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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:18 PM
Original message
Protest against Toronto film festival collusion with Israeli regime continues
Protest against Toronto film festival collusion with Israeli regime continues

By David Walsh
16 September 2009

Organizers of a protest against the Toronto film festivals spotlight on Tel Aviv held a press conference Monday afternoon at Ryerson University to explain their purposes and respond to attacks by pro-Israeli forces. A number of Canadian, Palestinian and Israeli film directors and commentators spoke at the event. Udi Aloni, an Israeli filmmaker, made a statement of support in a video.

The protest is directed against the Toronto festivals choice of Tel Aviv as the initial subject of its City to City series, a choice that has been seized upon by the Israeli propaganda machine as part of its effort to re-brand the Zionist state and whitewash its crimes.

An August 28, 2008, article in the Canadian Jewish News, the protesters open letter (No Celebration of Occupation) explains, quotes Israeli consul general Amir Gissin as saying that Toronto would be the test city for a promotion that could then be deployed around the world. According to Gissin, the culmination of the campaign would be a major Israeli presence at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.

The open letter reads, in part: We do not protest the individual Israeli filmmakers included in City to City, nor do we in any way suggest that Israeli films should be unwelcome at TIFF . However, especially in the wake of this years brutal assault on Gaza, we object to the use of such an important international festival in staging a propaganda campaign.

The protest statement has been signed by 1,500 figures in the film world, as well as by writers and academics. Among the more recent signatories are actors Julie Christie and Viggo Mortensen, blacklist victim and screenwriter Walter Bernstein, performer Harry Belafonte, and linguist Noam Chomsky.
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Kurska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:21 PM
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1. Of course these people have nothing against Israel.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 08:38 PM by Kurska
They just believe that showing any achievement or interpretation of israel that doesn't come bundled with devil horns and hoofs is "Collusion" with their Evil Israeli government.

Oh no, otherwise people might get the impression that Israelis aren't soulless monsters and are instead normal people caught up in extraordinary circumstances.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Israel is just like apartheid South Africa
Can't put a human face on that abomination until every settlement is dismantled and the Occupation comes to an end.
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 05:28 PM
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2. Toronto film fest calls Israeli PR strategy into question

"When Amir Gissin helped come up with an idea to remake Israel's international image several years ago, it's unlikely he imagined that the showcasing of Israeli films in Toronto would spark a star-studded Hollywood brouhaha over artistic expression and cultural boycotts.

But thats what happened as Israel became the major flashpoint at this years Toronto International Film Festival.

In an interview last year with the Canadian Jews News, Gissin boasted that his new marketing idea, known as Brand Israel, would help reshape public perceptions of the Jewish state and culminate in a major presence at the 2009 festival.

The presence turned out to be the focus on Tel Aviv as part of the festival's new City to City program, which included an appearance by the city's mayor and VIP receptions in addition to the screening of 10 Israeli films.

The way to fix negative images of Israel is to present Israel in a positive light elsewhere, Gissin told the paper.

But the effort appears to have backfired as a string of celebrities, including Jane Fonda, Danny Glover, Viggo Mortensen and Harry Belafonte, signed on to the so-called Toronto Declaration claiming that the Tel Aviv spotlight is merely an attempt by the Israeli government to divert attention from its treatment of the Palestinians.

So rather than talking about Israel's rich cinematic culture, the buzz this week in Toronto has centered on the one thing Israeli officials had sought to avoid: the conflict with the Palestinians."

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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 05:22 AM
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4. Jane Fonda apologises over Toronto petition
Jane Fonda has apologised for signing a petition decrying the decision by organisers of the Toronto film festival to showcase films from Tel Aviv.

In a post on the Huffington Post blog yesterday, Fonda said she had signed the letter, which has been fiercely criticised by Hollywood luminaries such as Jerry Seinfeld, Natalie Portman and Sacha Baron Cohen, "without reading it carefully enough, without asking myself if some of the wording wouldn't exacerbate the situation rather than bring about constructive dialogue".

She continued: "In the hyper-sensitised reality of the region in which any criticism of Israel is swiftly and often unfairly branded as anti-Semitic, it can become counterproductive to inflame rather than explain and this means to hear the narratives of both sides, to articulate the suffering on both sides, not just the Palestinians. By neglecting to do this the letter allowed good people to close their ears and their hearts."
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 05:31 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Ms Fonda needs to leave the kitchen anyway so to speak
her name is in and of it self a flash point and there are some friends no cause needs
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