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November 30, 2015 11:23 am

Israeli Culture Minister Moves to Revoke Public Funding for ‘Nakba’ Film Festival

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Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev established a task force to examine the Nakba film festival. Photo: Wikipedia.

Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev established a task force to examine the Nakba film festival. Photo: Wikipedia. – Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) has established a task force to examine the legality of the “48mm” film festival, also known as the “International Film Festival on Nakba and Return.”

The festival, first held in 2013, is “dedicated to films about the Palestinian Nakba and return of refugees.” It features documentary and feature films from around the world as well as films by Palestinian and Israeli filmmakers.

The Palestinians use the word Nakba (“Catastrophe”) to describe the displacement of Palestinian refugees during Israel’s War of Independence. The task force is expected to determine whether films slated to be screened at the festival, scheduled for Dec. 4-6, violate Article 3B of the Budget Foundations Law, which stipulates that the state will not fund any form of art that encourages incitement to violence or racism, or supports armed struggle against Israel.

“It is our responsibility and our duty to make sure that public funds are not diverted toward incitement against the state,” Regev said.

The task force will watch the films and then submit a recommendation to the Culture Ministry, which will in turn review the team’s findings with Israel’s attorney general.

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  • Nazis ‘shipped arms to Palestinians’

    British National Archives unveil presence of Nazi S.S. agents in Mandatory Palestine, working closely with Palestinian leaders

    Historical documents in Britain’s National Archives in London show that Nazi Germany attempted to ship arms to Palestinian forces in the 1930’s.

    A British Foreign Office report from 1939 reports of “news of a consignment of arms from Germany, sent via Turkey and addressed to Ibn Saud (king of Saudi Arabia), but really intended for the Palestine insurgents.” Britain’s chief military officer in Mandatory Palestine also noted reports “regarding import of German arms at intervals for some years now.”

    British documents from the same period, and German records photographed by an American spy and sent to the British government, said that a number of Nazi agents were sent to Mandatory Palestine, in order to forge alliances with Palestinian leaders, and urge them to reject a partition of the land between the Jewish and Arab populations.

    One Nazi agent, Adam Vollhardt, arrived in Palestine in July 1938, and was reported to have gained strong influence with Arab leaders, meeting with Palestinian leaders throughout 1938. Vollhardt held several meetings with leading Arab politicians and told them “that the Palestine question would be settled to the satisfaction of the Arabs within a few weeks,” adding that “it would be fatal to their (Palestinians’) cause if at this juncture they showed any signs of weakness or exhaustion.”

    “Germany was interested in the settlement of the (Palestine) question on the basis of the Arabs obtaining their full demands,” Vollhardt was reported to say to Palestinian leaders, according to a report by the British War Office. Vollhardt also assured Arab leaders that “the Germans could continue to support the Palestinian Arab cause by means of propaganda.”

    German documents photographed and sent to Whitehall by an American spy revealed that in 1937, German officials had calculated that “Palestine under Arab rule would… become one of the few countries where we could count on a strong sympathy for the new Germany.”

    ‘Arabs admire our Fuhrer’

    “The Palestinian Arabs show on all levels a great sympathy for the new Germany and its Fuhrer, a sympathy whose value is particularly Advertisement

    high as it is based on a purely ideological foundation,” a Nazi official in Palestine wrote in a letter to Berlin in 1937. He added: “Most important for the sympathies which Arabs now feel towards Germany is their admiration for our Fuhrer, especially during the unrests, I often had an opportunity to see how far these sympathies extend. When faced with a dangerous behavior of an Arab mass, when one said that one was German, this was already generally a free pass.”

    A second Nazi agent, Dr. Franz Reichart, was reported to be actively working with Palestinian Arabs by the British Criminal Investigation Division “to help coordinate Arab and German propaganda.” Reichart was also head of the German Telegraphic Agency in Jerusalem.

