Palestinian art recognised

An Israeli writer, Gannit Ankori, has surprised herself by looking at the art tradition of Palestine. It has led her to a fundamental reappraisal of the history of her country dominated and distorted by the Zionist vision.
Ankori: “I was travelling in a car from Jerusalem to the Galilee with an American journalist and a Palestinian writer to see a play by the Palestinian theatre company Al-Hakawati.
We had just passed Canada Park and the American asked: ‘ What is this beautiful place?’ I told him what I had been taught: ‘This is Canada Park, a wonderful place for picnics. The pine trees were planted as part of the Zionist ideology of making the desert bloom.’
The Palestinian responded: ‘Yes, this place, Latroun, is now called Canada Park. The trees were planted as part of the Zionist effort to cover up three Arab villages that were destroyed and depopulated after the war of 1967.’
I was shocked. I had no idea. As soon as we passed by Canada Park, I didn’t answer any more ‘American’ questions. I realised that I had to actively re-learn the history of my homeland. My quest to understand Palestinian art was related to this journey and to my need to uncover the narratives that had previously been repressed and covered up. This was in the mid-1980s and I found out.”

This vividly illustrates the way that two communities living side by side can be blinded to the reality of their neighbour’s lives, a fact shared with the communities in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile the prospect of peace recedes as Hamas denies it is prepared to call a truce with Israel pointing to assassinations and attempted assassinations of its leadership. As always this appears to be counterproductive. Why build a huge wall and then do all you can to ensure the cycle of killing continues?

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