Saturday, 1 May 2010

Reading & Film: Refusing to be Enemies at Beit Zatoun

New book by Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta of Burnaby, BC
Film by Laurie White of Ann Arbor, MI

Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta talks about her book, Refusing to be Enemies: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation, which presents the voices of over 100 practitioners and theorists of nonviolence. The vast majority are either Palestinian or Israeli reflecting on their own involvement in nonviolent resistance and speak about the nonviolent strategies and tactics employed by Palestinian and Israeli organizations, both in separate and in joint initiatives.

The book also includes essays by activists Ghassan Andoni (Palestinian), Jeff Halper (Israeli), Jonathan Kuttab (a Palestinian activist lawyer with international experience) and Starhawk (an “international” of Jewish background), and a foreword on the definition and nature of nonviolence by Toronto author Ursula Franklin.

Copies of a special early paperback edition will be available for purchase (commercial paperback not available until late 2010).

White's film, Refusing to be Enemies: The Zeitouna Story is a 58-minute documentary about a group of twelve women living in Michigan calling themselves “Zeitouna,” the Arabic word for "olive tree." Six Palestinians and six Jews, "some of the women are American-born, others are immigrants; one is a Holocaust survivor, another is a survivor of the Nakbah’s terror; their ages span 40 years. Filmmaker Laurie White is a founding member of Zeitouna. Her camera became an invisible member of this sisterhood, capturing the interior of this sacred space without ever upsetting and altering the fragile process of the group’s awakening. The film does not attempt to answer questions of right and wrong, or how to break the deadlock of the Middle East conflict. Instead it offers living proof of how the journey of personal transformation may pave the way to socio-political transformation and peace."

Doors open at 6:30pm on Thursday May 6th and the event will run until 9:00pm. Admission by donation ($5 suggested) & refreshements included in admission.

Beit Zatoun is a registered non-profit culture and art venue providing gallery and performance space for the justice and human rights community in Toronto. It aims to raise awareness and create greater understanding as the ultimate means to peace.

We are located at 612 Markham Street (right by the Bathurst subway stop). For details, please visit or e-mail us at

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