After having shown the plight of the million Jews who, from the mid-1940s, had to flee the countries they and their forefathers had lived in for centuries, those most discreet refugees whose story had never been told this way, Pierre Rehov has filmed the other side of a same coin: the fate of the Palestinian refugees that everyone has heard about. Refugees that are shown on the worldÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇs television screens practically day in, day out, and whose plight is supposedly so well-known. But refugees whose fate we, in fact, know so little about.
In his latest film, ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_Ì´å«The Hostages of Hatred,ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎå´ Rehov sets out to tell us the real story of those men, women and children, who have been shamefully used as mere pawns for over 50 years, by Arab leaders at first, by Palestinian leaders later on and, until this very day, also by the body that was specially created to supposedly take care of them: the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA.
To tell the real story of these people, Rehov has sent teams to film actual refugees in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, and he has shot footage himself in the West Bank. As in all his films, he thus exposes nuggets of truth hidden among the well-rehearsed propaganda speeches. We see the poverty the refugees are deliberately kept in, we see the pain, we see the nurtured hatred, we see the false hopes those people are raised on. But we also see the same hatred combined with a wealth you would not expect.
And, as usual, Rehov mixes these firsthand testimonies with the counterpoint of extremely well-researched and enlightening documents: in-depth analyses from historians and politicians like Shlomo Ben Ami, former Israeli Foreign Minister; Rep. Eric Cantor; a Palestinian Oslo negotiator; an advisor to Arab leaders; and a Palestinian human rights activist.
ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_Ì´å«This film, like Pierre Rehov's many other excellent Middle East documentaries, takes a totally unconventional view. Here, the Frenchman visits Palestinian "refugee" camps--villages, really, albeit poor ones--in Gaza, west of the Jordan River and Lebanon, where he interviews Palestinian youths and adults. From their mouths, viewers hear much hatred of Jews and Israel, but there is also affirmation from Arabs who lived through the 1948 and 1967 wars that they were not in fact forced to leave, but left of their own accord, to allow Arab armies to clear the land of Jews before returning. That war effort failed, they admit. What's most important in this film, however, is the extensive documentation of Palestinian population fraud. UNRWA, the United Nations Relief Workers Agency established solely for Arab Palestinian benefit following the Israeli war of Independence, has on record far more ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎÌ¥refugeesÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ than are actually living. That's because Palestinians for years hid the deaths of their elders, and continued to collect benefits in their names. In one town, one Palestinian reports, no deaths were recorded for 20 years. Moreover, Rehov reports (and documents with actual records shown), every year, UNRWA collects and distributes exponentially more ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎÌ¥aidÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ to Palestinian ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎÌ¥refugeesÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ who have had more than 50 years to build new lives but failed to do so, than the UN High Commission budget for tens of millions of refugees from all other parts of the world, combined. And one third of that enormous UNRWA budget comes from the U.S. The only way to encourage an end to the never-ending ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎÌ¥crisis,ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ Rehov's documentary suggests, is to end the endless supply of gravy showered on Palestinians, to the detriment of far more, far needier refugees in the rest of the world. Since World War II, hundreds of millions of refugees globally have been resettled away from their war torn homes. Only the Palestinian Arabs remain ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎÌ¥displacedÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ after more than 50 years--largely because, through its ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎÌ¥relief,ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ the UN is effectively paying them to prolong their ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎÌ¥sufferingÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇ and thereby prolong the conflict indefinitely.ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎå´ ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´å Alyssa A. Lappen
About the Producer
Pierre Rehov is a French-Israeli documentary film producer and director, novelist, journalist and lawyer. Born of Jewish parents in Algeria, Rehov emigrated with his family to France at an early age to escape the growing Muslim anti-Semitism that would eventually morph into what is now popularly known as the ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_Ì´å«Arab Spring.ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎå´ Motivated by the apparent staging and coverup of the killing of 12-year-old Palestinian Mohammed al-Dura in 2000, Rehov turned investigative reporter, researching and recording the inconsistencies turned up by his investigation. RehovÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇs documentaries include ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_Ì´å«The Trojan Horse,ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎå´ uncovering Yasser ArafatÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎå«Ì´åÇs true designs; ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_Ì´å«Holy Land: Christians in Peril,ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎå´ on why Bethlehem no longer is a Christian town; ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_Ì´å«The Road to Jenin,ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎå´ exposing the Palestinian ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_Ì´å«massacreÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎå´ hoax; ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_Ì´å«Silent Exodus,ÌÎÌ_ÌÎ_ÌÎÌ_ÌÎå´ on the expulsion of a million Jews from Arab countries after 1948; and "The Path to Darkness," which documents the step-by-step religious brainwashing of candidates for suicide terrorism, with input from former World War II Japanese kamikazes.
- Director: Pierre Rehov
- Subtitle: English
- Region: Region 1
- Run Time: 52 minutes
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