By: Hailey Miller, Staff Writer
Content warning: mentions of genocide, violence, and war.
Editor’s note: this article was updated on November 24, 2023, to re-word instances of naming the Palestinian genocide a “conflict.” The word “conflict” assigns equal blame to both Israel and Palestine for the unfolding of the siege on Gaza and fails to place the blame on the oppressor.
In light of Israel’s brutal siege on Gaza after Hamas’ violent attack on Israel on October 7, it’s important to understand these events are not isolated incidents and both “sides” do not have equal power. Conflict has followed the colonization and oppression of Palestinians for nearly a century, and the history is long and cruel. Palestinian perspectives are often marginalized and even silenced in the media. Here’s a list of media to expand your understanding of the longstanding history of the Israeli occupation and ongoing genocide, and the immediate need for a ceasefire now.
Palestine Speaks (2021)
By: Mateo Hoke and Cate Malek
This book is an “oral history collection” of narratives from individuals living on the occupied land of the West Bank and Gaza — two Palestinian territories — and discusses their lives amid the longstanding crisis. It includes narratives by a journalist, fisherman, settlement administrator, and a marathon runner. It also includes a perspective from Ghassan Andoni, an Arab-Christian physics professor and activist from Bethlehem who co-founded the International Solidarity Movement and advocates for non-violent resistance. As a religious minority, Palestinian Christians face annihilation from this genocide, have endured violent persecution, and Israel’s occupation restricts them from accessing holy sites.
Seeking Palestine (2023)
By: Penny Johnson and Raja Shehadeah
This anthology of essays features the voices of 15 Palestinian authors with the theme of “exile and home.” They reflect upon their lives as they wait, live, and seek a Palestine safe from oppression and Israeli state violence. The collection contains a variety of forms, from poetry and humour to essays, all of which help understand what living through Israel occupation means.
Erasing Palestine (2023)
By: Rebecca Gould
Gould explores the history of anti-semitism and how it has been redefined, especially within the internal politics of Britain, which is then related to global phenomena. She discusses how “the redefinition of antisemitism has functioned as a tactic to undermine Palestine solidarity.” The Palestinian movement is anti-Israeli colonization, not anti-Jewish. Anti-semitism is prejudice, hatred, and discrimination against Jewish people, while many Jewish people do not support Israeli violence and the occupation of Palestine.
All books are available from Massy Books, and you can browse their selection of “Books for Palestinian Justice and Freedom” on their website.
Films and Documentaries
Al-Nakba: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948 (1998)
Where to watch: YouTube
In a series of four episodes, this documentary explains the history between Israel and Palestine and the displacement of Palestinians during the Nakba, a catastrophic event in 1948 in which Israel, backed by Britain, brutally “expelled at least 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and lands and captured 78 percent of historic Palestine.” Nakba means “catastrophe” in Arabic, and also refers to the continuation of this ethnic cleansing and occupation since then. The film features testimonies of Arab and Israeli witnesses during the catastrophe.
5 Broken Cameras (2011)
Where to watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+
This documentary features the sights and violent destruction of protests that happened in the Palestinian village of Bil’in, Gaza, since 2005. Palestinian farmer and cameraman Emad Burnat’s footage captures the struggles and resistance surrounding the West Bank barrier being built, which created separation among Israelis and Palestinians, and affected those living and farming near the Gaza-West Bank area. Each camera represented one chapter in the long fight.
Born in Gaza (2014)
Where to watch: Netflix
This documentary explores how violence affected the lives of 10 Palestinian children following the 2014 war in Gaza, and the horrors the children faced under Israeli occupation. It highlights how the Nakba has robbed children of a childhood they deserve, which we can see with the current siege of Gaza, with over 5,000 children dying in the past month alone.
Gaza Fights for Freedom (2019)
Where to watch: YouTube
Filmed during the Great March of Return protests, Gaza Dights for Freedom features footage of countless demonstrations among civilians fighting for their freedom and rights. Over 200 unarmed civilians were killed by Israeli snipers during their 2018 fight and protests.
Where to watch: Netflix
Farha explores the violence in Palestine in 1948, where a father leaves and hides his 14-year-old daughter in a pantry to try and keep her safe, promising to return. While the film is fictional, it depicts a story that is sadly similar to the experiences of Palestinians today. When the film was released, the Israeli government campaigned to have it removed, as it exposes the violent and unjust reality of their occupation of Palestine.
Available on all podcast platforms
Unsettled follows the events of the October 7 Hamas attacks alongside conversations and viewpoints on the Israel occupation of Palestine, including interviews with Shahd Safi and Arie Hasit. Safi has stated that the people of Gaza are in need of electricity, fuel, flour, and bread. Hasit and his family have been spending time in bomb shelters.
This CBC podcast series is currently featuring many of the issues in occupied Palestinian territories following the latest events and catastrophes. This specific episode focuses on the crisis regarding the lack of food, shelter, medical care, and safety, and how more needs to be done to help the people of Gaza.
The Canadians for Justice in the Middle East (CJPME) podcast features conversations with guests, including “journalists, human rights leaders, UN experts.” In their 55 episodes thus far, they’ve tackled “issues related to Israeli apartheid, Canada’s response to Israel’s far-right government, Islamophobia, and pro-Israel media bias.” Some highlights include “Canadian Media and Pro-Israel Bias” and “The Islamophobia Industry in Canada.”