Wednesday, January 23, 2019

  • Wednesday, January 23, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

From GDN Online:

PARLIAMENT descended into chaos yesterday over a ban on all films featuring an Israeli cast, crew or funded with Israeli money.

A majority of the MPs said amendments to the 2002 Publications Law to also ban any publication or video game that has Israeli affiliation or features Israeli content should come out of a patriotic stance towards the Palestinian cause.

However, MPs Yousif Zainal and Zainab Abdulamir pointed out that publications had nothing to do with the conflict with Israel.

“We should differentiate between a movie and a cause; if we accept this amendment then we will have to close down all our cinemas and risk losing our status as a pioneer in the GCC,” said Ms Abdulamir, who is also parliament’s youth and sport committee chairwoman.

Mr Zainal, who is parliament’s eldest member, said the amendment would prove difficult to implement since most films today are international productions.

Parliament and Shura Council Affairs Minister Ghanim Al Buainain said there were several technical difficulties in imposing a ban.

“There are multi-national companies producing movies and some are based in countries than Israel and we can’t ban them, even if they have Israeli affiliations.

In June last year, the parliament had approved the amendments after forcing the government to draft them.

MPs have been pushing for the amendments since 2016 following repeated moves to ban movies starring Israeli actresses.

An Israeli Products Boycott Office previously existed in Bahrain to ensure that no Israeli products entered the country, as part of an economic boycott in solidarity with Palestine.

However, it was closed to ensure Bahrain complied with the terms of a Free Trade Agreement with the US, which came into effect in 2006.

The Shura Council will now take a second vote and should they insist on their decision, the amendment will be shelved.
Last September, it was reported that the King of Bahrain had denounced the Arab boycott of Israel. In general, it has been assumed that Bahrain may be the next Arab country to establish relations with Israel.

Arab parliaments often adhere to a stricter anti-Israel line than monarchs (this happens a lot in Jordan.) This way they can show their official support for Palestinians without worrying about actual economic effects, and the kings often overrule the laws anyway.

It is notable that Bahrain media is sympathetic to the MPs who are against the law banning Israeli films.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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