Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Anna Baltzer: Witness In Palestine

Marwan Barghouti and Anna Baltzer on The Daily Show

Jewish American peace activist Anna Baltzer has been doing exemplary peacework in Palestine for awhile now. anna-book_cover.gifIn these two video snippets from her DVD (available here), Anna speaks directly about her experiences and describes the situation in Palestine on the ground from first hand experience. Her testimony about the experiences of ordinary people and not simply that of statesmen is delivered in a clear and lucid manner with reference to her own photographs and visuals.


Anna’s website | Blog | Book | DVD | Photo albums | Yahoo group-list

Roadblocks and Settlements (6.41)

Outposts, Israeli peace activists and refuseniks (10.07)

Anna’s website | Blog | Book | DVD | Photo albums | Yahoo group-list

10 comments on “Anna Baltzer: Witness In Palestine

  1. homeyra
    4 August, 2007

    Great portrait Ben.
    Thanks Ann to introduce this interesting lady.

  2. Ann El Khoury
    4 August, 2007

    Thanks Homey. Ben’s superb portrait does justice to this wonderful person and her excellent work.

  3. graeme
    5 August, 2007

    Great! What a wonderful person. The struggle isn’t between Jews or Muslims, Israelis or Palestinians, but people wanting peace and people pushing war.

    thanks for the post.

  4. Ann El Khoury
    6 August, 2007

    Well said, Graeme. This is about justice.

  5. Ben Heine
    10 August, 2007

    Many thanks Ann for the repost!
    Anna does a great work for all of us, just like you!
    PS : So sorry for the late reply

    Ann: Thanks for coming by, Ben, and my pleasure.

  6. Cheryl Mavrikos
    4 November, 2007

    ‘Tis a shame that Anna Baltzer only witnesses with one eye open. She owes it to Israel – the only country in the Middle East democratic enough to allow her access to people subjected to “apartheid” (imagine, if she visited Iran to witness the persecution and apartheid of their Christian population, what kind of reception she’d get from the Iranian government!) – to visit Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism. Or does Anna justify terrorist acts by Palestinians? What about Ma’alot – was that justifyable? What about Munich?
    Will you even print my comment, I wonder??

  7. Ann El Khoury
    4 November, 2007

    Its a shame Cheryl, that your own take on the situation is so one sided and lopsided, conflating Anna’s considered and nuanced position with questioning whether she “supports terror”. What about Israeli terror, by far the more egregious and killing far more (by a factor of at least 4) Palestinians, Ms Mavrikos?

    Please open both your eyes to notice that Israel is not in fact democratic. Israel has responsibility for the Occupied Palestinian Territories and their citizens are not in fact treated democratically, nor are the one fifth Israeli Arabs accorded the same rights.

    Reference to another, separate, issue in another country does not justify Israel’s crimes and ethnic cleansing. I’m glad you mentioned Iran however, since Iranian Jews are flourishing and have resisted Israeli attempts to lure them there. That’s more than can be said for Israel’s deplorable treatment of the Palestinians, who have every right to resist occupation and the theft of their land and have been doing so mostly non-violently for decades. This worse than apartheid situation is compounded by wholesale immiseration, economic strangulation and a military matrix of checkpoints and Kafkaesque controls that results in an open air concentration camp in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, Gaza.

    Anna Baltzer has been there to witness circumstances in Palestine where you, clearly, have not, and that she “owes Israel” anything is an absurd statement. She has in fact witnessed first hand how were she not a Jew, were she a Palestinian with generations long lineage there, she would have been treated altogether differently and left at the mercy of Israeli airport checkpoint impunity, likely rejected entry as has happened countless times to Palestinians. In fact, even Jews sympathetic to Palestinians have been treated viciously and humiliated. I’d be happy to refer you to extensive references.

  8. Rebecca
    5 November, 2007

    If Ms. Baltzer is the Virgin Mary, then who does she hold in her arms? So does that mean that Israel=Roman Empire (who actually crucified Jesus) or =the Jews of the first century? How about taking a look at the long history of anti-semitic imagery – you’ll see this comes straight from the tradition of blaming Jews for the death of Jesus.

    5 November, 2007

    Thank you for your funny comment, Rebecca. We can see that such a conscientious and effective Jewish woman such as Anna Baltzer going to bat for the worthwhile cause of justice—showing that it is not an issue of Arabs vs Jews but of justice for Palestinians—clearly riles some people who are in mindless lockstep with the Likud line.

    You afforded us mirth because we wondered what you were saying. Are you saying Michelangelo himself was anti-Semitic (more specifically, anti-Judaic?)

    I would put it to you that neither Master (Michelangelo or my dear and talented friend, Ben) are anti-Judaic. In fact, the illustration is one of the most pro-Semitic I’ve seen. Most Jews aren’t Semitic, and certainly not the Ashkenazi Jews who are not indigenous to the Middle East but who hail from the Eurasian landmass. In contrast, most–if not all– Palestinians are Semitic.

    The most significant anti-semitism today is by far against Arabs and Muslims, not against Jews. The historical question of who killed Christ is immaterial here.

    What I found most lacking and instructive in your comment however was the fact that you altogether ignore the fact that this is about the Palestinians and their cause for justice — an end to the military occupation and economic siege by Israel, the right of return to their generations-long homeland, the right to live in peace and prosperity.

    Its not always all about Jews and perceived Jewish discrimination. If you want to play eternal victim and throw around the now diluted and meaningless anti-semite charge, that’s your choice. Just don’t expect others to join you in your contrived always-the-victim woe and hasbara propagation.

    There are real cases of discrimination and oppression demanding our attention, and you are welcome to join the fight for rights. When the oppressors happen to be zionists or Jews, it doesn’t make it any less wrong. Or are you saying that they are somehow perennially above any criticism and subject to a different standard?

    Just as more and more white South Africans came to see that apartheid was wrong for black and white South Africans alike—notwithstanding the fact that we have seen the formal legal end of apartheid but that economic disparities still exist—more and more Jews and Israelis of conscience are standing up for what’s right, and not buying into the flimsy demonisation of Arabs and Muslims in service of the neocon destruction of the Arab world for private gain.

  10. Oberon123
    16 September, 2009

    Wow! What a profound piece of work! It’s truly amazing. Anna has really addressed the heart of the matter.

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Timely Reminders

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