Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Review of "The Ruins of Lifta: Where the Holocaust and the Palestinian Exile Meet"

Review of
The Ruins of Lifta: Where the Holocaust and the Palestinian Exile Meet, a First Run Features DVD

Five out of five stars
 So much of the emotions of the destruction of the Jews in Europe, specifically Poland in this case, as well as the Palestinians being evicted from their land in 1948 are still raw in this video made roughly seventy years after both events. One Jewish man with experience in the Holocaust is filmed as saying that the only trustworthy non-Jewish person is one that is dead. A variance of the saying, “The only good **** is a dead ****.”
 Lifta is a formerly Palestinian village on the outskirts of Jerusalem. It was abandoned during the 1947/1948 war that led to the establishment of the state of Israel. However, it is very unusual in that it has remained unoccupied since then. While they are collapsing over time, most of the dwellings are still intact.
 There is an Israeli plan to demolish the buildings and build modern dwellings, but there is intense Palestinian opposition with the support of some Israelis. This video is a documentary on the process of legal opposition to the plan that went all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court. One of the best comments I have ever heard about the Jewish-Palestinian conflict is “The most intractable problems are when two rights are in total opposition.”
 The Jewish position is that with their nearly being wiped out in World War II, they need to have a Jewish state and the logical location is in their ancestral lands of Palestine. The Palestinian position is that it was the Europeans that did the killing of the Jews, so why should the Palestinians suffer the loss of their land and heritage?
  While some knowledge of the history of World War II and the events of the establishment of the Jewish state are helpful in understanding this video, they are not essential. There are many illuminating points made in the video, all demonstrating how difficult and complex the situation is. This is summed up when the maker of the film, Menachem Daum, a Jewish resident of New York, is bluntly told that it is an act of extreme chutzpah for him to believe that he has any real understanding of the situation between the Jews and Palestinians. 

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