From the West Bank to Armageddon A 45-minute slide-tape program produced by Sara Freedman and Ted German for Boston Mobilization for Survival. Available from Survival Education Fund.
Organizing around Middle East issues has never been easy in the United States. A number of obvious political problems have caused many people on the left to shy away from open support for the struggles of the people of the region and clear-cut opposition to US policy. But activists anxious to reach potentially sympathetic people in the peace and anti-intervention movements have also suffered from a lack of resources to help clarify the complex struggles in the region and explain the character and costs of US involvement there.
This slide-tape program goes a long way toward remedying this problem. From the West Bank to Armageddon is divided into three 15-minute segments. Taken together, they provide a comprehensive but very accessible overview of US involvement in the Middle East, with particular attention to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Using well-chosen photographs, maps and charts accompanied by a synchronized sound track, the show begins with an examination of the roots and character of US involvement in the Middle East. The second segment clarifies the key issues involved in the struggle for Palestine in terms which are readily understandable to audiences familiar with other Third World struggles. The final segment examines Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, US support for Israeli policies, the components of a just settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and guidelines for activists in this country.
One can quibble with certain aspects of the show’s analyses, interpretations and assertions. But overall the producers have done an excellent job, and have created a resource of great value to people organizing around Middle East issues. By placing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the context of US involvement and strategy in the Third World generally, the show encourages viewers to question their assumptions about conflicts in the Middle East. It conveys a great deal of reliable information, it is informed by solid analysis, it is easily accessible to a broad range of audiences and it is attractively put together. It deserves to be widely distributed and widely seen.