Once upon a time the Massada settlement was a fortified city. It could only be captured if the enemy had superior numbers and enough supplies for a lengthy siege. If so, its inhabitants faced a simple choice – die in combat or surrender and accept slavery. When the Romans laid siege to the city, a man named Elazar Ben Yair suggested that the populace should burn down the entire city so as to leave nothing for the enemy and then commit mass suicide. All nine hundred of Massada's inhabitants agreed. When Delilah betrayed Samson and he was captured by the Philistines, his last request to God was to help him get revenge, even if that meant that he would die together with his captors. During WW2, Bergen Bolsen sent a letter from a concentration camp defending suicide as more dignified than imprisonment and torture... Today, Israeli children are taught these stories at school and go on trips with their teachers to locations where they took place. Filmmaker Avi Mograbi examines the Hebrew nation's heroic past from a different viewpoint. Not far from the ruins of Massada, new fortifications, new walls and a new prison have been constructed in response to Palestinian suicide bombings. The creation of the Gaza strip has divided many Palestinian families and whenever they now want to cross from one side to the other – whether going to work or school, to see their relatives or even to go to a hospital – they have to spend long hours waiting at army checkpoints, with no guarantee of getting through or assurance of an explanation or apology if they do not.
In co-operation with Tranzit organisation.