Why Biden must watch this Palestinian movie

An image from “The Present,” the Oscar-nominated short film by the Palestinian filmmaker Farah Nabulsi. (photo credit…ShortsTV)
Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan but Palestinians have been left behind.  Can  the Biden administration make any progress?

By John Brennan  | The New York Times | Apr 27, 2021

Despite sharply reduced tensions between Israel and the Arab world, the Palestinian people themselves have seen no appreciable progress in their quest to live in their own sovereign state.

On a recent evening I watched “The Present,” a short film by Farah Nabulsi, a Palestinian filmmaker, which was nominated for an Academy Award for live-action short film. (The winner in the category was “Two Distant Strangers.”) Ms. Nabulsi’s 25-minute film is a powerful, heartbreaking account of the travails of Yusuf, a Palestinian man, and Yasmine, his young daughter, as they traverse an Israeli military checkpoint in the West Bank twice in a single day.

“The Present” establishes its context quickly, opening with images of Palestinian men making their way through a narrow passageway at one of the numerous checkpoints that dot the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Palestinians going to work, visiting family or shopping on the opposite side of a security barrier have to bear this humiliating procedure every day.

Yusuf sets out with Yasmine to buy an anniversary gift for his wife. He is held in a chain-link holding pen. The ostensible reason is that the Israeli guards want to search him and his possessions more thoroughly. Yasmine sits nearby, watching and waiting in silence.

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