Yehuda Shaul of Breaking the Silence, the organization of former Israeli soldiers, speaks out on the truth of the Palestinian occupation, and present the recent book Our Harsh Logic—"one of the most important books on Israel/Palestine in this generation" (The New York Review of Books). This public forum is presented by the Levantine Cultural Center with support from Jewish Voice for Peace-LA.
The very name of the Israel Defense Forces—which many Israelis speak of as "the most moral army in the world"—suggests that its primary mission is the defense of the country's territory. Indeed, both internationally and within Israel, support for the occupation of Palestinian territory rests on the belief that the army's actions and presence in the West Bank and Gaza are essentially defensive and responsive, aimed at protecting the country from terror. Read reviews.
Limited seating for this long-running and inspired comedy show-come enjoy a healthy dose of comic relief, laugh about life and the Middle East with one of L.A's hottest comedy troupes, the Sultans of Satire, in a special performance featuring headliner Mike Batayeh. Hosted by Sheno Khal, this show features Marie-Thérèse Abou-Daoud, Noël Elgrably, Mona Shaikh and Omid Singh.
a mural project including life-size portraits of all the greats
The Levantine Cultural Center has unveiled The HEROES OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA mural initiative, which proposes to create a large mural depicting cultural icons such as Rumi, Khalil Gibran, Fairuz, Naguib Mahfouz and other poets, writers, filmmakers, musicians and artists who are symbols of peace through the arts.
The AFI Fest 2013 presented by Audi and the Levantine Cultural Center offer two special screenings of Hany Abu-Abbad's latest feature, after The Courier and Paradise Now. (Sun., 4 pm, Nov. 10; Mon, 10 pm, Nov. 11 at the TCL Chinese Theatre.) Omar is not afraid to climb over the Israeli walls in Palestine using surreptitious rope ladders; having sniper fire whiz past his head is a part of daily life for Omar and his best friend, Tarek. Ironically, the most dangerous thing in Omar's life is the fact that he's in love with Nadia, Tarek's sister.
When military intelligence investigates the death of a checkpoint patrolman, they realize that Omar's relationship can be used to leverage information. From this tale of hidden love comes an intense portrait of life in the West Bank. Director Hany Abu-Assad throws these characters into a world of dangerous loyalties and betrayals where something as simple as young love can be exploited. OMAR is a drama that reveals Assad's compassionate view of life, empathizing deeply with human beings trapped in circumstances beyond their control.
Israeli American activist and author Miko Peled has toured widely presenting his book The General's Son: the Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. Dr. Laila Al-Marayati is a Palestinian American physician and activist with KinderUSA. They join in public conversation on the Israel-Palestine question at the Levantine Cultural Center on Thursday, Nov. 21, 7:00 pm. The program is cosponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace-LA. Everyone is invited to participate. Enjoy food/drink in our Café Rumi.
Writes Alice Walker in her foreword:
"There are few books on the Israel/Palestine issue that seem as hopeful as this one. First of all, we find ourselves in the hands of a formerly Zionist Iraeli who honors his people, loves his homeland, respects and cherishes his parents, other family members and friends, and is, to boot, the son of a famous general whose activities during Israel's wars against the Palestinian people helped cause much of their dislocation and suffering. Added to this, long after Miko Peled, the writer, has left the Special Forces of the Israeli army and moved to Southern California to teach karate, a beloved niece, Smadar, a young citizen of Jerusalem, is killed by Palestinians in a suicide bombing. Right away we think: Goodness. How is he ever going to get anywhere sane with this history? He does."
On Wed., Nov. 6, investigative journalist Max Blumenthal and activist Hamid Khan will discuss "LAPD Spying: Civil Liberties, Homeland Security, and the Israel Connection" in a public forum in the Progressive Conversations on Israel/Palestine and US Middle East Foreign Policy series. The program takes place at the Levantine Cultural Center.
As Dan Bluemel notes, "The federal government has been busy since the passing of the Patriot Act in 2001. Edward Snowden, an NSA whistle-blower, recently revealed that the NSA has been secretly storing vast amounts of digital information collected from millions of Americans' cell phone calls and Internet communications. Thanks to Snowden, citizens now have a much better idea of how busy their spy agencies have been, and who they have been targeting. However, one group, the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, is trying to alert people in Los Angeles to the fact that domestic spying doesn't just happen at NSA headquarters in Maryland. Spying is local too, they say, and we can look no further than the Los Angeles Police Department."
The Arab Film Festival presents a documentary that explores the stories of the Arab Jews of Morocco. With They Were Promised the Sea, filmmaker Kathy Wazana set out to discover why hundreds of thousands of Jews left Morocco in the 1960s, believing their Arab homeland had become enemy territory. What she found was a country still grieving the loss of its Jewish population. Her "enemy" welcomed her home and claimed her as one of their own.
They Were Promised the Sea is an intimate journey shot in Morocco, Israel-Palestine, and New York. Kathy's research into her family origins in Morocco unleashed a complex web of questions about dual identity, political opportunism, and the challenges faced by those torn between Homeland and Promised Land.
A Celebration of Palestinian Culture presents the Lyd/Lod-based hip hop trio DAM, now the hottest group of rappers in the Middle East, in a special Southern California return engagement (6:00 pm), with film screenings and conversation taking place prior in the theatre, (3:00-5:30 pm). All happening at the Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine 92614. DAM is a household name in the Middle East. The group did the soundtrack for the hit TV series "Arab Labor" and have been featured in Jackie Salloum's film, Slingshot Hiphop.
A Celebration of Palestinian Culture presents matinee (11:30 am VIP brunch and 1:30 pm dance performance) by the Bethlehem-based dance company, Keywords:
September 20, 2013|Alternet|Jordan Elgrably
Every now and then a little sunshine breaks through, and Palestinians enjoy the light. Thanks to occasional complex portrayals in film, television and documentary reporting, they become real people with a cause we can all relate to, seeking justice and freedom.
That was true of the Palestinian characters in Steven Spielberg's Munich (2005), who weren't cardboard villains, but human beings. It was even more apparent the same year in Hany Abu-Assad's Paradise Now, which was the first Palestinian film to land an Oscar nomination and win a Golden Globe. In Paradise Now, we empathized with West Bank youth and understood what could drive them to consider becoming human bombs. In 2009, Cherien Dabis brought the Palestinian struggle to America with her film Amreeka, about a single mother from Ramallah, who gets her teenage son out so he'll have a future.