Dreams Deferred: The Struggle for Peace and Justice can be a useful tool for activists, peace organizations, and educators who wish to educate audiences about Israel/Palestine and the complex issues involved.

For Activists and Organizations:

Activists and organizations are encouraged to host a showing of Dreams Deferred in any public forum, and the following suggestions may be useful:

•You can show the documentary either in the full-length (68 min.) or short version (35 min.) online through our website or through Vimeo or YouTube.

•You can also request a free DVD copy by emailing us at sifp.info@gmail.com

•The directors may also be available to come and speak in person at a showing or appear on a panel discussion.  If the showing is near Washington D.C., we can come for free, but travel expenses would need to be arranged for farther venues.  Or you can arrange for the directors to do a Q & A via Skype.

•To accompany a showing of the documentary, you could invite a speaker from a local peace group that has traveled to the region.  National and regional peace organizations can found through the organizations page.

•In combination with a showing of the documentary, your group could raise money for one or more of the organizations featured in the documentary or another human rights organization of your choice.

For Teachers and Educators:

The following assignment ideas describe ways teachers can incorporate the documentary and website into their classes to encourage students to think critically about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and prospects for peace.  The documentary can be shown in class in either the full-length (68 min.) or short version (35 min.), or students can be directed to the website to view the documentary online.  The documentary is also available online through Vimeo and YouTube, and teachers can request a DVD copy free of charge by emailing us at sifp.into@gmail.com

Teachers can also consider inviting someone from a local peace group to come and speak to the class after students watch the documentary to discuss their own experiences in the region.

Most of these assignments focus on writing, research, and analysis, but they can be adapted for a variety of purposes and activities for different subject areas, including composition, history, political science, communications, etc.  Assignments can also be completed individually or in groups.

Research and Developing Arguments:

Research and argument are two essential skills in which students must become proficient for academic success across disciplines.

•Choose two articles from information sources listed on the Information page of the website that take different positions on some issue related to the conflict (perhaps from both an Israeli paper and a Palestinian one), and/or have students find their own articles through library databases or Google Scholar.  Students will do their own further research and then craft and essay in which they develop, argue, and support their own position on the issue.

•Choose editorials about the same current issue about the conflict from both Haaretz (liberal) and the Jerusalem Post (conservative), and have students summarize the arguments of both.  Students could then do their own additional research to develop their own argument in conversation with the two pieces.

•After watching the documentary, have students choose one of the issues or themes about which to do further research and develop an essay.  Students could find two opposing views of the issue and summarize each one, and students could go a step further to develop their own argument after discussing opposing views.  Students could also choose one of the issues discussed on the FAQ page to do the same assignment.

•Have students choose one of the three major obstacles to peace—Jerusalem, refugees, or borders—and research the arguments on both sides of the issue to develop a well-researched and supported argument about why this issue is such an impediment to resolving the conflict.

•Some people have compared the Israeli occupation to South African apartheid, while others argue that these situations are very different.  Have students do their own research to compare and contrast the similarities and differences between the two.  The relevant FAQ page of this website can be a starting point for background and further research.

•To help teach evaluating websites, students can use Google to find websites related to the Israeli-Palestinian issue and try to determine how many of the websites appearing on the first two pages of a Google search would be credible for academic research, if any.  Students can also investigate the biases of websites they find.

Rhetorical Analysis:

Analyzing the ways speakers and writers communicate their ideas and arguments to persuade audiences to believe or act a certain way can teach students useful critical thinking skills applicable to a variety of disciplines.

•After discussing the use of the three rhetorical appeals—ethos, pathos, and logos—and other rhetorical strategies, have students watch the documentary and analyze its rhetorical strategies through a formal or informal writing assignment.  Students can identify its rhetorical situation, purpose, intended audiences, and examples of each of the three appeals.  Students could also discuss or write about how the documentary could have incorporated other topics, footage, or interviews that may have strengthened one or more of the appeals. 

•Students can also complete the above assignment but focus on visual rhetoric used in the documentary.

•Have students discuss the rhetorical strengths and weaknesses of the documentary and/or the website.

•Students can also rhetorically analyze the accompanying website, selected pages from the website, or sources or websites linked from this website.

•Students could also do a comparative rhetorical analysis of the documentary’s website and another website that takes a different position on the conflict. 

•Choose two articles from information sources listed on the Information page of the website that take different positions on some aspect of the conflict (perhaps from both an Israeli paper and a Palestinian one), and have students compare the rhetoric used in each one.

•Similar to above, assign two different pieces from Bitter Lemons and have students do a comparative rhetorical analysis and develop their own argument about which piece is more persuasive and why.

•Have students compare and contrast the rhetoric used by two different Israeli peace organizations (for example, Peace Now and Anarchists Against the Wall) or an Israeli and Palestinian organization.  Or students can compare the rhetoric of American Jewish peace groups like J-Street and Jewish Voice for Peace.

for educators and activists