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August 7, 2014 7:10 pm

London Theater Refuses to Host Jewish Film Festival Over Israeli Funding

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The Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – Citing the recent conflict in Gaza, the Tricycle Theater in London is refusing to host the annual U.K. Jewish Film Festival unless festival organizers do not accept funding from the city’s Israeli Embassy.

Indhu Rubasingham, the Tricycle’s artistic director, offered to help make up the funding via other sources so that the festival can still take place. But the head of the U.K’s Jewish Leadership Council, Simon Johnson, said festival organizers dismissed that offer and chose to look for another venue.

“It’s not the money. … I personally find this a distasteful attempt to justify what is a discriminatory boycott [of Israel],” Johnson said, according to the Daily Beast.

“People in the Jewish community are entitled to question the motive that lay behind the decision. We’re seeing a spike in anti-Semitic activity and boycotts right now and certain people are unable to see the Jewish community, the Jewish culture, through anything other than the prism of their view of the Israeli government’s policies. They then take action against something that is purely Jewish,” he added.

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