What’s Your POV about ’9 Star Hotel’?

by |

9 Star Hotel is the facetious name that Palestinian construction workers give to the pile of rocks that marks their clandestine nightly abode — a group of cardboard enclosures and tin-covered huts hidden in the brush-covered hills above the Israeli town of Modi’in. It is also the name of this week’s POV film about the daily travails of these “illegals” as they hide from police at night so that they can work in Modi’in during the day.

The Palestinian men are neither militants nor activists, but ordinary youths placed by history in extraordinary circumstances who emerge as fully human — flawed and sympathetic. Caught in a strange and dangerous no-man’s land between an Israel that must enforce laws to protect its citizens and a Palestinian Authority that can’t or won’t help them, they must risk capture and live in makeshift shelters simply to survive.

As a film made by an Israeli that takes the point of view of its young Palestinian subjects, 9 Star Hotel holds out a model for understanding, even across significant divides. The vérité-style documentary reminds viewers that behind all the political contention that so often defines regions like the West Bank, there are human stories. The film’s subjects face universal struggles to make a living, care for family and prove their manhood. Individual tragedy is counterbalanced by resilience as the young men dream of a brighter future, despite the uncertainties that define their current situation.

Ahmed has no hope of fulfilling his dream of becoming police officer because he can’t read and write. How is the experience of the men in the film like or unlike the experiences of day laborers or undocumented workers in other places? How is their situation like or unlike other places where borders divide areas of wealth and poverty?

Reflecting on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, Muhammad says, “If you shut a cat in a room, won’t it jump at you?” If you could recommend to the Israeli government one policy change that would improve the lives of the men in the film, what would you recommend and why? Assume that the Palestinian Authority was not constrained politically. Similarly, what one policy change would you recommend to the Palestinian Authority?

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  • Theresa

    FOREIGNID: 16764
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
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  • Greg Hunicutt

    FOREIGNID: 16765
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I may be simplifying matters, but the lads in 9 Hotels remind me of the U.S.’s current take on undocumented aliens from primarily Central America and Mexico who provide so much labor support to support our everyday needs and wants, including many in the construction industry boom of cities with growth among the wealthy who want the high-rise condos and luxuries of 5-star hotels when traveling in the U.S. So we’re willing, like everyday Israelis, to overlook the employment of undocumented workers because they’ll work cheap and provide skills lacking in much of our workforce or at a price the wealthy don’t want to pay. 9 Stars was like watching a mirror of the U.S. while more complicated by the Israeli/Palestinian land rights issue (although it could be argued that the U.S. took away much of what was Mexico in the 19th Century — we won but much of the land is still deeded to Mexicans via Spain’s inquisition of Mexican lands way back when).

  • Mike S.

    FOREIGNID: 16766
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    The film seemed somewhat staged to me. I question the ‘non-fiction’ aspect of it.

  • lisa

    FOREIGNID: 16767
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    excellent program.
    so sad that the world is full of disagrement.
    honest and innocent people suffer from all corners of the world but hatred prevails.

  • dina

    FOREIGNID: 16768
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Why should these palestinians be allowed to sneak into jerusalem to work? look what these “workers” did today – using a bulldozer as a weapon! They wanted gaza and got it. So what have they done now that they have such a beautiful area – nothing. instead of building it up or using the buildings that were left to them they destroy. instead of working together as a community to build up housing, plant crops, and provide basic needs for their people, they would rather destroy and blame israel for their woes.

  • Ellen

    FOREIGNID: 16769
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I do really feel for the situation of these young men. But it bothers me that so much of the blame is put on Israel and so little on the PA. The PA gets a great deal of international funding, but is so corrupt that the money is not going into building a better internal economy. Arafat had millions and millions of dollars, while his people were living in poverty. I just wish that the Palestinians could really get some good leadership to help clean up their government and create a better economy and infrastructure in their land.

