Predictably, Yuli Cohen-Gerstel's film My Terrorist was met with an uproar when it was screened on Israeli television (2002). The "bad name" Gerstel is accused of giving her country is not because she documents what the country does but because she wonders what it might do differently. Though such criticisms are harsh, they identify the dilemma Gerstel herself feels-the urgent need to find a collective way out of the self-destructive cycle of revenge that engulfs Israelis and Palestinians alike. Judging by the strategy Israel has been pursuing towards the Palestinians for many years now, the vehemence of her critics has to do with how they understand the dictates of their own survival instinct. The contentious issue is whether strong-arm politics or dialogue are the way to prevent victimization on both sides. The difference between their view and hers devolves on the fact that she, unlike them, dared to trust in the human spirit. She had the courage to allow My Terrorist to "go into the self and expand out into the world," as Gloria Anzaldúa puts it.



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