My Terrorist - Reconciliation Through Dialog

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On August 20, 1978, Yulie Cohen, at the time a young El Al stewardess, was wounded when members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine attacked the bus she and other crew members were travelling on in front of a London. While she was wounded, another colleague was killed. Overcoming the trauma of the attack she went on to become a filmmaker, and it was while later working in the Palestinian Territories that she began to question the principles upon which she had been raised. Eventually she begins to wonder what happened to the terrorist, Fahad Mihyi, finds him languishing in British prison and stretches out the hand of reconciliation and dialog.

In a region defined by tribalism it is encouraging to see that dialog can transcend even the pain of terror. That a survivor of a terror attack can find the compassion to reach out to the very man who caused her so much anguish. Both Ms. Cohen and Mr. Mihyi have travelled far from their respective roots. The film focuses on Ms. Cohens journey, she was born to a family with deep roots in the land, the salt of the earth as they are oftentimes referred to. Her life reflects the ups and downs of the country itself, the euphoria of the Six Day War in 1967, followed by the anguish of surviving 1973s Yom Kippur War. Her idealism led her to serve as an officer in the Israeli Air Force, she was part of the crew who received the rescued hostages from Entebbe. Like many Israelis she grew disillusioned by the war in Lebanon in 1982, which put her on the path to reconciliation with the very terrorist who wounded her so long ago.

It is not to say that her path is easy, she embarks on her journey at the height of the Al-Aksa Intifada of the early 2000s, at a time of extreme tension between Israelis and Palestinians. Her choice was not a comfortable nor popular one. However, it is a start.