  • sara

    FOREIGNID: 16770
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I have 2 agree with Greg Hunnicutt about this documentary. What made me feel a little ray of hope for human kind is that Ido Haar said some Jewish people were embarassed. Even though a lot of jewish people were suppressed and killed I wish somebody realizes that the palestinians are somewhat in that similar predicament.

  • I dabney

    FOREIGNID: 16771
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I don’t understand how the Jews can be so insensitive,considering their history. But I also blame America for supporting and building up Israel with billions of dollars each year and allow the palestinians to live like refugees in their own country. Lets face it they lived there for a long time. It is cruel and inhuman, what the Jews are doing. How are they different from what happened in Germany?. Oh, I forgot, they don;t kill them, although they do in the disquise of being attacked. But is it ok to chase them of their land and let them live like dogs, and scavengers? Shame on you Israel. And shame on America for allowing and supporting cruel policies. I happen to know how much America supports Israel financially, as well as Germany who has supported them with billions out of guilt feelings. If we would give this money to Palestine, there would be no wars. And Israel for ones would be forced to honor the borders prior to 1965. I know that wars are caused to get more land for the Israelis. I am sorry that it has to be like this. The walls that surround lands, looking like swiss cheese, can not create peace. Have Jews learned nothing? For ones see yourself as a Palestinian. Perhaps then you can understand the bitterness and hatred toward Israel. I hope this film will open Israelis Eyes WIDE. To have 40,000 palestinian refugees in ones own country must be very humiliating. It reminds me of our own American Indians; being pushed of their own land, killing them and giving them the worst part of the land; reducing a once proud people to alcoholics and the least educated. How sad.

  • ElenaInez

    FOREIGNID: 16772
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I was so sad watching this film especially remembering that this is now the third generation of Palestinians living under occupation and with each passing year their story gets more hopeless. Such beautiful young men, so young with the same hopes and dreams of all of us and yet living in such tragic circumstances. They also greatly reminded me of the plight of undocumented immigrants here in this country who live in fear of being picked up by “la migra” (immigration authorities or the police) while providing us with cheap labor so that our “life style’ can be maintained as cheaply as possible. We should be ashamed that our food and constuction does not truly reflect the costs both in wages as well as the personal sacrifices which people make every day so that their loved ones can eat and have a roof over their heads.

  • Benjamin Planer

    FOREIGNID: 16773
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Sadly, without the film makers explaining the historical background to these conditions, the movie has to be characterized as anti-Israel propaganda. Perhaps it is best for it to be shown to the Palestinian leadership, to evoke some sympathy for their own people. They need to learn to value life more so than death. It’s terribly sad.
    Lets not forget that Palestinians used to work freely in Israel prior to the PA rejecting the Oslo accords and blowing up pizza parlors and busses.
    The sooner they realize they cannot beat Israel, and accommodate to live alongside Israelis, the better for everyone.

  • Vijay

    FOREIGNID: 16774
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    This is documentary film making at its purest and finest. I must praise the filmmaker Ido Haar for his patience, bravery, and humanity, all of which were necessary to deliver the humbling story of these men to individuals like me who never expected to be able to gain such insight.

  • Tadree

    FOREIGNID: 16775
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    The film was quite informative and clearly shows the differences between the haves and have not! Clearly, the Israeli government has a lot of difficulty in differentiating between the terrorist and the working man/woman that just wants to feed their families. Is this hatred or just bad government? Clearly it’s a combination of that and possibly issues concerning paranoia. Will there ever be peace in the Middle East? If government/people living in that part of the world can’t/ won’t see their commonalities and just their differences then the answer is a resounding NO!
    If I were and Israeli, I’d take a closer look at the practices of my government and the things that I was taught as a Jew. Clearly this kind of behavior on the part of the Israeli government insights rage, hatred, terrorism. If one really wants peace in that part of the world, they might want to take a close look at their practices. Their government is no more than it’s people and their desires. When one takes a look at what Jews claim their religion is all about one can clearly see that it’s not reflected in their treatment of human life!
    Blessings and Love!

