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Cartooning in Conflict
Chicago Nov. 4-6

| Past Activities | From the Media | Newsletter | Video and Television


"Returning to Haifa"


 PCFF members were invited for the second time to participate in a panel in the Cameri theatre, this time the panel followed a play by Boaz Gaon.

 Gaon took a short story by Ghassan Kanafani, "Returning to Haifa", and changed it accordingly. "Returning to Haifa" tells the story of a Palestinian couple who left Haifa during the 48 war and in the middle of the rush left their baby boy behind. In 1967 they return and see that in the house lives a family of Holocaust survivors who took care of the baby. Baby Haldun who grew as an Israeli Jew is now named Dov and serves as a soldier in the IDF.

Ghassan Kanafani who is considered to be one of the most famous and important Palestinian writers was also the spokesman of the "Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine". During his time as a spokesman, the PFLP were responsible for severe attacks against  Israel, the most infamous of them is the Lod Airport massacre on May 1972 (the Japanese Red Army undertook a terrorist attack on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). On July 1972 Kanafani was killed in Beirut, Israel never admitted it but is considered to be responsible for his killing

Kanafani's history with the Cameri's decision to produce a play following his story, created a storm in Israel and people expressed their objection through demonstrations in Tel Aviv which started even before the curtain rose on the first show. The theatre and the playwright Gaon explained that the play shows both sides' humanity and pain and it's important for people to see and understand both sides of the conflict.

As a group which believes in the way of Reconciliation and knowing the other, it was clear that we'll accept the Cameri's invitation.

Nir Oren and Aziz Abu Sarah from the PCFF spoke in the panel along with the two actresses, and the playwright. Nir Oren, the PCFF's Israeli General Manager, said, referring to the pain of both families in the play, that the big problem of the conflict is acknowledging the other's pain. Aziz answered questions from the audience and explained that we, as a Forum, understand that both nations must reach a mutual understanding and we at the PCFF are a living example that it's possible.




April 2008



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