One thing about the decades long Israeli/Palestinian conflict that irritates me is when people think they've figured it out enough where they can stand solely with one side or the other in complete sympathy.
... and then they get cantankerous about it:
“The massacres and state terrorism in Gaza make this money unacceptable. With regret, I must urge all who might consider visiting the festival to show their support for the Palestinian nation and stay away.”
English filmmaker Ken Loach said the above about the Edinburgh International Film Festival, who had received the equivalent of 300 pounds from the Israeli government for travel expenses on behalf of Israeli filmmaker Tali Shalom-Ezer. Her film, Surrogate, is to premier there. The EIFF has since given back the money.
First off, when Loach says "massacres and state terrorism in Gaza" I had to wonder if maybe he was referring to the self-imposed killings and oppression put upon the Gazans by Hamas. But, no, we know what he meant. And he can mean whatever he would like to, but why punish a single filmmaker for fierce disagreement you may have with her government???
As Shalom-Ezer points out:
"A lot of people didn’t support Britain being part of the war in Iraq — does that mean British art should be subjected to a cultural boycott?”
Exactly. If we want to go down the road of boycotting the art of private citizens because of the sins of their state government, then every film circulating around the world right now would be at risk.
“For me, I make films as art and my art does not deal with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Now I feel I am in a strange position because I am answering questions that are related to politics as if I am a representative of the Israeli state and I don’t want to be that.”
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