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03.19.2002

PALESTINIAN AND ISRAELI YOUTHS WHO WERE FEATURED IN AN OSCAR-NOMINATED FILM ABOUT PEACE DISCUSS RESURGENCE OF HATRED, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20 ON "60 MINUTES II"

Israeli and Palestinian children who once expressed hope for peace in the Middle East in "Promises," a documentary nominated for an Academy Award, tell Correspondent Bob Simon they've now become disillusioned, on 60 MINUTES II, Wednesday, March 20 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Four years ago, when "Promises" was shot, the Middle East was experiencing a period of promise -- the peace process was alive and there was very little violence. But since then, peace talks have broken down and both sides have gone back to war.

One of the children whose opinion hasn't changed, Moishe Bar Am, lives in a religious Israeli settlement on the occupied West Bank, 20 minutes from Jerusalem. He tells Simon why he declined an offer to meet with some of the Palestinian kids during the filming of "Promises" four years ago. "I don't think there is any reason to meet them," says Bar Am. "They will simply grow up and be like their parents, terrorists, so what difference does it make? It seems to me, if I meet a Palestinian the only thing I will do is just throw up...They are repulsive to look at -- disgusting. They are humans. Oops, sorry, I called them humans; they are animals -- most of them...."

But Sanabel Hassan Abd'el Jawad's opinion has completely changed. Abd'el Jawad, who lives in a Palestinian refugee camp outside Jerusalem, was once so optimistic about peace that she convinced her family and friends to invite Israeli children to visit her camp, even though her father was a political activist who was in an Israeli jail.

In fact, Abd'el Jawad's transformation -- brought on by the loss of a loved one -- is a blueprint for how to make a suicide bomber. "When I hear about a bombing [against Israeli civilians], I get so happy that I feel that I am part of the operation and I wish that I was the suicide bomber -- I feel that if I did that, I would be a part of our county's liberation," she says. "I start wondering how I can become a suicide bomber...how I, as a girl, can blow up a place in Netanya or Jaffa Street, or anywhere else. I want to be with them and die as a martyr for the sake of my homeland."

Jeff Fager is the executive producer of 60 MINUTES II. Michael Gavshon is the producer.