I recently finished the 6 hour saga that is “The Promise”. I really recommend it as a starting point for people interested in Israel and Palestine.
Directed by British, Peter Kolimnesky (on a sidenote, he’s Jewish), the story jumps between Erin, a young British girl visiting her Friend in Israel and her Grandfather Len, when he was a soldier in British Mandate Palestine (during the 40’s). Although, Erin is most insufferable as a character and some of the cinematic techniques are clumsy, this is a must see.
What I found so special about this drama was that it busted myths. It centers very much on things that aren’t talked about much in the official Israeli/US discourse. That is: Jewish Terrorist Movements such as the Irgun, events of ethnic cleansing, such as the Nakbah. It also busted the myth of an outnumbered, but gutsy Jewish force being besieged on all sides by impending Arab Armies equipped with Muslamic Rayguns!… wait.. what?
One can’t really have an accurate understanding of the situation in present-day Palestine, without having some knowledge as to how the situation came about. For that I would recommend Edward Said’s “The question of Palestine” and Illan Pappe’s “A History of Modern Palestine”. But this is less tedious than ploughing through a 200 page book, so if you want to be entertained and give yourself a little grounding in the history of the situation, I recommend this.
This is, unfortunately only released in the UK, courtesy of the BBC. So, you have to either download it or watch it online.