Wolf Hall, Peter Kosminsky's 2011 mini-series starring Claire Foy, is currently airing on BBC television to rave reviews. Zionists must fear that Kosminsky's and Foy's high profile will lead many to their magnificent 4-part Channel 4 drama, The Promise, a unique British TV telling of the story of the Palestinians and the Zionist colonisers, as well as the role of Britain in the violation and dispossession of the Palestinian people. The four episodes are superlative until the final minute of the fourth episode. My partner and I watched it with initially low expectations, but we were shocked by the unbroken stream of historical truth that was allowed onto British TV screens. We waited with foreboding for the crashing disappointment that would inevitably re-frame the narrative sometime before the final credits rolled.
It never came. Compared to the strict limits all news programmes feel constrained to recognise, there was still room some years ago in TV drama for honesty, accuracy and a rounded framing of the events depicted on screen. The Promise is a tribute to Kosminsky's integrity and his courage in accepting the findings of four years of research that he conducted prior to the cameras rolling.
The Promise depicts the Zionist massacre of the people of Deir Yasin and many other places in 1948 and brings to our screens an example of the all-too-frequent horror of Palestinian children seeking refuge under beds from Israeli sniper fire in Gaza.
The dramatised and truthful recreation of the events takes the viewer from the liberation of the Nazi extermination camps to the brutality and horror of Israel's occupation and siege of Palestine today. (If you live in Scotland you can borrow my copy for a small donation to SPSC.)
The series moves back and forth from 1948 to the present, integrating a historical narrative spanning half a century through a story of a naive young girl, played convincingly by Claire Foy, who sits at the bedside of her dying grandfather, later finds his diary and decides to contact some of the people he had met and written about.
If you have seen The Promise, urge others to do so on the back of Kosminsky's and Foy's current profile while Wolf Hall is on our screens. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn are safely 500 years in the past; the participants in the drama of Zionist colonisation, ethnic cleansing and resistance are still very much alive and need you to know their history, and to share that knowledge with others who don't so as to inspire some to action.
If you haven't yet seen The Promise, consider yourself fortunate for you can look forward to a magnificent viewing experience. How often do you find the unalloyed, accurate depiction of the Palestinian catastrophe depicted over six hours on British TV? And enjoy the final, searing, truthful minute.
23 January 2015
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The struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is not unique -- whatever the news media may suggest. Lorenzo Veracini argues that the conflict is best understood in terms of colonialism. Like many other societies, Israel is a settler society. Looking in detail at the evolution of other colonial regimes -- apartheid South Africa, French Algeria and Australia -- Veracini presents a thoughtful interpretation of the dynamics of colonialism, offering a clear framework within which to understand the middle east crisis.