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Issue #1735      June 15, 2016

Thoughts on Tales of a City by the Sea

My family and I saw the play Tales of a City by the Sea recently set in Gaza, essentially a very human tale about a love story in the surroundings of blockade and war. It’s really a universal topic that could be in many similar places with shared history of dispossession, occupation and oppression, but this particular play is set in Palestine.

We found it profoundly moving. And I think it is beneficial for Australians to get some insight into the Palestinian situation from a Palestinian perspective, which we rarely experience here.

While it is useful to read and hear Israeli perspectives on the conflict in Palestine there is an almost total neglect in Australia and in the West generally of the Palestinian side of the story. I believe that it important to encourage a diversity of opinion on this important question and present readers with different views of the issues involved.

Instead we have had for years a steady stream of different opinion pieces from various Israeli and Jewish writers; as if no Palestinian narrative or voice existed on the question.

Indeed it is as if the outlook of one of the central participants in the conflict that has gone on for over 60 years is almost completely missing from the dialogue. There are in fact in Australia and elsewhere many articulate and eloquent Palestinian voices that exist and are worthy of space in our media. And it would be very valuable too if we could hear these voices, if we ever truly want to see a just resolution of the struggle in Palestine.

The resolution of such conflicts begins with an understanding of the viewpoint of both parties, not by ignoring one side. Palestinians deserve to be listened to, as there can be no peace or just resolution to this tragic situation without attention to their point of view and recognising that Palestinians do have rights. In fact history shows this is really the key to settling such disputes. We really need to be exposed to a better balance of views and pieces of more substance on this vital matter. So Tales of a City by the Sea is an important contribution to this.

Next article – A breath of love – A Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana

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