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Do Jewish & Israeli media professionals have a responsibility to not incite anti-Israelism through media?

Should Israel offer Oscars and international festivals movies  which blame Jewish Zionists for the failure of peace from Gaza and Judea/Samaria Muslims?
Israel Film Fest in L.A. debuted with "Incitement" movie guilting Israel's zionist-right for scuttling peace by sacrificing
Judea and Samaria for Palestinian state through Yigal Amir (Yehuda Nahari Halevi) assassinating of Yitzhak Rabin
The image of Israel and Israelis internationally has been beleaguered by enemies' media and political campaigns for years. Inherently liberal News Directors and Editors at global and regional news agencies, influenced by Muslim immigration advocates, have adopted an pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel editorial position - and expect that bias from field reporters - even those in Israel. Decades of anti-Israel press reportage have contributed to negative attitudes towards Israel, Israelis, and the public image of Jews in general.

The latest Anti-Defamation League survey reveals heightened levels of anti-Semitic attitudes in Europe and the Middle East. In Germany and Austria, nearly one in three respondents agree that the behavior of Jews is what causes antisemitism. 60% of European Muslim people surveyed did not agree that Israel has the right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people.

A University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll, fielded by Nielson Scarborough, conducted in September and October 2018 reported that a large number of surveyed Americans support imposing sanctions (or more serious measures) if Israeli settlements in the West Bank continue to expand: 40 percent of Americans support such measures, including a majority of Democrats (56 percent) among a nationally representative sample of 2,352 Americans. Foreign Policy Magazine , in December 2018.

During the past decade, for an international film festival to accept an Israeli-produced film, it would have to be a liberal, critical of Israel (rather than zionistic or Jewish State advocating) production. This is similarly the case even by program selectors at Jewish Film Festivals internationally and even film festivals portraying themselves as Israeli film festivals (such as in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, or Philadelphia). 

With Jewish people assaulted and killed in the streets of their own countries and bigotry towards Israelis and Israeli interests (physical and political) persisting, do Jews - and Israelis in particular - bear a responsibility in defending Jews and the Jewish State against lies and defamation? Do primarily liberal TV and filmmakers who commonly produce programs for domestic, Israeli citizens' eyes (which emphasize criticism, conflict, controversy, and turmoil) - have a patriotic responsibility to no "air our dirty laundry" to under-informed, often anti-Israel predisposed audiences outside of Israel?

Interview with Hillel Newman, Israeli Consul General to Southwest US:

Question: We're here at the Israel Film Festival do the filmmakers who come here do they or the the programmers who program the films that are shown here - do they have a responsibility to show, to depict Israel in a favorable light?


Hillel Newman, Israeli Consul Gen to Southwest US

Answer: Israel is a country what we call a strong democracy. . .  There are red lines. Red lines are like movies or people who support BDS - divestment or boycott of Israel - or people who refuse to recognize the existence of the State of Israel. Those are the red lines that we wish not to cross and the movie that will support BDS or do something which crosses a red line will support terrorism or anti-semitism, we will not be there.

Question: But the film that's being shown tonight, Incitement it's incriminating to the right - they're blaming the Zionist-right in this picture and while it may be popular for commercial purposes, do the programmers have a responsibility to show things which are less incriminating on either side or blaming for tragedies such as the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin?

Answer: Well, first of all my being here is not an endorsement of one movie or another. I'm just being here for the the festival itself and they're gonna display many movies during the festival. I'm in support of the festival, in general. 

Regarding this the Incitement movie (this is not the inciting movie) it's an era there are different opinions about it. I read up the reviews. I'm not a movie critique or reviewer. I'm aware of the different opinions about the movie. I understand where the moving is coming from. That it's just trying to portray an angle of of where the assassin of Rabin comes from. One doesn't have to accept the movie, one doesn't have to agree with the movie. It's controversial - one can disagree with the movie - that's legitimate."


Sharon Harel Cohen received Achievement in Film Award
from Meir Fenigstein's Israel Film Festival in L.A.
The Israel Film Festival in Beverly Hills, presented its Achievement in Film to Sharon Harel-Cohen, who produced IDF entertainers' story, "Ha Lehaka ("The Troupe) in 1977 (which featured drummer Meir Fenigstein in an acting/performing role. He founded and has been directing the Israel Film Festival for 33 years). 

Mrs. Cohen discusses the conundrum of why, in the face of growing anti-Israel attitudes, a dearth exists in "explanation" (hasbara) films and TV educating about Israel's history and struggle against detractors and enemies. 
 


Q:  Since that time since the early mid '60s, Exodus and Cast a Giant Shadow, there haven't been many films made depicting Israel story. What do you think about that?

A:  I think it's time to make make more movies like that.

Q:  Do you feel that Israeli filmmakers have a responsibility to help tell Israel's story amid the sheker (lies) and defamation?

A:  It's interesting - Israeli filmmakers don't really focus on that do they? I think they dont. Israeli filmmakers focus on their society. And stories within that. And issues they deal in. They deal with Israeli issues rather than how the world would perceive Israel. I think you're right, though.

Q:  Israel is not aware of the problems internationally?

A:  Yes but they don't have the same. . . so if you're in the States andyou're in New York or Los Angeles and you're thinking about Israel it's very different than if you actually ...

Q:  Or if you're in London.

A:  Or in London, definitely.

Q:  So everyone accuses at Hollywood, there's so many Jews working in Hollywood, but it doesn't seem to have worked on behalf of the Zionist history or Israel's cause. How about in England is there a chance that that even theaters would show movies that show Israel in a favorable light?

A:  In the UK, BDS is very very strong. And I think you will find that a lot of Palestinian money and efforts are going into that. Actually our movie, Incitement, was in the London Film Festival and the people in the London Festival were worried that there would be riots outside. There wasn't any.

Q:  Are you a producer or the producer?

A:  I'm producer of the film Incitement, yeah. The film is about the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

Q:  At the time was he the Prime Minister?

A:  He was a prime minister and it was during the Oslo period. And he was very close to a peace treaty with the Palestinians. It was during the second stage of Oslo. But he was assassinated.

Q:  Are films - even films which are which are critical of Israel will they get shown? Will they get picked up - if not by cinemas then by cable channels or satellite channels?

A:  In the UK?

Q:  In the UK  - anywhere in Europe?

A:  I think Israeli films are picked up, but not in many numbers. In the UK. In Europe I think that France shows many Israeli films. I think it depends. The UK doesn't."


Video of Sharon Harel Cohen's award acceptance speech below at the Israel Film Festival courtesy filmfestivals.com



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