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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Funding cut off for anti-Israel film

In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, I reported that Israel's Ministry of Culture was funding a film that compared life in the 'Palestinian' city of Ramallah to the Holocaust. I am pleased to report that funding has now been cut off.
The film Lipstikka was created by Israeli actor and director Jonathan Sagall to portray his mother's experience in the Holocaust. Sagall, who starred in the popular 1978 Israeli film Eskimo Limon, received funding for the project five years ago and later decided to transport his mother's tale to Ramallah, where instead of the Nazis, two girls struggle against the Israeli occupation.

The controversial treatment first came to light after Israeli columnist Yair Lapid wrote an article in last Friday's Yediot Aharonot in which he quoted a passage from a brochure he had received, advertising Lipstikka:

"It took a lot to convince the Israel Film Fund that the occupation is worse than Israel has ever admitted to and that it is possible to compare the occupation to the Holocaust."

After Lapid's column was published, the IFF announced that it was freezing its support of the film, which had been slated to receive NIS 1.3 million in state funds, NIS 850,000 of which had already been invested in the production.

Israel Radio reported Tuesday that the decision to suspend funding came following a direct request from Minister of Culture and Sports Limor Livnat.

The IFF has also denied any connection to the brochure and its wording. The IFF further said that when it had approved the funding, the script it had received had not presented the same comparisons as those described in the brochure.
So Minister of Culture Limor Livnat is not at fault here (anyone remember who held that portfolio in 2005 and what ministry it was under?). And the ministry may not be at fault either since the film maker apparently received approval for his funding under false pretenses.

As to those who would cry 'censorship!' I remind you that no one is stopping the moron from making the film. It's just that the Israeli government is no longer willing to be the sucker who pays for it.


At 6:48 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Classic switch and bait. The Israeli public shouldn't be forced to subsidize an Israel-bashing film.


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