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The latest and most absurd demonstration of the power of the hate Israel Hamas groupie mob was demonstrated when the Edinburgh Film Festival (EIFF) succumbed to an orchestrated hate campaign of e-mails crowned by the intervention of the notorious Ken Loach. The EIFF returned a grant of £300 (300 Pounds) from the Israel embassy, which would have allowed an Israeli student to travel to Edinburgh and exhibit her film, which has nothing to do with the conflict.

In my heart, I suspect that the majority of decent people understand that the pro-Palestinian groups are conducting a vicious witch hunt, with the purpose of delegitimizing Israel. But the majority is silent and indifferent.

The EIFF reacted to Ken Loach's polemics with an amazing bit of prose indicative of moral bankruptcy:

"Although the festival is considered wholly cultural and apolitical, we consider the opinions of the film industry as a whole and, as such, accept that one film-maker's recent statement speaks on behalf of the film community, therefore we will be returning the funding issued by the Israeli embassy."

They accept that one film-maker's statement speaks on behalf of the film community! What if the film maker is Leni Riefenstahl? What if it is Mel Gibson, cussing out out the Jews when arrested for drunk driving? Why does Ken Loach represent the "film community?"

It's passed time to mobilize a grass roots movement to stop the Israel haters. Please, let's bombard EIFF with e-mails and snail mails and phone calls about their cowardly acquiescence in blackmail, and call upon them to reverse their decision.

Addresses:

Edinburgh International Film Festival
88 Lothian Road
Edinburgh EH3 9BZ
Scotland UK
telephone +44 (0)131 228 4051
fax +44 (0)131 229 5501
email info@edfilmfest.org.uk


Below is an article that explains the background of this issue:

Film festival hands back Israeli cash after director Loach calls for boycott

By EMILY PYKETT

ORGANISERS of the Edinburgh International Film Festival have been forced to return a donation from the Israeli embassy after director Ken Loach waded into the funding row and called for people to boycott the event on political grounds.

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) threatened to picket screenings after the EIFF listed the Israeli embassy to the UK as one of its backers.

A donation Ė believed to be in the region of £300 Ė was to have been used to pay travel costs to the capital for Tali Shalom Ezer, a graduate of the film and television department at Tel Aviv University, who directed a short feature film, Surrogate.

SPSC, which campaigns in Scotland against Israel's attacks on Gaza, orchestrated a torrent of e-mail protests from people opposed to the move. But festival organisers refused to budge. EIFF managing director Ginnie Atkinson said not accepting support from one particular country "would set a dangerous precedent by politicising a cultural and artistic mission".

The SPSC then enlisted the support of Mr Loach, well known for his support of Palestinian human rights.

Mr Loach released a statement through the SPSC which read: "I'm sure many film-makers will be as horrified as I am to learn the Edinburgh International Film Festival is accepting money from Israel. 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."

The following day the EIFF Ė which has since been in talks with Mr Loach Ė did a U-turn. It said: "The EIFF are firm believers in free cultural exchange and do not wish to restrict film-makers' abilities to communicate artistically with international audiences on the basis that they come from a troubled regime.

"Although the festival is considered wholly cultural and apolitical, we consider the opinions of the film industry as a whole and, as such, accept that one film-maker's recent statement speaks on behalf of the film community, therefore we will be returning the funding issued by the Israeli embassy."

EIFF spokeswoman Emma McCorkell said yesterday she hoped Shalom Ezer would still attend the festival. Mr Loach did not respond to requests to contact The Scotsman yesterday. However, Ms McCorkell said he was "pleased."

"Although the festival is apolitical, we are going to succumb to political blackmail of the Palestinian lobby." Sounds like they are learning from another great film maker, George Orwell.

Here is a sample letter to give you ideas. Please do not send this letter with precisely this message, as "canned" messages are not effective.

info@edfilmfest.org.uk
Dear EIFF,

It is hard to believe that you surrendered your integrity and artistic principles to a political lynch mob led by a bigot, and gave in to the storm trooper tactics of terror groupies by joining a petty and absurd boycott of Israel. Your Orwellian statement speaks for itself:

"Although the festival is considered wholly cultural and apolitical, we consider the opinions of the film industry as a whole and, as such, accept that one film-maker's recent statement speaks on behalf of the film community, therefore we will be returning the funding issued by the Israeli embassy."

How could one person speak for an entire industry? One person who finds anti-Semitism "understandable?" And what if the one person was Leni Riefenstahl? And what if the "film industry as a whole" really thought it is right to support Hamas and damn Zionism, or that it is right to burn witches or expel the Jews, or the Catholics, would that make it right?

The dark days when political commissars controlled the content of cultural offerings are gone from Russia, and the darker days when Jews were boycotted in Germany are long past, but the evil of political manipulation of culture has been perpetuated by the EIFF. There is no possibility, in view of your actions and statements, that Tali Shalom Ezer's film would get fair treatment. What criteria will you use for judging if a country is worthy or unworthy? Will you refuse support or entries to China because of repression in Tibet? Will you refuse support or entries to any country other than Israel?

In totalitarian countries and societies, artists face the terrible choice of succumbing to political diktats or compromising their integrity. That is the sort of regime that exists in Gaza and Iran. But EIFF prostituted itself to politics of its own free will, without coercion. What if Ken Loach or some other popular maker takes up the cause of pedophiles, islamophobes or wife beaters next, will you bow to their wishes in order to curry favor with "the film industry?" You brought Gaza and the Khomeist regime to the UK. You have set a very dangerous precedent.

A politicized cultural event is no longer a cultural event worthy of the name. Your film festival itself deserves to be boycotted by decent people. Please reconsider and do the right thing. Keep politics out of culture.

[Signature].



Please forward this message and help us get the word out
Thanks.

Ami Isseroff


Original content is Copyright by the author 2009. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000693.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 3 Comments

It was impossible to keep sport and politcs separate in the case of apartheid South Africa. It will turn out simliarly with Israeli apartheid and its search for respectability in the cultural sphere, while its bulldozers continue their grisly work of ethnic cleansing across the West Bank. Some people, of course, cared not a whit for freedom in South Africa, and their counterparts today are indifferent to, or even supporters of, Israeli crimes in Palestine.

Al Terego, Friday, May 22nd


There are numerous Jews in the film and entertainment industries. With few exceptions, they appear to be very involved in every cause other than when it comes to standing up for Israel, the only Jewish majority country in the world. They seem to support every liberation movement except Zionism, the Jewish National Liberation Movement. It seems to me that they could easily influence this issue by announcing a counter-boycott of Mr. Loach,the Edinburgh Film Festival, and anyone who supports Loach's efforts. Yet, they are strangely silent at this assault on the Jewish National Liberation Movement and on many others that take place almost daily. Perhaps they are so ignorant that they have bought into the blantant anti-Israel, anti-Semitic lies of those that would isolate and denigrate Israel. Whatever the reason, it is about time the Jews in the film and entertainment industries be called upon to stand up for Israel and the Jewish people. Perhaps they can be shamed into doing so. Or, if that does not work, perhaps it is time to let them know that we will not support them if they do not speak out against these outrages being committed by their colleagues against the Jewish people to which they ostensibly belong.

Alan Edelstein
Sacramento and Jerusalem

Alan Edelstein, Friday, May 22nd


Why aren't we organizing a boycott in Edinborough? What is the matter with everyone?

a kaufman, Friday, May 22nd


Constructive comments, including corrections, are welcome. Do not use this space for spam, publishing articles, self promotion, racism, anti-Zionist propaganda or character defamation. Inappropriate comments will be deleted. See our Comment policy for details. By posting here, you agree to the Comment policy.

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