    German records show that the Nazis viewed the establishment of a Jewish state with great concern. A 1937 report from German General Consulate in Palestine said: “The formation of a Jewish state… is not in Germany’s interest because a (Jewish) Palestinian state would create additional national power bases for international Jewry such as for example the Vatican State for political Catholicism or Moscow for the Communists. Therefore, there is a German interest in strengthening the Arabs as a counter weight against such possible power growth of the Jews.”

    A million Jewish refugees abandoned

    The records also show that the news of increased Nazi-Arab cooperation panicked the British government, and caused it to cancel a plan in 1938 to bring to Palestine 20,000 German Jewish refugees, half of them children, facing danger from the Nazis.

    Documents show that after deciding that the move would upset Arab opinion, Britain decided to abandon the Jewish refugees to their fate.

    “His Majesty’s Government asked His Majesty’s Representatives in Cairo, Baghdad and Jeddah whether so far as they could judge, feelings in Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia against the admission of, say 5,000 Jewish children for adoption… would be so strong as to lead to a refusal to send representatives to the London discussions. All three replies were strongly against the proposal, which was not proceeded with,” a Foreign Office report said.

    “If war were to break out, no trouble that the Jews could occasion us, in Palestine or elsewhere, could weigh for a moment against the importance of winning Muslim opinion to our side,” Britain’s Minister for Coordination of Defense, Lord Chatfield, told the British cabinet in 1939, shortly before Britain reversed its decision to partition its mandate, promising instead all of the land to the Palestinian Arabs.

  • Text of the Law Drafted by the Political Committee of the Arab League
    In 1947, the Political Committee of the Arab League (League of Arab States) drafted a law which was to govern the legal status of Jewish residents in all Arab League countries. This law had already been approved by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, provided that, “beginning with a specified date, all Jews – with the exception of citizens of non-Arab countries – were to be considered members of the Jewish ‘minority state of Palestine,’ and that their bank account be frozen and used to finance resistance to ‘Zionist ambitions in Palestine.’ Jews believed to be active Zionists would be interned as political prisoners and their assets confiscated.

    Excerpts of Direct Quotes of the Law drafted by the Political Committee of the Arab League
    • “All Jewish citizens…will be considered as members of the Jewish minority of the State of Palestine and will have to register [“within 7 days”] with the authorities of the region wherein they reside, giving their names, the exact number of members in their families, their addresses, the names of their banks and the amounts of their deposits in these banks…”2
    • “Bank accounts of Jews will be frozen. These funds will be utilized in part or in full to finance the movement of resistance to Zionist ambitions in Palestine.”3
    • “Only Jews who are subjects of foreign countries will be considered ‘neutrals.’ These will be compelled either to return to their countries, with a minimum of delay, or be considered Arabs and obliged to accept active service in the Arab army.”4
    • “Every Jew whose activities reveal that he is an active Zionist will be considered as a political prisoner and will be interned in places specifically designated for that purpose by police authorities or by the Government. His financial resources, instead of being frozen, will be confiscated.”5
    • “Any Jew who will be able to prove that his activities are anti-Zionist will be free to act as he likes, provided that he declares his readiness to join the Arab armies.”6
    • “The foregoing…does not mean that those Jews will not be submitted to paragraphs 1 and 2 of this law.”7
    1 Memorandum Submitted to the U.N. Economic and Social Council by the World Jewish Congress. (Jan. 19, 1948) Section I. (2) a. June 2, 1948. [ZIIC – This reference is in the document prepared by JJAC and is probably incorrect]
    2 Text of the Law drafted by the Political Committee of the Arab League. Paragraph 1.
    3 ibid. Paragraph 2.
    4 ibid. Paragraph 3.
    5 ibid. Paragraph 5.
    6 ibid. Paragraph 6.
    7 ibid. Paragraph 7. (Paragraph 1 & 2 indicate all Jews must register and disclose personal and banking information and

    that bank accounts will be frozen and utilized for anti-Zionist resistance.)