  • vivian b

    FOREIGNID: 16776
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    A powerful film that sheds light on the human struggle in a land torn by war and hatred for many decades in the name of religion. As an arab myself I wish 9 Star Holel can be seen by many more viewers around the world and maybe than the concious of humanity will awake a little.

  • Stephanie Schamess

    FOREIGNID: 16777
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    This is an impressive film on a subject that, as the film maker said, receives little or no media attention. Largely as a consequence of the Occupation, unemployment on the West Bank is rampant and its economy is in a shambles. It is shameful and ironic that not only do the “Jewish bosses” rely on Palestinians to do their building for them, but that they obviously don’t care about the price their young laborers pay as illegal workers living in primitive conditions, and in a state of constant fear. As an American Jew who cares deeply about Israel, I can only hope that more films like this will get made and be shown both in Israel and in the USA. The Occupation is destroying not only the lives of thousands of innocent Palestinians, but also the social fabric of Israel itself. Congratulations to POV and to PBS for showing this film.

  • http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/2008/07/whats_your_pov_about_9_star_ho_1.html Angel

    FOREIGNID: 16778
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    The situation of these two men is truly haunting. Sadly, what is truly distressing is that we are going through the same issue here in America. These young men are risking their lives, in order to get an insignificant amount of money, similarly Mexicans and other immigrants are constantly attempting to enter America in search of the same answer as these young men. Building walls is NOT the answer that the government should give. I believe that countries need to work together to find the appropriate solutions for people in need of financial assistance.

  • pina, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

    FOREIGNID: 16779
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I joined the program late but I was immediately sucked into these boys lives. Boys as young or younger than my own son. I can’t imagine how they live such a desperate and hopeless exsitence. It is the innocent that pay the price for the sins of the pompus, evil , and ugly men that call themselves leaders. I applaud the film-maker, who is jewish, who opened his mind, asked questions and decided this was a story that needed to be told.

  • Cathy

    FOREIGNID: 16780
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Congradulations to PBS for finally putting something on that is not completely supporting Isreal’s war crimes. If you put on about 100,000 hours completely telling the Palestinian point of view, you might begin balance out the 60 years of pro-Israeli propaganda we have all been force-fed. The Palestinians are living under a brutal and racist military occupation in their own land. They have no military. To blame the Palestinian Authority for their problems is despicible. It is blaming the victim. The Palestinan “Authority” has no options without asking their Israeli occupiers; they have no resources, since the Jews have stolen everything from the Palestinians. If there were Jewish leaders in the concentration camps, would you blame them for the holaucaust?

  • http://PBS.org Andrej B Losli

    FOREIGNID: 16781
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    It is refreshing to see an honest look at the ordinary underdog working man, who’s only crime is to make a living for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  • James Johnson

    FOREIGNID: 16782
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I really don’t see a viable way to fix their problems. Looking through history I think you’d be hard pressed to find two groups of people that shared the roles that these two have that reconciled. What I think will happen is that after Israel mistreats Palestinians on a larger scale and beats out their resolve and souls then they will feel sorry for them. Similarly to how the United States treated the Native Americans when they took their land. After destroying their culture, stealing their land and all, we repay them with casinos. But really your average native American is still in a great deal of plight. And truthfully I don’t think Americans are really sorry for what their ancestors have done. But, the Palestinians will eventually get an insincere apology and the illusion of repayment in about 50 years I’d say. Why 50 years? Because thats how long it takes for the stubborn ones to die.
    Of coarse I should actually be pointing at the similarities with the United States and Mexico. We took their land and now they are coming here to work. And we treat them the same way the Palestinians are treated. The only difference is that Mexico did not fight back after they lost. I believe they didn’t because they were accepted more or less as immigrants. I think the Palestinian Authority should probably side with every other country that dislikes Israel (and form a coalition), and that they should get the potential to do damage to Israel. Because thats really all they can do. And Israel should not complain when the crops that they are planting right now mature. I blame them. I think its a little naive to think that the Palestinians can fix this problem when they are in a the position they are in. Could the Native Americans have done things better? And then Israel will retaliate with the justification that they are creating themselves by mistreating the Palestinians, until they break.

