November 08, 2014

Opposing Zionism from the West Bank to the South Bank

Press report from the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network:

No Israeli Funding of the Arts
Southbank, London, 5 November 2014.  A lively and colourful 50 person-strong protest outside the BFI (British Film Institute) condemned the BFI for hosting an Israeli-sponsored film festival only weeks after Israel committed mass-murder, killing 2100 people, including over 500 children during its 51-day assault of Gaza.

Called by a new initiative, No Israeli Funding of the Arts (NIFA) [1], protestors from all walks of life, including Muslim, Jewish and Israeli, chanted and spoke out against the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) because it had insisted on accepting Israeli funding – in the midst of Israel’s war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and incitement to genocide [2] – even when offered alternative funding.
Protestors spoke out against the presence of Secretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid, at this opening gala of the UKJFF – he had slandered opponents of Israeli funding of the film festival by implying they were guilty of antisemitism.  The tiny Zionist counter-protest used the same slur.
Protests against the film festival at the Tricycle last year called for it to reject Israeli funding, and this summer the Tricycle made its courageous decision to reject the tainted funding. Last night’s protest publicised that over 500 artists and theatre practitioners had publicly defended the Tricycle from the false accusation of antisemitism when it had offered to replace Israeli funding so that the film festival could take place there.
Public protest had already closed down an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe.  Besides the Tricycle, the Bristol Encounters Film Festival and artists from Sao Paulo Art Biennial had all rejected Israeli Embassy funding in this last period.
There will be further protests against the Israeli-funded film festival.

[1] See No Israeli Funding of the Arts letter to all the cinemas hosting the UKJFF here.
[2] Russell Tribunal on Palestine


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