The Law and the Prophets – Event

Screening + Conversation with filmmaker Joshua Vis, presented by Maine Palestine Film Collective

THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS is a documentary film that explores the mechanisms of control and subjugation Israel employs to maintain its system of apartheid under occupation. It examines the brutal realities of occupation in its day to day operation, giving us a window into the context within which the attacks of October 7th, and the ensuing war on Gaza, emerged.

We are very honored to have director Joshua Vis joining us to present a special screening of his film, to be followed by an open conversation with him about the film and his experiences living in occupied Palestine.

June 5th



Washington Baths – 145 Washington Ave, Portland, ME

Since June 1967, Israel has controlled, in one way or another, the lives of the Palestinians living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.* Over the course of fifty years, this control has become more sophisticated, more systematic, and harder to recognize. Palestinians in the West Bank live under Israeli military occupation, and thus under Israeli military law. They have very limited civil rights. In contrast, Israel has sponsored the creation of Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank in which Israeli citizens enjoy the protection of the civilian laws of the state of Israel. If this were happening elsewhere, we would call it apartheid. These Israeli settlements, which are modern towns and cities with grocery stores, restaurants, and universities, are illegal under international law, but are protected by the Israeli military. The Palestinians who happen to live near Israeli settlements are terrorized by the Israeli military so as assure their pacification.

All Palestinians living in the West Bank are deprived of control of their own fate by the Israeli military. They cannot move freely throughout the West Bank, to say nothing of entering Israel, for which they need a permit from the Israeli military. Palestinians can be stopped by the Israeli military and detained for no reason. Palestinians do not control their water resources below them, nor do they control the air waves above them. To one degree or another, Israel decides the fate of every Palestinian in the West Bank. It is normalized terror.

Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have residency in Israel, and pay the same taxes as Jewish Israelis living in West Jerusalem. However, the Palestinian neighborhoods are treated nothing like the neighborhoods of West Jerusalem. They are deprived of the homes, apartments, schools, roads, sidewalks, and the parks that their Jewish Israeli “neighbors’ enjoy. These Palestinians have been cut off from their fellow Palestinians who live in the West Bank by the Israeli separation barrier. This separation barrier has starved East Jerusalem of any viable economic activity. The majority of Palestinians in the West Bank have no access to East Jerusalem. Thus, not only does Israel not invest in East Jerusalem, but Palestinians have no way to invest in it either.

Finally, Nazareth is a city in Israel that is overwhelmingly Palestinian. In this case, these are Palestinians who are Israeli citizens. Israel drove out the vast majority of Palestinians who were living in what became modern Israel. The small minority of Palestinians who managed to stay in Israel were eventually granted citizenship. Nazareth is the largest Palestinian city in Israel. But Israeli Arab citizens of Nazareth are systematically denied the opportunity to thrive as citizens of Israel. Israel simply refuses to invest in Nazareth like it invests in Tiberius, a Jewish city located about an hour from Nazareth. Nazareth is deprived by Israel of the infrastructure it needs to become a proper tourist destination, and thus deprived of all of the money that would come with it. Ultimately, Israel does not want all of its citizens to thrive, and it has found “legal” ways to make it so. Nazareth is a microcosm of the racist treatment that Palestinians with Israeli citizenship face throughout Israeli society.

The Law and the Prophets amplifies the voices of the brave, determined individuals who are trying to expose the destructive, unjust, and sometimes invisible ways in which Israel exploits and oppresses Palestinians. They deserve your attention.

*Gaza was also occupied by Israel in 1967. Unfortunately, for reasons of access and scope, The Law and the Prophets was not able to include Gaza. Palestinians in Gaza have suffered and continue to suffer greatly due to Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Gaza is a cage and Israel holds the keys.

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