By Marcus Dysch
May 20, 2009
The capitulation by organisers of the Edinburgh Film Festival is, I think, more shocking than most examples of the Israel boycott we’ve previously seen.
Had the organisers decided off their own backs to not accept the Israeli Embassy’s money to fly in director Tali Shalom Ezer it would have been bad enough.
But to so openly base the decision on the ramblings of Ken Loach almost beggars belief.
To claim his comments on this occasion – “the massacres and state terrorism in Gaza make this money unacceptable” – were spoken on behalf of “the film community” is laughable. Mr Loach no more speaks for every British filmmaker than I do for the British Nutrition Foundation when I saw gingerbread should be a staple of a healthy diet.
The EIFF should hang its collective head in shame.
The Israeli Embassy says the decision is “regrettable”. It would have been far better to call it what it is – disgraceful – and for Ms Shalom Ezer to tell the organisers where to stick their invitation, before withdrawing her film from the festival in counter-protest.