We have met the enemy and he is us. The last several months, Saadiq Long has been bouncing around in the no man’s land of the No Fly List. He is a ten year veteran of the United States Air Force. His appearance on the No Fly List has nothing to do with the fact that he is a Muslim. And now, Emad Burnat, on his way to the Academy Awards where he is up for Best Documentary, was detained at LAX. What the hell did he think he was he doing in America? That’s just like the terrorist to make an award winning film to get into this country and Bam! We’d never see it coming. His detention at the airport had nothing to do with his being a Palestinian.
Five Broken Cameras
Burnat’s new film Five Broken Cameras is dangerous. It tells the story of what all the Very Serious Villagers are always claiming Palestine needs: nonviolent resistance. The truth is that Palestine has a very long history of nonviolent organizing — just as long as American media have been ignoring it. As Foreign Policy has reported:
It’s enough to, you know, make you violent. The cameras in the title of Burnat’s film refer to the cameras that were destroyed while documenting the resistance against the building of a separation barrier in his village of Bil’in. The film looks really good:
Emad Burnat’s Story Continues
The detainment of Emad Burnat is the perfect crown on the entire Palestinian resistance movement. American media won’t cover it. Burnat collaborates with an Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi to document this movement. And when Burnat comes to America to help spread the word, American authorities harass him because he doesn’t quite smell right. A film about Palestinian nonviolence? Don’t make me laugh!
The good news, of course, is that such stunts only help get the word out. But I continue to be ashamed of my country — precisely because I expect better of it. I always have. And it continues to disappoint, oftentimes heartbreakingly. The enemy is not supposed to be us.