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Published on Feb 16, 2011

'We Refuse To Be Enemies'
A film through Charnwood Arts UK2K12 - Connecting Cultures and Communites and launched on World Community Arts Day 2011
Many people and organisations in the Palestinian West Bank now believe that peaceful, non-violent resistance to the military and settler occupation of their land is the only way to bring about reconciliation, peace and justice to the appallingly inhuman situation which persists in Palestine/Israel. The Tent of Nations based at the Nassar farm near Bethlehem is a powerful example of a Palestinian family taking this struggle on with every peaceful means at their disposal and working to inform the world of the possibilities of other ways of working towards a resolution.
Charnwood Arts and artists working with us, have had many contacts and connections with Tent of Nations over the last decade and this film was made to give voice - in words and pictures - to another way of looking at life in the West Bank. Our TV screens are full of the dramatic, the newsworthy conflict or flash points but rarely focus on the daily life.....the endless tyranny of occupation on the one hand and the simple necessity to get on with what needs to be done on the other. TV tends to focus on the negative, rarely do we see the warmth, generosity and potentials for peace which exist in the hearts of so many people, good people on all sides.
The Nassars are a Christian family, a small minority, both as Palestinians and Israelis. Inevitably their mission is fueled by their beliefs....but also by their bravery and tenacity against extraordinary odds and also by their openness to embrace anyone of any faith or none.
Our work and connections with young people involved with TON has taken place in the West Bank and in the UK. This film, spontaneous in one sense in its origin, was shot on a hand held camera with a video function. We owe a great debt to our dear friend and colleague Rima Hariri, herself a refugee from Beirut at the time it was being bombed by the Israeli military, and later to become a good friend and a fantastic volunteer with Charnwood Arts. We must also acknowledge the video editing skills of Natalie Chabaud for turning the challenging quality of source material (in terms of film and sound quality) into something which I am sure you will agree, gets the message across.
If the world fails to unite around people like these then we face the consequences of building a world which accepts and allows the worst in human attitudes and behaviour to grow and flourish...and where then with our cries of "Never Again"?

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