  • Dee

    FOREIGNID: 16783
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I’m happy to find that this film was made by an Isreali hopefully others are less likley to view it as a work of fiction. I also commend him for sharing it with us .I was saddend but not surprised at what i saw in the film unfortunately these are global issues and these men like many are caught in the middle.

  • http://pov@pbs.org Faysal Snoussi

    FOREIGNID: 16784
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I was shock to learn that Palestinians were sacrificing every thing in their lifes in order for them to work in Israel. The only goal of these men is to make some money to support their families back home. The Israeli government should recognize the sacrifies of the Palestinians whol’re building their country;and they should help them to obtain some legal status, provide them with better living conditions, and thank them somehow for building the Jewish state.

  • Craig Bear

    FOREIGNID: 16785
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I’m a Jewish American from Chicago. I was very touched by the story of Arab boys looking for work illegally in Israel in order to support their families. I can understood Israel’s need for protection by building the Separation Wall. I hope Israel can understand the need to welcome these non-violent and open-minded Arab boys (and apparently hundreds like them) into their country, as well as offering them help both economically and educationally. This way, the next generation of Arabs and Jews can have a real hope for living healthful, peaceful and fruitful lives as neighbors in the Promised Land. .

  • nari

    FOREIGNID: 16786
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    This was a great film. Thanks to the film maker and to PBS for airing it. We need more of the truth to be displayed for people to get a grasp of what is actually happening there. The masses seem to be completely unaware of the fact that Israel is responsible for the situation as it is. Cause and effect. You steal the land from beneath ones feet, deprive them of the resources needed to survive and when they try to defend themselves, you call them them the terrorists!! If Israel actually wanted peace and justice for all, and not only themselves the problem would be solved. At this point, sad to say,the Palestinians aren’t looking for much. How about starting by giving them the freedom to sustain themselves and their families? Anyone who fails to recognize that Israel is at fault and has full power to manipulate the situation is clearly unaware of the truth and history of this “war”. He who seeks the truth will find it and the others will attempt to find comfort in the darkness.

  • Magalee

    FOREIGNID: 16787
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I thought it was really good. I hadn’t seen people living like that before.

  • Dorothy Brennan

    FOREIGNID: 16788
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I cannot believe a culture like Isreal that claims to have been so midstreated cna treat a culture like the Palestanians with so much cruelity . Can you blame them for the rockets when their homes and land have been stolen they were not compansated . How unfair when Hamas was legally voted in and they kept the money from them . Is the Jewish lobby so powerful that it governs how they are treated. remember the moneylenders in the temple. discusting

  • Gale Cotten

    FOREIGNID: 16789
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Viewed from a strictly human perspective, and after all that is the commonality of life – what struck me as most poignant and disturbing was that after the youth were no longer useful to the contractors, they were not just unemployed, instead meager belongings (including the paint set) were burned. The symbolism of lost hope should overarch the smugness of 6000 years of cultural dissonance and allow viewers to experience the real cost of war. Poverty, helplessness, loss of dreams etc.

  • cj

    FOREIGNID: 16790
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    great program…tackled issues that dumb us networks don’t have the courage to tackle.
    This comment has been edited by the moderators for obcenity.

  • Barbara MacPhee

    FOREIGNID: 16791
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    First, I salute the film maker for this very sensitive portrayal of something we in the US and apparently Israelites know little. (Perhaps all governments lie to their citizens.) I was struck by the absence of hatred among these young Palestinians and how kind and loving they were to one another. This is my first POV documentary but it certainly won’t be the last. BRAVO!! ENCORE!! (from New Orleans, La., USA)

  • Richard Lamar

    FOREIGNID: 16792
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Give it a rest kids. Things are bad in Palistine. Why, because they keep killing the people that they complain are killing them.
    Are the Isreaili’s nasty people that want to kill the Palistinians? No. They just want the Palistiians to stop killing the Isrealis. Why do the Pali’s keep jumping the boarder to get into Isreal? Because Isreal is creating jobs and Palistine isn’t.
    Why are they afraid of the Pla’s? Because they kill people. When was the last time a Isreali drove a backhoe into a group of Pal’s?
    As ye sow, so shall ye reap.
    Want peace? Stop killing people. Plain, simple. Do not begrundge the Jews because that took your waste land and turned it into an oasis.
    You want to go tend goat herds, fine, you want real jobs, stop fighting the system and get with the program.

