The Billboard from Bethlehem: Project and Feature Film
What People are saying
"A must see...The Billboard From Bethlehem is the story of a real battle, launched by the combatants, who, knowing the price of war, have opted for peace instead." Dr. Anat Biletzki, Chairperson of the Board, B'Tselem, 2001-2006
"By bringing together Palestinians and Israelis, Barrett provides an opportunity to break down stereotypes and to foster human community across borders and across cultures. The story of The Billboard from Bethlehem is worth seeing.” Dr. Peter E. Makari Executive, Middle East and Europe, Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
"I watched this [film] shedding tears both of sadness and of hope... it captures the human spirit to rise above tragedy." Rabbi Herbert Brockman, Ph.D., D.D. Congregation Mishkan Israel, Hamden CT (Read an interview with Rabbi Brockman)
On Memorial Day Week End of 2007, I Wage Peace founder and Connecticut native Bruce Barrett, with artist Russell Rainbolt, and Documentary film maker Tom Jackson, joined 100 Israeli and Palestinian children and former Israeli soldiers and former Palestinian armed resisters to hand painted a giant 48-foot long Peace mural in the West Bank of occupied Palestine. The sign was received at religious services in the West Bank and Israel, then shipped to the United States to a Connecticut mosque, a synagogue, and a church, and finally posted on Connecticut Interstate I-95 and RT 84.
"Through this billboard we wish to send a message of hope to the Americans and at the same time invite them to be more active in our struggle for peace." says Avner Wishnitzer, an Israeli member of the Peace group Combatants for Peace.
The Israeli Children painting the signs were members of youth peace organizations. "We have invited our children to paint with the Palestinian Children to show them how we in Combatants for Peace bridge controversies and act together towards our common goal", says Avner. The Palestinian children are "the sons of the Palestinian martyrs, orphans, children of very poor families...who used to see the Israelis as soldiers and occupiers. We will bring them to let the Israeli children meet them and to feel their suffering, also to give them the chance to know that there are Israeli children who are willing to live in peace with them," explains Palestinian member of Combatants for Peace, Sulaiman Al Hamri.