In 2016, Rabbi Dov Taylor invited a group of Americans to join him on a tour of Israel and Palestine. This 12-day excursion was not planned as a sight-seeing tour, though there were plenty of sights to see. Rather, the purpose was to introduce tour members to Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories and East Jerusalem, or as Rabbi Taylor put it, “I wanted Americans, and American Jews in particular, to have the opportunity to meet and get to know some Palestinians as human beings, just like themselves, with the same hopes and fears and dreams.”
For Israelis and for Jews around the world, the 1948 War of Independence was a miracle—and a new beginning for a suffering people. For Palestinians, it turned out to be a catastrophe. Both narratives are authentic and paying attention to them is an ethical act. All of the tour members were well aware of the miracle but most were not familiar with the catastrophe. For twelve days they toured Israel and Palestine with the intention of listening and learning. They met with Israelis and Palestinians and witnessed what life is like for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. They learned about the situation of Palestinians who are citizens of Israel and met with Israeli and Palestinian activists who are working for peace.
Seeing through the Wall is not a history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1948, with all its moral complexities and tragic suffering on both sides, but a look at the present everyday life of Palestinians. It invites and challenges viewers to question their own assumptions and prejudices.
PRAISE for Seeing through the Wall
“Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with me. I just watched it from start to end. I was moved by the film and the people you met with. The complexity of the situation and the trauma by all sides truly came through as did the emotional and intellectual reactions.” —Josh Bloom, MEJDI Tours
“I was deeply moved by this powerful and transformative film! Some of the poignant images will stay with me a very long time. How you happened to stumble across that young Palestinian boy with a true poet’s soul, I don’t know, but it was a perfect ending. I am changed by this film, and I don’t say that about many films, or any films. So thank you.” —Kathleen Kiley, Writer
“I have just viewed Seeing Through the Wall, which has so many special heartfelt true moments and lessons for peace. The 17-year-old Palestinian fellow, wise beyond years, who closes the film with his poem, “Should I Apologize” is still with me, and not far behind him the linking people through shared pain, allowing their spirituality and hearts to open rather than be blocked off.” —Gus Nasmith, Human Rights Activist
” I cannot tell you adequately how deeply touched I was by Seeing Through the Wall. It is a magnificent and important piece of work. It should be shown in every synagogue, mosque and church throughout the land.” —Sister Jeanne Ronzani, Educator
“I’m still choked up after seeing the film just now. Every detail was wrenching. The music, the filming, the photography, the message. What was so strong (and different from other documentaries I have seen on this subject) was that this film is about human beings—not politicians.” —Susan Meyer, Book Publisher
“This is a very moving film – good both on an intellectual level and on a heart level. I think it will spark good discussion. It is a solid and tender and really a stirring piece of work that is much needed at this time.” —Simon Dennis, Center for Transformational Practice
“I just finished watching the film and drying my eyes. Thank you Dov for the trip and to the film crew for creating such a moving piece of work. It was so closely tied to the experience, I was amazed.” —Rabbi Lev Baesh, tour participant
“A solid, tender and really a stirring piece of work that is much needed at this time.” —Simon Dennis, Center for Transformational Practice