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Monday, September 07, 2009

Jane Fonda, Jew hater

My friend Jim Hoft takes Jane Fonda and Danny Glover to task for signing onto a boycott of the Toronto International Film Festival over its focus on Tel Aviv.
Some 50 celebrities, artists and filmmakers, including actors Jane Fonda and Danny Glover, musician David Byrne and filmmaker Ken Loach, have accused the Toronto International Film Festival of "complicity with the Israeli propaganda machine" over its spotlight this year on Tel Aviv.


The program "ignores the suffering of thousands of former residents and descendants of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa area who currently live in refugee camps in the Occupied Territories" after a "mass exiling of the Palestinian population" in 1948, according to the letter.

"Looking at modern, sophisticated Tel Aviv without also considering the city's past and the realities of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, would be like rhapsodizing about the beauty and elegant lifestyles in white-only Cape Town or Johannesburg during apartheid without acknowledging the corresponding black townships of Khayelitsha and Soweto," AFP reported the letter as saying.
The picture at the top of this post is a picture of an 'Israeli Arab' at the beach in Tel Aviv. You won't find any signs like this one from Durban, South Africa in Tel Aviv:

But of course, Fonda is now denying that she's anti-Israel and claiming that she favors a 'two-state solution' (Hamas and Fatah?):
"I, in no way, support the destruction of Israel. I am for the two-state solution. I have been to Israel many times and love the country and its people."
Rabbi Marvin Hier, who has won two Oscars for documentaries, disagrees.
Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is blasting the the actors -- and everyone else who signed the letter -- claiming "Whoever would sign on to a campaign like this would support the complete destruction of Israel."

Hier -- who's won two Academy Awards for documentaries -- added, "People who support letters like this are people who do not support a two-state solution. By calling into question the legitimacy of Tel Aviv, they are supporting a one-state solution, which means the destruction of the State of Israel."

"I applaud the organizers of the festival for celebrating on the 100th anniversary of Tel Aviv. If every city in the Middle East would be as culturally diverse, as open to freedom of expression as Tel Aviv is, then peace would long have come to the Middle East."
Tel Aviv was built on sand dunes, and not on 'Palestinian' villages.

In Canada's National Post, George Jonas rips the boycotters' hypocrisy.
Pressure groups operating in democracies must reconcile their urge to bully cultural institutions with their society's residual inhibition against doing so. This requires some mental gymnastics. The Greyson-Klein method is do and deny. Who, us, objecting to Israeli films? Perish the thought. We're only objecting to Israeli propaganda. Okay; what's Israeli propaganda? Well, the Israeli films we're objecting to.

What Israeli film wouldn't be Israeli propaganda for [York University Professor John] Greyson [who withdrew a film in protest CiJ] or [Naomi] Klein? Your guess is as good as mine, but an Israeli film of anti-Israeli propaganda might pass muster -- say, one about kidnapping Palestinians for their body parts.

Greyson should certainly recognize propaganda when he sees it. He's noted on festival and university circuits for his video essays of gay activism. To hear him object to "state-subsidized propaganda" is ironic, to say the least. As an activist-filmmaker, he has been a propagandist for the values of the ultra-liberal state and its shibboleths throughout his career. Pushing a good agenda is still propaganda -- but I guess only old-style communists were honest enough to call their functionaries "agitation and propaganda cadres" or "agit-prop" for short.

Of course, in a free country it's perfectly legitimate to withdraw one's film to protest other people showing their films. Not only that, but it may be an astute way of pushing one's own agenda.
Indeed. Read the whole thing.


At 11:14 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

They have the freedom to boycott Israel if they wish. What they have no right is to ask it to commit national suicide for them.

At 3:42 AM, Blogger mrzee said...

John Greyson is a Canadian filmaker and who started this by withdrawing his film from the festival.

Veteran Canadian documentary maker Simcha Jacobovici, who was born in Israel, said Greyson should test his sympathy for the Palestinians by screening his short film about the 2008 Sarajevo Queer Festival in Tel Aviv and on the West Bank.

"He will be invited to screen the film at the local (Tel Aviv) cinematheque. He can then walk around with the same sign down the streets of Palestinian Ramallah. He should document the experience on video and then enter it into next year's TIFF -- posthumously," Jacobovici said. "


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