Israel Beyond the Headlines, and Into Your Hands
by Maital Guttman
The University of California at Irvine is currently hosting a two-week anti-Israel Conference, using Holocaust imagery, including the swatstika and cartoon images of blood-stained Israeli soldiers with fangs. As a documentary filmmaker, I understand the power photos and videos exert. As an American-Israeli, I am hurt and disturbed by these images. They are racist and counterproductive.
Isn’t there already too much ignorance and prejudice in the world? Instead of inflammatory images and speech, we should express messages of hope. The video below is a collaboration of artists and activists from around the world. “Hope Remixed” provides “Hativkah,” the Israeli national anthem, an expression of hope and optimism, with a new beat. In a time when the media presents image of Israel that are all too often of war and conflict, “Hope Remixed” celebrates Israel’s diversity, beauty, history, and modernity.
Click to view the
Too often, movies, photographs and cartoons dehumanize. Too often, news headlines sensationalize. Too often, we hear numbers and forget individual stories. My first documentary, “Mechina: A Preparation,” was a response to the negative, dehumanized propagandized portrayals of Israel while I was a student at Duke — much like that happening at UCI today. The film follows six Israeli teens before the army, as they transition from students to soldiers, giving a human face to that national obligation.
Thanks to technology and online social networking, anyone can pick up a camera and share a unique story with the world. If you would like to share your stories of hope, please visit http://www.youtube.com/hoperemixed. There, you can post your entries in giveaway contest for a free Flip Mino HD Camera!
As Israel turns 61, we must continue to tell our individual stories, as well as listen to the stories of others, both Israeli and Palestinian. We each have a choice how to tell our story, and we should remember the power not only of our actions, but of our words. Our hope — hatikvah — is that one day soon, Israel will be able to celebrate her birthday with her neighbors in peace.
Inshallah. B’ezrat Hashem. God willing.
Until then, we wish an affectionate Happy Birthday to Israel.
Funny, you don’t look a day over 60!
Producer/Director Maital Guttman is an Israeli-born documentary filmmaker now based in Los Angeles. She is passionate about bringing people together across boundaries, and has created documentary photographs and video in New Orleans, Thailand, Uruguay, Poland, Israel, Morocco, and Moldova. In 2006, she produced a documentary a film that premiered at The International AIDS Conference in Toronto and is being distributed by the Red Cross of Southern Africa. Her first film, entitled “Mechina: A Preparation,” explores the lives of 18-year old students in Israel who are preparing for their army service. She toured with the film nationwide, with more than 20,000 people viewing it at high schools, colleges and film festivals. Currently, Maital is producing “Whatint Abafazi: When You Strike a Woman,” a documentary about a South African woman’s story of hope through the hardship of living with HIV. Maital’s earlier contribution to Tolerant Nation is entitled Black-Jewish Relations in the Obama Era. “