Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Bethlehem - Jerusalem peace procession
from an interview with Sis Levin
“Life in Palestine is very different from what the public knows,” continues Levin. When she lectures in the USA, she finds that 85 percent of the average audience don’t have a clue about the situation, don’t know about the walls, and don’t know that Palestine has been reduced to nine percent of its former size. “There’s only nine percent left,” she repeats.
Ten years ago, recalls Levin, a home was imploded by Israeli forces two blocks from her Bethlehem house. And it’s true the home had been inhabited by a suicide bomber. But sometimes there’s more to the story. Levin recalls the woman whose home was raided. During the raid, Israeli troops killed her mother, her father, and her fiancé, then locked her in the room with the bodies. “Of course when she got out of that room she was quite out of her mind,” says Levin. “She went straight to Hamas and said strap it on me. When these things happen they don’t tell those stories either.”
Levin sees the same problems with media coverage of violence in the USA. When kids shoot kids at Columbine, Paducah, or Conyers, we don’t look behind those events either. We don’t ask how these things happen. “The media, instead of being a big part of the solution is very much a part of the problem.” Once Levin showed “Bowling for Columbine” to the youth of Bethlehem and they asked her. “Did your country take bulldozers and flatten the houses of the kids who did that?”