Jane Fonda responds to Toronto Festival row

By Jessica Elgot, September 7, 2009
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Jane Fonda has written a response to criticism over her endorsement of a letter critical of Israel

Jane Fonda has written a response to criticism over her endorsement of a letter critical of Israel

Actress Jane Fonda has hit back after a row errupted over her signature on a letter which criticised a celebration of Tel Aviv at the Toronto International film festival.

Writing on her blog, Ms Fonda denied she had any anti-Israeli sentiments, and that she was protesting that fact that a film festival was being used to promote a certain country.

More than 50 film directors, artists and writers, including Ken Loach, Naomi Klein, David Byrne and Danny Glover signed the letter which protests against the new "City to City" celebration at TIFF, which this year will focus on Tel Aviv.

Ms Fonda wrote: "The letter we signed did not call for a boycott of any part of the Toronto Film Festival. In fact, many of the people who signed the letter are showing films there and many of the Israeli filmmakers that go to the festival show films critical of Israel.

"We protest the use of Tel Aviv to rebrand Israel. We are standing up for integrity of art, not censoring anyone.

The letter certainly did not call for the destruction of Israel or call into question the legitimacy of Tel Aviv as a city. But in the year when the Gaza offensive happened, there shouldn't be a celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv."

She went on to describe her love for Israel and described her visits to the country.

Jane Fonda's blog: In full

Last updated: 3:14pm, September 7 2009