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.

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