Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Filmgoers Walk Out on Film that is "Too Favorable to the Jews"

Tunisian filmgoers walked out 30 minutes into the film "A Secret," which deals with a Jewish family in Nazi-occupied France, claiming that it was "too favorable to the Jews." Filmgoers told, the website of the Al-Jazeera satellite TV station, that they wondered why Europe was so favorable to the Jews, and France in particular, whose president they described as the "pro-Jewish Sarkozy."

The Tunisian organizer of the festival, Ibrahim Al-Latif, blamed the European delegation, which was responsible for the choice of films. One young filmgoer told that the decision to screen "A Secret" led some people "to feel that the European delegation, which oversees the festival, is under Jewish control."(1)

Al-Sabah: Opening with the Film Was Not Appropriate Given the Criminal Siege on Gaza

An article by Muhsin Al-Zaghlawi in the mainstream Tunisian Al-Sabah daily opined that "not only was the timing of the opening of the festival wrong, as it came together with the tightening of the criminal Israeli siege on Gaza and the unprecedented worsening of Palestinian suffering, but also the opening film chosen by the organizers… was not appropriate in the view of many observers…

"A large number of the Tunisian public present at the opening were surprised by the events [related in] the film, and its melodramatic narrative, which emphasized the tragic aspect of these events. The film tried to show the Jews as though they were the only people in history who have been subjected to injustice and against whom were committed crimes and massacres. Thus some of them decided to walk out of the film and leave the area, in plain view of the guests and the organizers…

"[This was an act of] protest… against the Tunisian and European panel who organized the festival, who did not make a good choice – if we are to assume that their intentions were good – and shocked the festival's public, right at the opening, with a politicized film that, regardless of its content, does damage to the festival's orientation, and comes close to removing it from its general cultural-artistic framework and brings it into a maze of [political] instrumentalism that is far from innocent.

"The oppressive Israeli siege underway these days against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which is an [ominous] herald of a humanitarian disaster, is an event that must necessarily cast a shadow on any festival – cultural, intellectual, or other – taking place anywhere. The festival's organizers… should have taken this into account, and not given a film dealing with the Jews' historical tragedy in the Holocaust the honor of opening the festival… especially since the criminal Israeli siege against the Gaza Strip is now at its ugliest and most inhumane."(2)

Opposition Paper: The Zionist Entity Exploits Any Occasion to Remind the World of the Holocaust

A similar article appeared on November 28, 2008, in Al-Watan, the official organ of the opposition Unionist Democratic Union party.

"In these days, when voices have risen to break the siege on Gaza, the 15th annual European film festival in Tunis opens with a film that 'deals with… the tragic situation of the Jews in the Second World War, through [the lives of] Jewish families in France, and [deals with] the victims of the Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis…'

"It is well known that the Zionist entity and the Jewish lobbies, which are spread throughout the entire world, always try to exploit any occasion and any stage, no matter how trivial, to 'remind' [the world] of the oppression suffered by the Jews, especially during the Second World War at the hands of the Nazis, in an attempt to cover up the crimes that the Zionist entity is perpetrating in the occupied Palestinian lands. These are crimes that destroy everything: forests of olive trees, houses, the tyrannical siege [whose victims reach] the point of death, the air raids, the assassinations, and so on.

"What is being perpetrated in Gaza is a true crime by any measure or standard, but nonetheless the world looks on and 'monitors' [the situation]. And in Tunisia, with the [full] knowledge of the Ministry of Culture, a film is being shown about the oppression of the Jews told through 'the story of a child in search of his identity' – whereas the children of Gaza, because of the siege, can't find milk or anything to allay their hunger…"(3)

Even though Arabs will strenuously argue that they are not anti-semitic, and that they can distinguish between Jews and Zionists, a film that has nothing to do with Israel is decried as a Zionist plot to distract the world from Gaza. To their minds, any sympathy for Jews is forbidden, ostensibly because of "Gaza" (this week's excuse for naked Jew-hatred.)

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