Why has the so-called ‘conflict’ in Palestine endured for over a century, with no resolution in sight? Tapping a trove of source documents heretofore poorly explored, Suárez challenges the prevailing narrative of a clash between Arabs and Jews as depicted by the mass media, demonstrating what to many informed observers is obvious from the present reality: that the entire tragic history is at its root the violent takeover of Palestine by a European settler movement that couched its goals in pretenses of messianic entitlement—Zionism.
Suárez details a shocking campaign of Zionist terrorism in the 1940s and 1950s that targeted anyone in the way of its political goals, whether the British government, the indigenous Palestinians, or Jews. Indeed, Suárez challenges Zionism’s self-proclaimed raison d’être—safe Haven for Jews—by exposing the racial-nationalist movement’s exploitation of Jews and Jewish persecution.
The historical evidence demonstrates that Zionism pursued its goals at the expense of, not for the benefit of, persecuted Jews, yet continues to wield the smear of anti-Semitism to silence its opponents. Today’s seemingly intractable quagmire is Zionism’s unfinished business, an Israeli state driven by unrequited territorial designs and the dream of ethnic ‘purity’. As such, the ‘conflict’ is neither complicated nor unsolvable, but ending it will require stripping Zionism of its false narrative. Suárez addresses this by laying bare the historical record.
Arthur Balfour was born in 1848 on the family’s Scottish Estate in East Lothian. In 1916, he was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
I am Fatima, a 35-year old asylum seeker living in Scotland. I was born a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon. In 2001, I came to the UK to seek refuge and rebuild my life. Why am I here? Who was Arthur Balfour and what relates him to me? Arthur Balfour & Me is a visual and emotional journey through history and present time, an untold story about how a politician’s action has to this day affected my life as a young woman from the Middle East.
In exile since I was born, I dream to see the day when I will be able to return to my homeland. The land of my parents and grandparents was Haifa, now an Israeli city. Two weeks before the official creation of the state of Israel in May 1948, my parents fled their village El-Yajour, in the north East of Haifa in the hope they would be able to come back within a matter of weeks or possibly months according to UN officials.
But what began as a short-term refugee status for my family turned into a lifetime in the refugee camp in Lebanon. I have never experienced a proper home. I have lost so many relatives, some I have never met and others I have not seen since I was a small child.
The film will also appeal to a general audience, both nationally and internationally. I have also asked my Jewish friend Henry Maitles, a
University lecturer and antiZionist, to accompany me on the journey. As a Jew, the Declaration has also affected him. While I am not allowed to go back to the land where I come from, the Balfour Declaration gave Jewish Henry Maitles the right to go and live in the newly created state. The only Jewish people I ever knew while in Lebanon were Israeli soldiers. Henry was the first Jewish person that I met after arriving in Scotland. I was shocked when I found that a Jew could be supportive of Palestinian Rights. By telling you my story, and by showing the impact of a letter “one political act”, I hope to convey to you, the audience a more intimate picture of a global issue, one where the human side is often omitted because of its political nature.
Set in Scotland, the film looks at a little known aspect of Scotland’s political history, which will be of great interest to the Scottish viewer