Christians Witnessing for Palestine

Detaining Dreams

Joyce and John Cassel

Joyce and John Cassel before their presentation at the Islamic Center of Rochester.

At the invitation of CW4P, Chicago activists Joyce and John Cassel presented the video they recorded, Detaining Dreams.

In March of 2015, the Cassels, working with American Friends Service Committee and Defense for Children International Palestine, traveled to the West Bank to record the stories of four youth who experienced detention by Israeli Defense Forces. From these recordings, Amr Kawji and Nawal Musleh developed the film Detaining Dreams. This presentation explored what occurs to these youth after "the knock on the door by the IDF."

Earlier, the Cassels lived in the West Bank for three months as volunteers with Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).

The Cassel's presentation stated:

  • Three out of four Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces suffer some form of physical violence during arrest, transfer, interrogation, or detention
  • Appropriately 700 children between the ages of 12 and 17 experience the Israeli Military Court detention system each year. Significantly more are detained and released. Over 95% of the children detained are boys
  • No other country automatically and systematically prosecutes children before military courts

These organizations sponsored the presentation: Christians Witnessing for Palestine, Islamic Center of Rochester, and the Rochester chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. The Cassels presented their program on April 16, 2016 at the Islamic Center of Rochester NY.

You can listen to their presentation and watch Detaining Dreams below.

Joyce Cassel appeared on regional public-radio program, Connections with Evan Dawson. You can listen at the program's archive.

Resources, including suggestions for action, are on the Defense for Children International web site.