Jewish Group Rebukes Artists Calling for Boycott of London Israeli Film Festival: Stop Importing Conflict
The British Board of Deputies rebuked the directors and actors behind a joint letter calling on a London cinema to call off the Israeli Film Festival, saying they were importing conflict.
Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush criticized the group of more than 40 artists, including directors Mike Leigh (Secrets & Lies, Topsy-Turvy) and Peter Kosminsky (of recent TV miniseries Wolf Hall) and actress Miriam Margolyes (Babe, Romeo + Juliet), saying “Their blinkered, bigoted approach is fixated solely on Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and the country they love to hate.”
“They should be looking at ways to export peaceful solutions, not import conflict,” said Arkush according to the British Jewish Chronicle.
The Curzon Cinema, which is a host for the venue. said it did not “consider booking a film festival a political comment.”
The SERET London Israeli Film & TV Festival will be held from June 11 to the 21. Among the films and television series being screened are award-winning Zero Motivation about young women in the IDF and Fauda, a new Israeli television drama about the elite undercover IDF mista’arvim living closely among Palestinians.
The Israeli Embassy in the U.K. is among the festival’s sponsors, drawing the ire of anti-Israel boycott activists. In their letter, the group of artists claimed “By benefiting from money from the Israeli state, the cinemas become silent accomplices to the violence inflicted on the Palestinian people.”
“The festival is co-sponsored by the Israeli government via the Israeli embassy in London, creating a direct link between these cinemas, the festival screenings and Israeli policies,” they said.
Just a few months ago some 100 British artists including Leigh, Kosminsky and Margolyes announced a cultural boycott of the Jewish state.
And just about a week ago, the U.K.’s largest student union, the National Union of Students, voted to adopt measures for the boycott of Israel.