Chapter 3


Facilitator Instructions / Assignment

  • Arrange for an in-class screening of Gaza in Context and Life Without Water in Gaza.   If the discussion group is not able to look at the video together in the session, assign both videos to be viewed at home prior to class. 
  • The articles written about Gaza, together with all of the videos for Chapter 3 that relate to Gaza, could be a stand- alone separate study session outside of the 4-5 week course listed in the Discussion Guide in the book. Or they can be integrated into the 4-5 weeks by substituting that material for another Session. 
  • If there is enough time in the discussion group session planning, visit the website Select some other writers and bring photocopies of other writings for the group to discuss, or take home to read.
  • Bring index cards and pencils for use in the class.

For Discussion

1. Personal impact/Discussion:  Imagine that you are the parent of one of the students at the school in Jubbet adh Dhib, looking forward to a new school and the educational opportunities it will offer to the children of village. News has spread of the threat of demolition by the Israelis, and then it happens on August 22. (p. 38-39). 

  • Write down on a card some thoughts on what you would say to a child or youth about: 
    • that demolition
    • the reason the Israeli military did that destruction
    • what feelings and thoughts the child might be having 
  • List several reasons why international awareness and advocacy about such situations of Jubbet adh Dhib’s school are of critical importance 
  • As a group, discuss the role and value of the network that has supported this school and its reach. (p. 37,39)

2. Whole group: The group will screen two videos, Gaza in Context and Life Without Water in Gaza.  

  • Take time in class to view both video clips. 
  • Give participants index cards, and ask that each record a few words that describe what the viewer experienced as she/he watched the video clip.

3. Personal impact:  Think about what scenes or situations affected you most deeply. 

  • Following viewing, using the Japanese poetry haiku* form, write a poem about what these videos show about life in Gaza. 
  • As each is comfortable, share some of the haiku at the beginning of the discussion session.

*A haiku uses just a few words to capture a moment and create a picture in the reader's mind. It is like a condensed window into a scene much larger than itself. The first line has 5 syllables; the second line has seven syllables; the last line has 5 syllables. 

(adapted from: Creative Writing Now)

4. Small group discussion: How are the political and human rights issues related to the status of East Jerusalem a case study in the application of Zionist settler-colonial dynamics, as Jonathan Kuttab analyzes them? 

  • What key issues, rights, and residency for Arab citizens of East Jerusalem affect everyday life, economics and family relationships for Palestinians? 
  • How is Peter Beinart’s definition applicable to the East Jerusalem’s residents?

5. Small groups:  In her article, Jennifer Bing cites the quotation from the World Health Organization that by 2020, “Gaza will be unliveable” (p. 41) 

  • What did you find in the readings on Gaza in Chapter 3 that supports or refutes this World Health Organization claim? 
  • What stories or situations in Gaza surprised you or touched you most deeply? 
  • What would need to change to make Gaza humanely and justly habitable? 
  • What political issues or obstacles do you see that are involved in creating that change?

6. Small groups:  Spend a few minutes reading the selections from We Are Not Numbers in Section 7.6. 

  • Choose one of the Gazan writers, Rana Shubair or Basman Derawi. 
  • What would you want to write or say to her or him about the piece?  
  • Why is it important to “whisper my stories to the breeze’? (p. 93) 
  • How does each of the writers show what the impacts of the “siege of Gaza” have meant for the residents of Gaza and Palestinians everywhere? 
  • How does the “siege of love” for Gaza, their families, the people and their culture and experience as Gazans, show resistance and its effects? 
  • What else does a siege of love produce?

7. Whole group: Draw upon the following sources for the discussions prompts:  the writings about Gaza as a whole in Chapter 3; learnings from G.J. Tarazi’s piece, whose family is from Gaza, (Section 1.2);  and Jonathan Kuttab’s definition of the siege of Gaza on p. 95. 

  • Create a broad outline of what a plan for advocacy related to the “siege of Gaza” and the facts on the ground would be. 
  • Regarding Jonathan Kuttab’s definition of the siege of Gaza on page 95:
    • What needs to be included in an advocacy and education plan? 
    • How would your group show the stories and facts that need to be shared? 
    • With whom would you engage on such advocacy, if you implemented this plan?