  • A. F. Hakam

    FOREIGNID: 16793
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I appreciated the program about the Palestinian men looking for work in Israel and the difficulties they go through. They need the work to support themselves and their families from the land that was originally theirs. In my estimation peace will be difficult to achieve in the Middle East until the Israeli/Palestinian problem is resolved and peace prevails based on justice and not denying Palestinians their basic rights. It could be said that 9/11 would not have happened, and consequently the Iraqi war as well, if there was peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Let us look at the problem in depth and don’t try to cure symptoms instead of treating the real ailment.

  • Marc Nunley

    FOREIGNID: 16794
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Say, did PBS pay these young illegals money to show the film on a U. S. television network? How much? Well…good for them for getting creative to make a buck:) Talking about being creative, wouldn’t it be wonderful to see these same “poor citizens” rise up and take initiative to change their own corrupt governments instead of breaking into other countries and or blaming them for there own woes???:)………… Freedom is not free!

  • Mario

    FOREIGNID: 16795
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I was overcome with sorrow for the men in the film. I now exactly how they are oppressed, persecuted and dishonored I see it happened to my people everyday in the lands that were once ours. I guess hatred is just universal in all walks of life. Come on people enough is enough letís stand together and learn to love one another.

  • Carson

    FOREIGNID: 16796
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I caught the last few minutes of Ide Haar’s 9 Star Hotel. I only feel sorry for the Palestinian people because they have so many corrupt leaders. I can rememeber years ago when the US and European governments gave four billion dollars of aid to the PLO so they could construct infrastructure in the Gaza strip. This money was supposed to be used for roads, water and sewer and other projects that would increase the standard of living in the Gaza Strip by providing jobs.
    Does the infrastructure look like it got a four billion dollar face lift?
    Where has that money and the billions in aid since then gone?
    Do you think that it might have found it’s way into someones pocket or maybe to purchase war materials?
    In the September 2003 IMF report titled “Economic Performance and Reforms under Conflict Conditions” states that Arafat has diverted $900 million of PA funds into his own accounts from 1995 to 2000. Why is his widow, who is living in Paris, receiving millions of dollars every year?
    Why aren’t there any films made about this? Maybe it’s because they couldn’t blame those dasterdly, despicable Israelies, but instead they would realize they were a victim of their own corrupt leadears.
    Please, don’t try and make me feel sorry for the poor Palastinians. With all of the aid money that was given to the PLO every Palastinian could be living the good life.
    One last thing. When the last Jewish settlement was removed from the Gaza Strip they left their green houses. These green houses were purchased from the original owners by contributions from private citizens in the US and donated to the people of the Gaza Strip.
    What happend to the green houses? They were looted and destroyed by those poor, poor people of the Gaza Strip.
    You like to show how poor and destitute the Palastinians are but no one will investigate why they are kept in poverty. It is easier to blame Israel.

  • Linda J

    FOREIGNID: 16797
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Thanks to PBS for showing this heart-wrenching film. The references by other commenters to the similarities in the Mexican immigrant and Palestinian laborers stories seems appropos.
    Working people have become disposable. Governments feel more compelled to serve corporate and big business interests than to safeguard infrastructure and dignified work.
    The film-maker caught the solid humanity of these young men. Hopefully the film will awaken us all to our responsibilities as citizens of a drastically unequal world to do something about it. It is heartening that Ido Haar has been able to shame some people in Israel and perhaps cause them to start doing something about it. We can use the same kind of slap across the face here in the U.S.

