Budrus: A Palestinian Resistance


Will Palestinians ever succeed over their demands from Israel? Budrus is a very thought-provoking film. It turns something impossible into possible. It showcases an achievement of freedom. The award-winning documentary-maker Julia Bacha documented a successful Palestinian resistance movement in a village on the West Bank, Budrus.

Located near the Green Line, this village has a population of 1,500. The film follows a Palestinian community leader Ayed Morrar, who united Fatah, Hamas and Israelis in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction.

The village cultivates olives as a way to sustain their living. However the Israeli government was building walls “a separation barrier” dividing the Israeli. Doron Spielman, spokesperson and captain for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), does not believe nonviolent demonstrations can change the route of the Separation Barrier since he believes its goal to provide security to Israel “trumps everything.” For him, the use of Palestinian property to build the Separation Barrier “is extremely unfortunate to the lives of the Palestinian people, however is less unfortunate than the death of an Israeli civilian.” He called this is “injustice” and therefore must be challenged.

Ayed Morrar is a leader of the movement in Budrus. During 2000 to 2002, he organized the first “Popular Committee Against the Wall” in the West Bank by uniting all local Palestinian political factions, including Hamas and Fatah, and encouraging hundreds of Israelis to cross into the Occupied Palestinian Territories and demonstrate in support of his village. When challenged by his teenage daughter, he welcomed the launch of a women’s contingent that quickly moved to the front lines. Ayed chose nonviolence “because it is in the best interest of the Palestinian people to follow this path.” He once said while collecting olives, “the Israeli will shoot at us. But the olive tree is a source of life.” After all, the villagers have been watering the olive trees for over 50 years, they called them “Olive trees of Palestine”.

Israeli was trying to build a wall on neighbor’s land. They tried to confiscate 300 hectares of land, which might cut through cemeteries. Israeli turned the uprooted olive tree yard to a closed military zone. They sent a bulldozer to confiscate the land owned by Palestinians.

Yasmine Levy, a Palestinian worked as a border police, is committed to fulfilling the expectations to halt the demonstrations. Over the course of the demonstrations she develops a complex relationship with the women in the village who call her by name in their chants. She says, “Even if the women were beaten or shot, they had no problem with it. They went to all lengths to ensure their land would remain theirs.”