Dear friends,

I have been planning to share the wonderful news about our U.S. television premiere with you for months now, never imagining that the situation in Palestine and Israel would have escalated to this point. Please read on for details on how to see the film.
Since the murders of the three Israeli yeshiva students and the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager, more than 175 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians and children. Those numbers don't begin to reflect the physical and emotional toll that the escalation of violence is having on both populations, particularly Palestinians living in Gaza. My heart goes out to my friends in the region and all of the innocents caught in the crossfire. I can't help but think that this outbreak of violence was triggered by what, in other nations, would be considered abhorrent hate crimes deserving punishment to the full extent of the law. 
What makes this cycle "feel scarier," according to Rawan and Gal in "My So-Called Enemy," who have seen the conflict ebb and flow in the past 30 years, is the alarming level of racism, hatred and calls for revenge "on the street" that is marginalizing, threatening, and aiming to silence the voices of those advocating for dialogue and a just solution to the conflict based on its root causes, including the occupation. Thankfully, there are organizations like Building Bridges (you'll find a longer list below) and individuals like Rawan and Gal who are reaching out across borders, calling for an end to the violence and urging us not to forget our shared humanity, even now.

A special (excerpted) message from Rawan and Gal
(East and West Jerusalem)
This year marks, yet again, the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Most importantly, these few weeks mark the understandable and yet shocking increase of hatred and vengeance and the repeat of our leaderships’ failure.

Although we have lived through dozens of violent events, something in the current "cycle" feels different... Calls for solidarity, understanding, or even showing the complexity of the conflict are being delegitimized and met by a wall of suspicion.

We both could probably name every Palestinian and Israeli killed to date. We could document the arrests, demolitions, destruction and losses, but we won't. Instead we will speak for the already silenced voices - the voices of people who are DONE with the violence, occupation, injustice, fear, instability and wars. We will not take part in the hate! We will not take part in revenge killings and attacks! We will not take part in the calls for more and more retaliation.

As individuals, we have never pretended to know what the solution may be. We do know that meeting a person on the "other side," hearing their stories, opinions and thoughts is a first step. We also know that  staying stuck in your opinions and thoughts makes a solution impossible. The grassroots work of meeting the "other" - within our societies and between them - should be ongoing. We don't need to wait for another "Oslo" in order to talk; we need to create and nurture strong leaders that listen to and serve their people.

- In Solidarity, Rawan and Gal

May these voices be heard and may they one day become the majority.

Our U.S. broadcast premiere
"My So-Called Enemy" is having its U.S. broadcast premiere on the WORLD Channel on Sunday, July 27th  at 10/9c in the ITVS Global Voices series. Click here for a local station locator. If you miss our broadcastyou can watch the film online from anywhere in the world for 30 days (starting on July 28th), by clicking here.
You can let your friends and colleagues know about our broadcast and streaming window by forwarding this newsletter, sharing our upcoming Facebook posts - or creating your own. If you're on Twitter, you can follow us at @mysocalledenemy and @lisagossels.

Bring "My So-Called Enemy" to your community and support our outreach efforts
Do you have ideas about how our film can have the greatest impact in your community? Not only for dialogue around Middle East peace, but as a conflict resolution tool celebrating diversity and empowering girls/women/our youth to be agents for social change? We are selling our film in the educational/institutional market through New Day Films. We would be grateful if you recommended that educators, clergy, public librarians, friends and colleagues purchase "My So-Called Enemy" and consider it for screenings and conferences. And suggest they like our film on Facebook and join our mailing list.

Please drop me a line if you are interested in inviting me to present the film at your academic or religious institution, peace/multi-faith organization or youth/after-school program. I'm hoping we can Skype with some of the Building Bridges participants in upcoming screenings.
Stay Informed/Get Involved
If you are interested in connecting with groups advocating for peace, dialogue and a just two state solution, please join the mailing lists of these excellent organizations. Add your voices to their calls for justice, restraint and an immediate end to the violence. Donate to help further their bridge building and advocacy efforts.  

Building Bridges   The Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP)
Encounter J Street Just Vision New Israel Fund • OneVoice   
For a quick and simple way to lift up your voice of tolerance, sanity, and justice, please like and share J Street's Peace, Not Vengeance Facebook page.

Just Vision's new partnership with +972 Magazine, Sikha Mekomit, is one of the only outlets in Hebrew featuring voices generally not covered in the Israeli press, including first-person accounts from Gaza, Southern Israel and beyond. A number of articles are translated into English.

If you speak Hebrew, Gal recommends that you like the Tag Meir (Light Instead of Terror) Facebook page and that, if you live in Israel, you take part in their events and programs. From condolence visits to a massive rally, Tag Meir has been a voice of humanity amid the increasing violence and incitement.

With gratitude, love and, most importantly, prayers for an immediate ceasefire and a just and timely resolution to this conflict. 


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"MY SO-CALLED ENEMY" a good egg production
director/producer Lisa Gossels producer Eden Wurmfeld
director of photography Justin Schein edited by Lisa Gossels
David Mehlman Toby Shimin music by Nathan Larson