  • Daniel

    FOREIGNID: 16798
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    How can it be that there is no work in the Palestinian territories? Why should the finger be pointed at Israel for not providing work for the Palestinian people. Israel is not made up of a population of rich people and Israeli citizens need the work as much as these men do. It is sad to see that people live like these men do, but is it not the responsibility of a government to look after its own citizen first?

  • Allen

    FOREIGNID: 16799
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    One cannot miss the similarities to the Palestinians featured and the mostly Mexican migrant workers who produce American fruits and vegetables. Here in California the hard working (illegal)migrants recieve little protection from squalid living conditions, near slave level wages, dangerous working conditions and may not even obtain a driver’s license.
    I know of no justification for migrant workers treatment except their “illegal immigrant” staus.
    But,what did the Palestinians do to deserve such treatment from Israel? The Palestians were in their own land and their land was occupied by Zionist Euopean Jewish Refugees with the vast help and blessing of western nations, primarily the USA.
    Since Israel is largely America’s creation, we should insist on fair and just treatment of Palestinians by Israel.

  • ToDaniel

    FOREIGNID: 16800
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Daniel, the reason why it is Israel’s responsibility is because of two reasons: (1) the Palestinians are under Israeli occupation (2) Israelis collect taxes from palestinians, and unjustly jail random Palestinians for not paying taxes. About half of the tax money, for example, in Jerusalem is collected of Palestinians. However, none of it is spent by the Israeli government in the occupied territories of Palestine for infrastructure. That it is why Israel is responsible. If Israel doesn’t want to be responsible, it can pull its troops out. Then I’d agree with you.

  • Nicholas Anderson

    FOREIGNID: 16801
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    $30 Billion a year in military support!! We must live in peace. Thank you for showing this important film. It is hard to believe, but I am sure that things have only gotten worse for these Palestinians as the jewish separation wall was completed. This is a harsh reality for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who simply want to provide food and shelter for their families while everyday being treated like an animal . And to think that the U.S. supports the jews by giving them $30 billion a year in war funding makes me sick!! And where the hell was the U.S. Army at when jewish tanks ran over american Rachel Corrie, who was defending a peaceful Palestinian home, in 2003? Perhaps the U.S. and Israel should quit trying to run the middle east, because both of those countries are only making it worse! It is refreshing to see the true side of the story finally being exposed, ironically from a jewish filmmaker. Does that answer the whole “staged” comment Mikey S?
    End the Occupation!!! FREE PALESTINE!!! (google “Al Nakba” for more information)
    -Nick
    Edited by moderator

  • Chuck Beckett

    FOREIGNID: 16802
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Very moving story highlighting the plight of people who just want to work and have a family. Most powerful point was when the Israeli children were playing in th presence of these men, while the children’s duped parents were home thinking their children were safely at “camp”. It’s obvious that the camera was the chaperon, however I think even in the camera’s absence, these children would not have been harmed. It’s very reassuring to see that there are Palestinians and Jews who just want to live side by side peacefully. Well done and bravo to Ido Haar and continue your avocation……
    Chuck B.

  • Roger Backes

    FOREIGNID: 16803
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    To Israeli director Ido Haar: Thank you for your great compassion and profound sense of humanity to make a documentary as powerful as “9 Star Hotel” It is artisty at its best. You make a fine model of a wise young man for me to emulate (even though I am three times your age).
    To PBS: Thank you for the multitude of programs which uplift our culture and our civilization. Your brodcast values represent a candle of light against a sea of seeming hopelessness and a lack of wisdom that threatens our world with distruction. You remind us there is hope where there is love.
    To the young men who so honestly shared their pain and their will to survive though the film: You are just like thousands of young men of every kind who suffer the injustice of being born into a time and place where your normal human desire for work and love go without fulfillment. Keep the faith brothers – and keep your inclination to be kind to others. That alone will assure your survival. May you all thrive.
    To those who would spin this story to place blame: It isn’t necessary, to curse those who have tied the Gordian Knot of hatred and sins against humanity. Cut the knot rather than each other and recognize that peace is possible. Compassion is the fuel for peace while placing blame just deepens our prejudice — which tightens the knot that will hang us all.
    To the citizens of the world who find in this broadcast even the smallest expansion of their love for all of humanity — please recognize the blessing you have – and for the sake of all of us, continue to protect and nuture that potential until it is strong enough to fight for the right of all to love and let live.
    To the Israelies: the same goes for you as it does for my young Palestinian brothers (and of course sisters). My heart goes out to you if that small gift would help all your citizens seek and find the peace and justice we all deserve.
    May new leaders emerge who watch such a loving documentary as 9-Star, have their compassion re-fire their determination to actually bring peace to all the people of the world.
    Roger

