Last night Charlie Rose asked Fawaz Gerges about the new Arab public opinion and the Israel-Palestine conflict. He said:
Israel and the United States really are making a major strategic mistake, to underestimate, that deep down-- yes the focus [of the Arab spring is] on domestic politics, but once the dust settles-- the Palestinian conflict remains the most fundamental question, identity question for Arabs and Muslims
The point is underlined by a beautiful report by Kelly McEvers on NPR the other day about Bassel Shahade, a young filmmaker killed Monday in Homs-- by Syrian government shells.
Bassel Shahade from Shaam News Network
Shahade had the best of the west. He was a Fulbright scholar at Syracuse University, studying film. But he left because he needed to see the Syrian liberation. McEvers:
friends say he just couldn't deal with the guilt that nearly everyone he knew was back in Syria, fighting and sometimes dying for what they believed would be a better country. Shehadeh quit the program and made his way back home again.
Our NPR colleague, Rima Marrouch, met him around that time.
"And he told me, 'I couldn't be away when the revolution is happening. I needed to come back. You can always study later,' " Marrouch says.
Then McEvers ended her piece by talking about a film Shahade made, below.
Perhaps one of the most moving things Shahade ever made was a short poem of a film called Saturday Morning Gift.
It's based on interviews he did with a boy who survived war between Israel and the Lebanese group Hezbollah in 2006.
The film is a dramatization of the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006. It pictures a young Lebanese boy who is afraid of airplanes-- and whose home is struck by an Israeli shell. The soundtrack is Miles Davis.
Props to McEvers for highlighting Shahade's work, and to NPR for running it. There is no contradiction between supporting human rights in Syria and in Palestine.