Moment of Truth with Ami Chen Mills
Moment of Truth with Ami Chen Mills
Palestinian Ashira Ali Darwish from the film “Where Olive Trees Weep"

Ami Chen Mills speaks with Palestinian journalist and trauma-resilience teacher Ashira Ali Darwish, featured prominently in the newly released documentary, “Where Olive Trees Weep,” about life in the Occupied Territories of Palestine-Israel.  Ali Darwish was raised in Ramallah and detained after being beaten by Israeli military forces during a nonviolent “singing protest” in Jerusalem. Inside of an Israeli detention center, Ali Darwish was subject to torture in solitary confinement and became paralyzed due to beatings. On this episode, she talks about the deep segregation, oppression and restrictions on freedoms in the West Bank, her journalism work with Israelis bombed by Hamas near Gaza … and she answers questions from a listener about Oct. 7, hostages and the Hamas attack. Ali Darwish also speaks to hope and what must happen now.

The Moment of Truth team is co-sponsoring with the group Science and Non-Duality and the Reel Work Labor Film Festival a showing of “Where Olive Trees Weep” on Sunday, June 23rd, at 6:30 pm at the Center for Spiritual Living at 1818 Felt Street in Live Oak/Santa Cruz. Optional small and large group listening circles and dialogue after the film. This showing is followed by another Reel Work showing in Watsonville on Tuesday evening, June 25th at 6:30 pm at the Somos Coffee Shop or “Somos Watsonville”. Free tickets and more information are here:

Correction/Clarification: The current “official” death toll in Gaza, as of June 20, is 37, 431. Numbers wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, stand at roughly 86,700 and not “hundreds of thousands,” as stated in the podcast. We regret the error. We note that some analysts believe numbers of dead could be much higher, due to bodies being buried under so much rubble. Here is a report on how these numbers are calculated inside of Gaza and the difficulties involved in counting the dead:

The following update is from the Al Jazeera Live Tracker, updated daily:

“Here are the latest casualty figures as of June 20 at 4:00pm in Gaza (13:15 GMT):


  • Killed: at least 37,431 people, including more than:
    • More than 15,000 children killed
  • Injured: more than 85,653 people
  • Missing: more than 10,000

The latest figures from the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the occupied West Bank are as follows:

Occupied West Bank

  • Killed: at least 549 people, including more than:
    • 135 children
  • Injured: more than 5,200

[Note from MOT: Some news outlets report roughly 12 to 25 Jewish Israelis killed in the West Bank to date.]

In Israel, officials revised the death toll from the October 7 attacks down from 1,405 to 1,139.


  • Killed: 1,139 people
  • Injured: at least 8,730″

Further Notes and Resources:

For more on the film and related events from the spiritual group, Science and Non-Duality:

Student and Activist Voices from UCSC Encampment Arrests:

Student Voices from Encampments, UCSC and Stanford (Day 1 and beyond):

For more on student protest arrestees and the police response at UCSC:

The Talk of the Bay show produced by MOT team member Meilin Obinata, featuring seven UC protestors who were arrested on May 31st, is still being edited. We will provide a link to that show here when it is available. Note: the UC Chancellor’s office and UCSC media relations office did not respond to phone calls requesting a response to student statements, charges and concerns about these arrests and police brutality on May 31. This LookOut Santa Cruz article includes Chancellor Larive’s statements: