Friday, September 4, 2009

Keep the pressure

"As members of the Canadian and international film, culture and media arts communities, we are deeply disturbed by the Toronto International Film Festival’s decision to host a celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv. We protest that TIFF, whether intentionally or not, has become complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine.

Furthermore, what this description does not say is 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. This program ignores the suffering of thousands of former residents and descendants of the Tel Aviv/Jaffa area who currently live in refugee camps in the Occupied Territories or who have been dispersed to other countries, including Canada. Looking at modern, sophisticated Tel Aviv without also considering the city’s past and the realities of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza strip, would be like rhapsodizing about the beauty and elegant lifestyles in white-only Cape Town orJohannesburg during apartheid without acknowledging the corresponding black townships of Khayelitsha and Soweto."

Look at the list of signatories, it includes Naomi Klein, Slavoj Zizek and even...Jane Fonda who, as my friend Angry Arab always says, came to cheer the Israeli troops when they invaded Lebanon in 1982...The wind is turning?

Meanwhile the Slow Food people are still celebrating the Tel Aviv farmer's market. How myopic can these major players in the "Food Movement" be?

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