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Disturbing the Peace (2016) — IsraelDisturbing the Peace (2016) — Israel

This movie might be the perfect movie to watch this year 2017, which marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Six Day War (June 5–10, 1967).  The documentary begins with Israelis and Palestinians telling their stories.  For Chen Alon, his grandfather was a fervent Zionist who left Poland for the founding of Israel in 1948.  The rest of his family left behind in Europe were all slaughtered.  Jamil Qassas also had a grandfather who was slaughtered, when the Israelis violently expelled 700,000 Palestinians, including his family village.  Since then, his family has lived in a camp for seventy years.  Archival film footage captures the horrors of these decades — rocket attacks, suicide bombers, Molotov cocktails, rock throwing demonstrators, tear gas, and water canons.  But violence begets violence, and so, improbably, in 2006, former Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters who had been imprisoned came together and formed an organization of non-violent peace activists called "Combatants for Peace."  The violence, suffering, and death, says the Palestinian Qassas, is the same for everyone:  "I realized that I myself was causing the same pain for an Israeli mother that my own mother experienced."  A former Israeli soldier recalls joining his sister to take blankets to displaced Palestinians: "I realized that it was my army that destroyed their homes and made them homeless." The peace organization uses dialogue, theater, and other mediums to spread the message of peace for all.  For the organization website, see I watched this film on Netflix streaming.

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