  • james prey

    FOREIGNID: 16804
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    good film

  • Greg Hunicutt

    FOREIGNID: 16805
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I may be simplifying matters, but the lads
    in 9 Hotels remind me of the U.S.’s current take on undocumented aliens from
    primarily Central America and Mexico who provide so much labor support to
    support our everyday needs and wants, including many in the construction
    industry boom of cities with growth among the wealthy who want the high-rise
    condos and luxuries of 5-star hotels when traveling in the U.S. So we’re
    willing, like everyday Israelis, to overlook the employment of undocumented
    workers because they’ll work cheap and provide skills lacking in much of our
    workforce or at a price the wealthy don’t want to pay. 9 Stars was like
    watching a mirror of the U.S. while more complicated by the
    Israeli/Palestinian land rights issue (although it could be argued that the
    U.S. took away much of what was Mexico in the 19th Century — we won but
    much of the land is still deeded to Mexicans via Spain’s inquisition of
    Mexican lands way back when).

  • Barbara MacPhee

    FOREIGNID: 16806
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    First, I salute the film maker for this very sensitive portrayal of something we in
    the US and apparently Israelites know little. (Perhaps all governments lie to their citizens.) I was struck by the absence of hatred among these young
    Palestinians and how kind and loving they were to one another. This is my first POV documentary but it certainly won’t be the last. BRAVO!! ENCORE!!

  • Alle

    FOREIGNID: 16807
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I almost didn’t watch this because I knew it would ’cause
    me such pain. My heart goes out to the millions of disenfranchised
    Palestinians forced to live this way in their own land. It is unfathomable
    that after all these years the situation is still this grave. I have been
    thru all of Israel and Palestine and have seen this firsthand. It is
    something that changes your life forever. Many people are still unaware of
    the facts. This is NOTHING AT ALL like the case with the Mexicans in the
    U.S. trying to cross the border to get in. After all Palestine/Israel IS
    the land of the Palestinians. Having it stolen from them does not make it
    any less so. And by the way isn’t it ironic that some of the most beautiful
    states in America such as Texas, Colorado etc. were originally part of
    Mexico and stolen from them by the U.S. and that some of the states they
    try to enter illegally was once theirs not all that long ago!

  • Richard Lamar

    FOREIGNID: 16808
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Give it a rest kids. Things are bad in Palistine. Why, because they keep killing the
    people that they complain are killing them. Are the Isreaili’s nasty people that want to kill the Palistinians? No. They just want the Palistiians to stop killing the Isrealis. Why do the
    Pali’s keep jumping the boarder to get into Isreal? Because Isreal is creating jobs and Palistine isn’t.
    Why are they afraid of the Pla’s? Because they kill people. When was the
    last time a Isreali drove a backhoe into a group of Pal’s?
    As ye sow, so shall ye reap.
    Want peace? Stop killing people. Plain, simple. Do not begrundge the Jews
    because that took your waste land and turned it into an oasis.
    You want to go tend goat herds, fine, you want real jobs, stop fighting the
    system and get with the program.
    Stop being the spoiled child.

