Saturday, August 31, 2013

  • Saturday, August 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
I reported on Friday that FIAT/IFTA, the International Federation of Television Archives, disinvited an Israeli director and nominee from its awards ceremony this year because it was taking place in Dubai, and the Dubai authorities bar Israelis.

FIAT/IFTA released a statement that pretty much proves that it is a spineless, craven organization.

Message from the President of FIAT/IFTA

Recently FIAT/IFTA has been involved in a political discussion both within and outside the network with respect to FIAT/IFTA Archive Achievements Awards; annually given to the best archival productions in the world.

Due to political tension in the region, one of the nominees this year, IBA TV and Mr. Bernstein, director of ‘Israel: A Home Movie’, is not able to attend this year’s World Conference.

FIAT/IFTA deeply regrets this.

Nevertheless, FIAT/IFTA wants to emphasize its independency. FIAT/IFTA is a professional federation, without political or religious connections. It is not in the position to be involved in political judgments, neither will we issue political statements, opinions and comments.

I8A TV’s and Mr. Bernstein’s work is respected by FIAT/IFTA. As his nomination for the Archive Achievements Awards will be respected. At the conference his work will be brought to the attention; and since he cannot attend the ceremony, FIAT/IFTA decided not to award a prize in this category when [if? - EoZ] his entry turns out to be the winning one. In that case, at next year’s conference in Europe, Mr. Bernstein will be invited to climb the stage and celebrate his work with the community.

Jan Muller, President of FIAT/IFTA.
And why exactly is the director "not able to attend?" A kid's basketball game, perhaps? A doctor's appointment?

IFTA claims to be demonstrating its "independency" by caving to the bigoted demands of its host. Is that what "independence" means nowadays?

If FIAT/IFTA were independent, they would fight for the integrity of their own awards. It would mean that they would fight for their members and nominees, no matter what nationality they are. It means that they would not silently scrap an award if it is won by someone the host country doesn't like. Independence doesn't mean allowing yourself to be stepped on.

If they were "independent" they wouldn't be beholden to the whims of Dubai, and they would tell their hosts that if they cannot perform their own ceremony in the way they desire, they will not be holding the awards in that country this year, and they will recommend fellow organizations to follow suit.

That would be acting independently.

This letter, on the other hand, shows that FIAT/IFTA has neither standards, nor morality, nor independence.

I remind FIAT/IFTA again of how the UAE responded when pressure forced them to allow an Israeli tennis player to compete:
The decision to issue the permit is in line with the UAE's commitment to a policy of permitting any individual to take part in international sports, cultural and economic events or activities being held in the country, without any limitation being placed on participation by citizens of any member country of the United Nations.
Here is all the ammunition FIAT/IFTA would have needed to force Dubai's hand.

The only way to change Dubai's behavior is to shame them, publicly, into doing the right thing. History shows that Dubai would have given in rather than face the possibility of being publicly outed as not quite as modern as it pretends to be in its travel ads.

FIAT/IFTA instead is quietly allowing Dubai to dictate how they run their own conference. And the excuse they are using is "independence!"

No, this isn't independence. It is the exact opposite.

I encourage you to write to the sponsors of the awards and the fellow nominees to withdraw support for this awards ceremony that is pandering to the ugliest sort of hate. I gave some of the contact information in my earlier post, which was picked up by JNS.

(The FIAT/IFTA message is almost impossible to find. You have to click here and then find the tiny words "Read this message from Jan Müller, President of FIAT/IFTA. ". The resulting pop-up is a graphic file, so there is no text that can be used to find it in search engines. It seems as if FIAT/IFTA is embarrassed that they were forced to even issue this statement. Thanks to Paul M at Harry's Place for transcribing it. H/T Sarah AB.)

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