Ken Loach responds to critics

UK film legend Ken Loach
UK film legend Ken Loach

Legendary British filmmaker Ken Loach lays out succinctly the case for the cultural boycott of Israel in this response to an open letter from the Israeli film maker Tali Shalom Ezer, published below (via the Russell Tribunal on Palestine).

Dear Tali Shalom Ezer,

From the beginning, Israel and its supporters have attacked their critics as anti-semites or racists. It is a tactic to undermine rational debate.

To be crystal clear: as a film maker you will receive a warm welcome in Edinburgh. You are not censored or rejected. The opposition was to the Festival’s taking money from the Israeli state.

The call for a boycott of Israeli cultural institutions comes from many Palestinians: writers, artists, journalists, lawyers, academics, trades unionists, teachers. They see it as “a contribution to the struggle to end Israel ’s occupation, colonisation and system of apartheid.” Who are we, that we should not heed their call? Your counter arguments were used against the South African boycott yet that proved eventually to be successful.

Continue reading “Ken Loach responds to critics”

BDS movement gains ground in Scotland

massacres and state terrorism in Gaza make this money unacceptable
Prominent filmmaker Ken Loach: "The massacres and state terrorism in Gaza make this money unacceptable."

The boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel continues to gain leverage every day as more  people become aware of Israel’s atrocities.   Many argue that the BDS movement must penetrate every aspect of society for it to be fully effective at encouraging people to demand that Israel halt its policies of ethnic cleansing and apartheid against Palestinians.   The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has accordingly agreed to return funds provided by the Israeli Embassy to finance the visit of Israeli filmmaker Tali Shalom-Ezer.  While Ginnie Atkinson from the EIFF continues to insist that the decision was not politically motivated, she prefaces her explanation for the move by stating that:

…we probably do not have too distant views on the fundamentals. Continue reading “BDS movement gains ground in Scotland”