Dear Friends and Supporters,
Apologies for not posting updates for awhile. If you haven't "liked" us on Facebook, you are welcome to do that, as we post updates there more often: www.facebook.com/AThirdWay
It has been a few months of education here in the Holy Land. Everything that goes against the grain seems to encounter obstacles - it's just part of the landscape here. Coming from living most of my life in the United States, I have an inborn optimism, and maybe naivete, as far as conflict zones like the Middle East.
Basically, the garden we have been following in "A Third Way", is a relatively public statement, and that seems to carry with it various risks, especially during a right wing administration in Israel (which has tended to create a lot of backlash on the Palestinian side). We have watched while the characters in "A Third Way" struggled with getting unofficial permission from the Palestinian governate of the Bethlehem region (this apparently took a lot of string pulling, calling in favors, etc). Then we had the "little" Gaza War a few weeks ago - which obviously created a lot of new tension between Israel and Palestine in general. Then soon after, the UN declaration of Palestinian statehood, and ONE day later, Netanyahu's apparent response, declaring plans for new unilateral home building in the West Bank, including in the very controversial E-1 area.
Each of the above has sent ripples of tension, hatred, and some violence, through the region. Our characters are all still fully committed to planting the organic farm, and we are fully committed to following them as they try to do so. The growing season here is 12 months long, so the ground breaking could come at any time of the year. Several well-known Palestinian activists have pledged to give their political support to the farm project, and that will theoretically add more impetus to overcoming the obstacles.
In the meantime, we have been shooting various other parts of the picture: we had a great shoot recently with Nahum and his brother. Nahum is the "black sheep" of the family for having many Palestinian friends. Nahum and his brother disagreed very visibly in our interview. It was maybe a microcosm of "the Israeli soul" at this point: very conflicted. Here's a set of stills from that shoot: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.421472857924487.95343.192917600780015
Thanks for your continued interest in "A Third Way". Our story has had more twists and turns than we originally imagined it would. We realized that our belief in a simple and inspiring story, with a given "happy ending", was a bit naive. Now that we've shed some of our innocence, we know our story will unfold more slowly, with more detours and eddies, than we had imagined. But it will be a more authentic story of this inspiring, frustrating, often crazy-making place.
All the best from Jerusalem,