger investigates the history and brutality of the military dictatorship in Burma.

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