I wanted to write you about the project that I am working on with my friend, Pam Bailey. Both of us have spent a lot of time in Palestine working with International Solidarity Movement – I have spent most of my time in the West Bank and Pam, in Gaza.
Both of us have been deeply troubled about how Palestinians are perceived in the US and the myth propagated by the media and persons of political and social stature (Nicholas Kristoff, Tom Friedman, and Bono come to mind as examples) that there is an absence of non-violent resistance in Palestine. Knowing that the Palestinians have a rich history of non-violent resistance that dates back to the Ottoman Empire, as well as knowing many Palestinians who resist the Israeli occupation on a daily basis in a myriad of ways, we decided we needed to do something to give voice to those voiceless non-violent resisters and at the same time dispel the pernicious myth that the Palestinians know nothing of non-violent resistance. Additionally, we wanted to provide a home (a website) for visual testimonies of these individuals to provide an oral history of Palestinian non-violent resistance.
Pam was in Gaza for three months earlier this year to film Gazan voices of non-violent resistance. She returned with 15 clips representing 2 bloggers; Darg, a rap group; a break dance group; several artists; twins who are filmmakers and artists; a businessman; an engineer; and a leader of the non-violent marches. We chose to cover such a variety of people because we think it is important to highlight not just the political activists resisting through non-violent action but also those who resist through carrying on with their lives, conducting business and creating art – thus rejecting the dichotomous roles of aggressors and victims that the international community has thrust upon them. We’ve presented some of these short films to several groups and the response has been incredibly supportive and encouraging. Until our website is up and running, you can view some of the video clips, including the introductory film at http://vimeo.com/channels/palestiniangandhiproject.
In order to continue this project, we are planning to go to the refugee camps of Lebanon and Jordan, Syria, the West Bank, and to Israel to take testimonies from Palestinian Israelis. However, to do that we need to raise funds to cover travel, videographers, translators, etc. We have set up our fundraising appeal for $18,000 on Kickstarter.com, a fundraising site. You can read about our project, view an introductory film and donate at: http://kck.st/gKYBIM
We’ve raised about 54% of our goal, but we have only until June 24 to raise the remainder – the rules established by Kickstarter are such that if we do not entirely meet our goal by the end of the allotted time, all of the donated money reverts back to the donors. While we’ve had one donor offer to match contributions from yesterday to June 24, up to the point of meeting our $18,000 goal, we hope to lighten that individual’s burden by doing our best to reach as many interested donors before the deadline as we can. So you can see the urgency of raising the remaining funds.
We believe in our project and are working hard to raise the funds. I wanted to write you about our project and share what we’re doing and trying to accomplish, as well as to ask you if you would be willing to endorse the project, pass the word about it to interested others, and make a donation. Individuals can go to
For individuals who would prefer to make a tax deductible donation, checks can be made out to Nonviolence International, with Palestinian Gandhi Project written on the memo line, and send the ck to me.
I’m attaching a flyer about the project. I am also available to speak with you or anyone else interested in the project if there are questions. I can be reached at [email protected] or on my cell phone – 240-476-4182.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for any support you might extend.
Wishing you all the best,