Israel/Palestine: The Movie.(Oh, and the Islamic plot against Europe.)

Buy this film. Rent it, download it, torrent the living hell out of it, consume it in convenient YouTube-sized bites, but do watch it. Which film? Occupation 101.



Conversations about Israel and the Palestinians can lead to arguments, rifts in churches, damaged personal relationships and, worst of all, more conversations about Israel and the Palestinians. Shoutier ones. It’s a minefield. You could lose a limb. You could lose a friend. You could lose your sense of humour. But this film could perhaps help.

The fact is, the biggest obstacle in trying to communicate about many of the injustices going on within the Occupied Territories is not, as many Lefties would like to claim, the dreaded Israel Lobby, but ignorance. Or, as this film points out in its opening credits, ‘the illusion of knowledge’. And Occupation 101 is a great film to clarify facts and dispell illusions of knowledge about Israel and its occupation of what are, uner international law, Palestinian territories.

If you are a seasoned hand at trying to turn people on to the plight of Palestinians, you will know how hard it is to tell the whole story: the historical in justice, the complexity, the current violations of rights and also the mistakes that have been made by the Palestinian freedom movement as well. You could lend or even buy someone a book, but, as most of us know (and with apologies to Chris Rock), books are like kryptonite to ignorant people. There are many films that tell parts of the story of Israel’s abuse of power in the region, and many of them are not even made by weird conspiracy nuts, but none of the ones I have come across cover the full breadth of the Palestinian argument. And most suffer from simply not being up to date.

Occupation 101 was released in 2006 and runs all the way up to the terrible events of that year.

no idea who this is by unfortunately

no idea who this is by unfortunately

Let’s be clear: this film does not give as much time to Israeli government arguments as it does to opposing views. But it does feature Christians, Muslims, Jews, rabbis, priests, peace activists, women, children, scholars and politicians who have seen the situation first-hand and who all believe that if people knew what was happening, truly knew, they would be horrified. This film is not unbalanced, just as any rational and well-researched documentary about Apartheid need not be unbalanced in order to come to the conclusion that one side is in the wrong.

It has received honours at eight separate film festivals and with good reason. It is, in short, the film I have been looking for to explain concisely why Palestinians have been angry for a long time and why they remain so. And it highlights our role, as citizens of western democracies and particularly as Evangelical Christians serving the God of justice, in either letting injustice continue unchecked or doing something to make it stop.

One of Occupation 101’s greatest strengths is that for every assertion it makes and every fact it quotes it provides an accurate reference. This much cannot be said, apparently, for that YouTube hit and favourite of hysterical Christians and Islamophobes (and those repetative-strain mail-ghouls who can never resist forwarding any mail that claims to be important): the so-called ‘Muslim Demographics’.

islamophobiaThe dubious ‘facts’ in this video are investigated in a recent BBC piece and the results are illuminating. You can read it here.

The video itself is obviously annoying. But as a Christian, what is more shaming is that so many of us are only too willing to buy into and promote rumours, hearsay and actual hate, simply because we want to discredit ‘the competition’. It’s stupid, it’s hateful and it does our witness (to Muslims, to the world and particularly to smart people, who need Jesus too) no good.

So, if you sent the video that ‘proved’ there were ‘facts’ ‘proving’ that Muslims were going to ‘overrun’ Europe (quotation marks = irony. many quotation marks = savage irony), make amends. Write to everyone you sent it on to and apologise. Tell them it was a lie. Send them this link, explaining it all:

And if you really want to do the cause of speaking truth to power some good, buy a copy of Occupation 101 and start passing it round your friends.


One Response

  1. “Tell them it was a lie. Send them this link, explaining it all:” (jonathanlangley)

    See also Tiny Frog, Muslim Demographics, 2009-05-03, Duncan Macleod, Muslim Demographics on YouTube Abuse of Statistics, 2009-05-11, Steve Letendre, Muslim Demographics Debunked, 2009-05-26, Richard Abanes, Muslim Demographics – A Christian Response, 2009-06-27, BBC Radio 4, Muslim Demographics: The Truth, 2009-08-07, Oliver Hawkins, Disproving the Muslim Demographics sums, 2009-08-07.

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