Not in My Garden
2000, 49:00 minutes, colour, Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles
The story of Ramya is very representative. Above all, it represents the central conflict in Israel, which sees itself as a state of the Jewish people – with the inconvenience of having Palestinians within its borders. What we see is a village that had been there since the British mandate, which Israel refused to recognize – refused, therefore, to provide with basic infrastructure and services – a village that no one outside the immediate area had even heard about until 1991.
In 1991 the state authorities tried to push these people off their land, telling the court, in writing, that it needed this land in order to build homes for Jewish immigrants. In the meantime, around it arose the Jewish city of Carmiel, which didn't exist thirty-six years ago. Today it almost completely surrounds Ramya. That's a very dramatic basis. When Carmiel was founded, expressly for the purpose of "judaizing" Galilee, the Ramyans were just making the transition from their Beduin tents to tin shacks, and since then they've had to stay in those shacks. As if time has stopped for them. In contrast, Carmiel has been growing in leaps and bounds. It's become one of the centers of hi-tech in Israel. This city has all the power and governmental backing to do whatever it pleases. It has the law and the bulldozers.
Ramya is a story of popular struggle.
The film interviews the two sides. Officials as well as simple people on the two sides of the conflict. We see the mayor of Carmiel Adi Eldar, who finds it preposterous that anyone should think there was ever a thing called Ramya. "Just a bunch of Beduin," he calls them.
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