Episode 5 - Fighting Occupation
After the 2008/9 Israeli attack on Gaza, this film shows the roots of what Israel and the West calls ‘terrorism’.
The film begins with two houses. A Palestinian family wake up every day to face a fortress like structure on the hillside above them. They feel humiliated and powerless. It is a Jewish settlement on illegally occupied land. The Israelis say that this land is theirs, ordained by God. Palestinians are welcome to remain as guests, so long as they accept that the Israelis own the land.
Rees then travels to Gaza before the invasion, where a population is under siege. He has dinner with leaders of al Qassam Brigades. They have a very different definition of ‘terrorism’ here.
Rees argues that since the partition of Palestine, only one side in this conflict has been given the means and the right to pursue its claim to statehood using a conventional army. That is Israel. By declaring a ‘global war on terror’, the West is, in effect, denying the Palestinians their only means to challenge the military superiority of Israel. HAMAS – and the Palestinians in general – are left with a despairing choice: submit to Israeli power and negotiate on their terms – or face the poverty and isolation that comes from challenging that power and being labelled a ‘terrorist’.
This is the fifth program in a six-part that series that examines whether terrorism can be defined? Or should any group that uses violence to challenge a state be called terrorists? Phil Rees asks if the old adage that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter still applies in the post 9/11 world.
Director: Kai Lawrence
Series Producer: Marc Perkins
Executive Producer: Phil Rees