Joining BDS, Israeli Gov’t to Boycott Israeli Film in Paris

Middle East Monitor | – –

The Israeli government is to boycott the Paris Film Festival over the organiser’s decision to air a movie that is said to “hurt the reputation of Israel’s military”.

Culture Minister, Miri Regev, is said to be on a mission to stop the film “Foxtrot” gaining wide recognition. The Israeli movie has a controversial scene in which the Israeli military covers up the deaths of a carload of Palestinian teenagers.

The movie focuses on the life of a family: two parents and their daughter who all reside in Tel Aviv, while their son – who is a soldier – serves far away from them. The movie won the Silver Lion award at the Venice Film Festival and was shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

Regev has not only denounced the movie for “defaming the IDF and its values” she is also putting pressure on the foreign ministry to withdraw its support from the Israeli Film Festival in Paris later in the year.

It seems Regev was unaware that “Foxtrot” was going to open the festival until she visited Paris recently met with Israeli Ambassador to France Aliza Ben-Nun and her team to discuss a project promoting cultural connections between Israel and France. During the conversation, Haaretz reported that Regev became aware that “Foxtrot” was going to be shown, which according to Regev “contradicts earlier agreements”.

Regev told Haaretz that Israel should not “support a festival that showcases films that slander us throughout the world and contains false content about IDF soldiers and its citizens.” According to Regev, she instructed her ministry’s director general to “make clear to the Foreign Ministry, which is allocating money to the festival, that it is inconceivable for the Foreign Ministry to conduct a policy independent from the government’s policy.”

Regev also complained that the movie was used by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) to highlight the Israeli military in a poor light.

The Israeli Film Festival in Paris is run by the French film association Kolnoah (the Hebrew word for “cinema”). In addition to a stipend from the Israeli foreign ministry, it receives backing from the Israeli Film Fund, the Israeli Film Council and a handful of French-Jewish organisations.

This work by Middle East Monitor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Via Middle East Monitor


Bonus video added by Informed Comment:

Al Jazeera English: “Controversial Israeli film Foxtrot wins at Ophir awards”

5 Responses

  1. Whatever happened to the “only” democracy in the Middle East, because they are trying to stifle free speech, and criticism, of Israel? Regev and Israel are behaving just as badly as some of their Arab neighbors that they love to point out, as an example of not having free speech, and not being democratic enough.

    The truth must hurt, and it seems when it comes to their crimes being the focus, the Israelis can dish out but cannot take it.

  2. I presume the film claims that it’s a fictional story. Most films like this do not actually tell a real story. They portray a drama.

    To react to a fictional story in this manner gives the impression that the Government of Israel has something of a guilty conscience.

    I now want to see the movie, for the same reason that I want to read books that are banned. (I’ve only been disappointed by one book that was banned…)

  3. It is wonderful to hear that the story of the occupation is being more widely told. We need more courageous film makers and writers to bring the suffering of the Palestinian people to the attention of the world.

  4. More and more, Israel will have to tyrannize Jews who speak out about the obvious facts around them. It will have to explain why so many Jews are part of the global anti-Semitic conspiracy. And more and more American Jews will start to wonder who the greatest source of oppression and intimidation in their lives actually is.

  5. Imagine a movie that highlighted the following? The following are the words of the respected Israeli journalist Ari Shavit (who served at an Israeli prison during the first intifada): “At the end of the watch…, you sometimes hear horrible screams…from the other side of the…fence of the interrogation section,…hair-raising human screams. Literally hair-raising….In Gaza our General Security Services…therefore amount to a Secret Police, our internment facilities are cleanly run Gulags. Our soldiers are jailers, our interrogators torturers.” h/t link to

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