Documentary Film Featuring Fayyad & J Street

Documentary Film Featuring Fayyad & J Street

I am sending this out because there is little time left if you want to see “STATE 194” at the Village East Cinema, on 12th St. & 2nd Ave. (Manhattan). It is playing through Wednesday. It played to an empty house; I don’t know why there were so few people there.  Anyone who has been consumed with the Arab-Israel conflict would be interested. 

It was made by Danny Setton, an experienced Israeli film maker, who had unprecedented access to the highest circles of the Palestinian leadership as he chronicles Prime Minister Salam Fayaad creating the institutions of a Palestinian State.  And then he documents Abbas going to the UN.  The film ends with the reality that nobody knows where the peace process is going.  Perhaps it is dead.  

This is a worthwhile film, told in a calm precise tone.  You see young, secular Palestinians, a female blogger, communicating with a male blogger in Gaza.  The Palestinians come out looking good; they are like many Palestinians I have known over the decades: educated, sincere, rational.  Salaam Fayyad, who I’ve met on several occasions, is the hero authentic, unassuming, gettingdown to business.  I was quite impressed with him when our Symposium group first met him.  Also, Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J St., is interviewed several times and is excellent.

After decades of ongoing strife between Israel and Palestine, many observers believe the only reasonable solution for peace is for the two peoples to have two separate states, and in 2009, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad began promoting a campaign that would see Palestine recognized as a state by the United Nations. Fayyad sought to set aside divisiveness and instead asked Palestinians to imagine what sort of a state they would want, and then take concrete steps towards making it a reality. Fayyad’s campaign, which he freely admitted was inspired by the program that led to the U.S.’s recognition of Israel in 1949, earned the respect of a number of international leaders and helped establish a common ground between many activists in the Middle East, but the plan fell short of its goals. Filmmaker Dan Setton profiles Salam Fayyad and chronicles his efforts to bring Palestine to the United Nations in the documentary State 194. The film was an official selection at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

By | 2013-05-21T15:16:00-04:00 May 21st, 2013|Blog|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Anonymous May 21, 2013 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    “It is playing through Wednesday. It played to an empty house; I don’t know why there were so few people there.”

    Well, most of Fayyad’s supporters including the three remaining American Task Force on Palestine members (including Lebanese American Hussein Ibish), Jeffrey Goldberg, John Kerry, WINEP, AIPAC and 3-4 mainstream journalists live in Washington DC. So a DC screening could draw up to 20 people.

    An NYC screening probably would draw from Meretz USA members. I guess you saw all of them at the theater.

    Otherwise, Fayyad doesn’t have many fans, including among Palestinians in the OPT, where he polls at about 1-2%.

    So hard to expect the film to do to well anywhere. On the other hand I am comforted to learn that there are “rational” Palestinians out there.


Leave A Comment