I’ve Just Met a Girl Named Fatima…

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Building on the success of last year’s Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominated drama Paradise Now, films about the Middle East continue to receive notice at the Oscars.   James Longley’s Iraq in Fragments received a nomination for Best Documentary and West Bank Story took home the statue for Best Short Film.   The short is a Middle Eastern version of West Side Story—complete   with competing falafel stands and the star-crossed David, loyal to Kosher King, and Fatima from the Humous Hut—and received positive reviews from audiences at both the Sundance and Dubai film festivals.  

Upon winning, director Ari Sandel said,

“To be able to get this award just goes to show that there are so many people out there that support that notion that when it comes to a situation between Israelis and Palestinians hope is not hopeless.”

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Meanwhile…

Peace…Soon?


Last week, Peace Now released its annual report on settlements that is, unfortunately, unsettling.  According to Americans for Peace Now’s “Settlements in Focus,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has overseen a “complete halt to any actions by Israel—or even plans for action—with respect to evacuating settlements or outposts…Construction in settlements and outposts has continued unabated.”  Other troubling statistics include a 5% growth in the settler population, with 2,000 Israelis living in outposts and construction continuing on 3,000 new settler homes…

 

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