  • Ken Enockson

    FOREIGNID: 16809
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Thanks P.O.V. for broadcasting the poignant story of people that don’t fit the standard stereotypes about Palestinians. These young men are not interested in sneaking across the border to kill, maim and destroy. They are desparate to make a living and support their
    families. The saddest thing I noticed was the look of resignation in their eyes. As I read some of the postings I am amazed at some of the comments by those who can’t get past their ideology and prejudices long enough to see these young men as human beings. Ken

  • A. F. Hakam

    FOREIGNID: 16810
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I appreciated the program about the Palestinian men looking for work in Israel and the difficulties they go through. They need the work to support themselves and their families from the land that was originally theirs. In my estimation peace will be difficult to achieve in the Middle East until the Israeli/Palestinian problem is resolved and peace prevails
    based on justice and not denying Palestinians their basic rights. It could be said that 9/11 would not have happened, and consequently the Iraqi war as well, if there was peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Let us look at the problem in depth and don’t try to cure symptoms instead of treating the real ailment.

  • Marc Nunley

    FOREIGNID: 16811
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Say, did PBS pay these young illegals money to show the film on a U. S. television
    network? How much? Well…good for them for getting creative to make a buck:) Talking about being creative, wouldn’t it be wonderful to see these same “poor citizens” rise up and take initiative to change their own corrupt governments instead of breaking into other countries and or blaming them for there own woes???:)………… Freedom is not free!

  • Jack Mack

    FOREIGNID: 16812
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Haar’s documentary left me with a deep sadness and a feeling of being powerless to help in any meaningful way. I must re-examine my mental image of Palestinians. I grieved for those men and their families. The US throws money and weapons to brutal dictators but
    doesn’t lift a finger for these people. I am also sympathetic to many Israelis and feel very frustrated and conflicted because of the pain that both societies heap on one another.

  • ImAmerican

    FOREIGNID: 16813
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    This firm left me deeply divided. Its “shock” effect left me with a lingering feeling of rage and sadness. I can see the resemblances in the of the men’s life with that of indentured slaves. Yes, they are all free, but their environment left them in a situation no better than that of a slave, not making enough money to support even their basic needs. (And they are skilled workers.) The only different is that they don’t have just one master, but the fruit of their labor is enjoyed by all who live in the houses they built. A result of the capitalistic free market system. I’m saddened because the men have to live in deplorable condition not of their choosing. Even with all their hard work, their basic need for food and shelter, and their freedom to work–something most Americans take for granted–are not met. They are just human being trying to do the best with what they got, like many Americans do. Given that the film maker had to select only certain footage to include in the documentary, I’m thankful for this authentic and provocative film. It has opened my eyes and make me appreciate more what I have in my life.

  • Andrei

    FOREIGNID: 16814
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    What touched me most was the sadness often seen on Ahmed’s face and the tender camaraderie between the men.

  • Linda M

    FOREIGNID: 16815
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Program just re-aired and so glad but story so sad. I am NOT anti-Israel but the US does treat Jews and Israel with Kid Gloves. Having lived in NYC, I saw first hand the preferential treatment ….remember all the outrage Hillary got when she was running for Senate because she hugged a Palestinian…she actually denounced her action to appease the majority. It’s eliteacism plain and simple. Israel is a cry-baby /bully and I seriously doubt any intelligent being out there not agreeing with that given Israel’s Jan’09 pummeling . Condemnation by the world but no pressure by the US while hospitals and civilian villages were targeted and bombed with humanitarian aid blocked. My #s might be off a bit but weren’t Israeli casualties able to be counted on one hand with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians dead or wounded? I believe awhile ago, certain roads and passageways were to be opened by Israel as part of a Cease Fire Agreement that had been in place for long over a decade prior to the ’09 conflict. Israel never honored that condition which would have allowed basic supplies to the Pal. People. ….nothing fancy, just necessities. The world knew of this violation but mum, it was ignored. As for the little boy “Mikey S” who felt that this movie was staged, ignorance is bliss. To theothers, remember what Mohammed said in the movie: “If you shut a cat in a room, won’t it jump at you?”
    Let us all give thanks that we live in America!