FILM ARTISTS JOIN ISRAEL BOYCOTT – THE SAN FRANCISCO SENTINEL ASKS YOU TO SHUN THESE ARTISTS – VIDEO

BY SIMON WIESENTHAL
The Simon Wiesenthal Center

A new front against the very heart and soul of Israel has opened up in Toronto and I urgently ask you to give this your prompt attention.

Sixty-three actors, directors, and writers including some well-known celebrities from around the world have launched a protest against the organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which takes place September 10-19, 2009, because one of the evenings will showcase Tel Aviv as a “young dynamic city that, like Toronto, celebrates its diversity.”

WOULD YOU LIVE IF YOU SHOWED GAY FILMS IN PALESTINE?

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John Grayson

TEL AVIV GAY PRIDE 2009
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SAN FRANCISCO GAY PRIDE 2009
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Rabbis Ryan Bauer, center; and Sydney Mintz, far right, of San Francisco Congregation Emanu-El march with the Jewish LGBT Alliance. Bill Wilson Copyright © 2009

GAY TEENAGERS EXECUTED BY MUSLIM THEOCRACY
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THE HOPE

The protesters say that by hosting this showcase, the Festival ignores the “fact” that, “Tel Aviv is built on destroyed Palestinian villages, and that the city of Jaffa, Palestine’s main cultural hub until 1948, was annexed to Tel Aviv after the mass exiling of the Palestinian population,” … and that the festival is ignoring, “the city’s past and the realities of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza strip” adding, “we object to the use of such an important international festival in staging a propaganda campaign on behalf of what South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and UN General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann have all characterized as an apartheid regime.”

As soon as we became aware of this, the Wiesenthal Center contacted the Festival Organizers to thank them for their wonderful initiative and then added this statement by Rabbi Marvin Hier, SWC Dean and Founder:

As a filmmaker and member of the Academy, I can tell you that this is nothing less than a call for the complete destruction of the Jewish State. There can be no other interpretation when the legitimacy of Tel Aviv is called into question. If every city in the Middle East would have the cultural diversity, the freedom of expression, and treat its citizens, Jews and Arabs, the way Tel Aviv does, peace would have come to the Middle East long ago.

Israel is accused of being an apartheid state because it did what every other country in the world would do – defend its citizens against an eight month rocket barrage launched by Hamas terrorists. Let’s be honest, the signatories to this protest may have been filmmakers, authors, directors and actors, but it is clear that the script they are reading from might as well have been written by Hamas.

The Toronto protest is just the latest front in the war to demonize and undermine the very legitimacy of the Jewish state by religious organizations like World Council of Churches, diplomatic maneuvers at the United Nations, regimes like Iran, and academics on both sides of the Atlantic. We need your help as we stand on the front lines of this multi-dimensional struggle.

THE SAN FRANCISCO SENTINEL ASKS YOU TO SHUN THESE FILM ARTSTS

Ahmad Abdalla, Filmmaker, Egypt

Hany Abu-Assad, Filmmaker, Palestine

Mark Achbar, Filmmaker, Canada

Zackie Achmat, AIDS activist, South Africa

Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, Filmmaker, Jerusalem

Anthony Arnove, Publisher and Producer, USA

Ruba Atiyeh, Documentary Director, Lebanon

Joslyn Barnes, Writer and Producer, USA

John Berger, Author, France

Dionne Brand, Poet/Writer, Canada

Judith Butler, Professor, USA

David Byrne, Musician, USA

Noam Chomsky, Professor, USA

Guy Davidi. Director, Israel

Na-iem Dollie, Journalist/Writer, South Africa

Igor Drljaca, Filmmaker, Canada

Eve Ensler, Playwright, Author, USA

Eyal Eithcowich, Director, Israel

Sophie Fiennes, Filmmaker, UK

Peter Fitting, Professor, Canada

Jane Fonda, Actor and Author, USA

Danny Glover, Filmmaker and Actor, San Francisco, USA

Noam Gonick, Director, Canada

Malcolm Guy, Filmmaker, Canada

Mike Hoolboom, Filmmaker, Canada

Annemarie Jacir, Filmmaker, Palestine

Fredric Jameson, Literary Critic, USA

Juliano Mer Khamis, Filmmaker, Jenin/Haifa

Bonnie Sherr Klein, Filmmaker, Canada

Paul Laverty, Producer, UK

Min Sook Lee, Filmmaker, Canada

Paul Lee, Filmmaker, Canada

Yael Lerer, publisher, Tel Aviv

Jack Lewis, Filmmaker, South Africa

Ken Loach, Filmmaker, UK

Arab Lotfi, Filmmaker, Egypt/Lebanon

Kyo Maclear, Author, Toronto

Mahmood Mamdani, Professor, USA

Fatima Mawas, Filmmaker, Australia

Tessa McWatt, Author, Canada and UK

Cornelius Moore, Film Distributor, USA

Yousry Nasrallah, Director, Egypt

Rebecca O’Brien, Producer, UK

Pratibha Parmar, Producer/Director, UK

Jeremy Pikser, Screenwriter, USA

John Pilger, Filmmaker, UK

Shai Carmeli Pollak, Filmmaker, Israel

Ian Iqbal Rashid, Filmmaker, Canada

Judy Rebick, Professor, Canada

David Reeb, Artist, Tel Aviv

B. Ruby Rich, Critic and Professor, USA

Wallace Shawn, Playwright, Actor, USA

Eyal Sivan, Filmmaker and Scholar, Paris/London/Sderot

Elia Suleiman, Fimmlaker, Nazareth/Paris/New York

Eran Torbiner, Filmmaker, Israel

Alice Walker, Writer, USA

Thomas Waugh, Professor, Canada

Howard Zinn, Writer, USA

Slavoj Zizek, Professor, Slovenia

See Related: MARRIAGE EQUALITY

See Related: FILM

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a veteran freelance photographer whose work is published by San Francisco and Bay Area media. Bill embraced photography at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR). Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past five years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND NEWS MEDIA ARE AFRAID TO CONFRONT ISLAM – SAN FRANCISCO SENTINEL OPINION

STRAIGHT PEOPLE NEED FALL SILENT WHEN WE SPEAK – SENTINEL OPINION

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