Canadian and American filmmakers lashed back at what they described as an ” outrageous” boycott of the Toronto International Film Festival by some filmmakers and writers in protest of the event’s spotlight on filmmakers from Tel Aviv.
Producer, writer and director David Zucker (“Scary Movie,” “Naked Gun,” “Airplane!” ) denounced as “left-wing crazies” the individuals who signed a letter called ” The Toronto Declaration” to protest Israeli government policies.
Mr. Zucker said he is “outraged” that actors such as Danny Glover and Jane Fonda, along with about 50 other activists, would sign a declaration that condemns Israel as an “apartheid regime” and dismisses the work of Tel Aviv filmmakers as “Israeli propaganda.”
The protest of Israel began Aug. 27 when Canadian filmmaker John Greyson released a public letter stating he would withdraw his film from the 10-day festival, which opens Thursday, to protest Israel’s “brutal” military assault on Gaza earlier this year.
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici complained that Mr. Greyson is now trying to shut down the voices of filmmakers in the only country in the Middle East that allows free expression.
If Mr. Greyson “were to walk down the streets of Tel Aviv with a sign saying he is a homosexual filmmaker, he would be invited to the Tel Aviv Queer Film Festival. But if he did that in Ramallah or any Palestinian village in the Territories, his films would have to be shown posthumously because they would kill him,” said Mr. Jacobovici.
Gays in Palestine “flee to Tel Aviv to protect themselves from their brothers who would lynch them,” Mr. Jacobovici added.
“It seems that nothing the Jews do is right and nothing the enemies of the Jews do is wrong,” said Mr. Jacobovici.
The idea of an Israeli apartheid is also “a lie,” said Mr. Jacobovici, noting that 1 million Palestinians live in Israel (about 20 percent of Israel’s population), “while not one Jew lives in the Territories or is even buried there because they have disinterred those bodies.” WASHINGTON TIMES
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