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Israel Bans Palestinian Campaign Commercial Featuring HaTikvah


Only two short weeks till the Israeli election and it’s become the political equivalent of the Silly Season.

Balad, the Israeli Palestinian political party with three MKs (including Haneen Zoabi), prepared a hilarious campaign commercial that featured Palestinian performers singing the Ha-Tikvah (national anthem).  For the most part, it was even a straightforward rendition of the song.  No words were changed.

Of course there was one small catch: as the song was played a bunch of mincing marionettes representing the crème de la crème of the Israeli far-right danced across the screen with Avigdor Lieberman chief among them.  The video is meant as a satire of Lieberman’s bill requiring Israeli Palestinian citizens to swear an oath of loyalty to Israel and sing the national anthem.  The actual singing of HaTikvah in the video is meant to satirize the legislation.

Here is how Ali Abunimah translated the Lieberman puppet’s statement:

“I have become convinced of the need to change the anthem a bit so that the Arabs can learn it and sing it.” The gag is that the altered version Lieberman and other right-wing politicians perform is simply the same Zionist lyrics to an Arab beat.

The Knesset election committee banned the ad as insulting to Israeli icons.  They were referring to the anthem (which wasn’t insulted at all) but might just as well have been referring to Lieberman (who was).

As I tweeted about this story, this proves that nations descending into authoritarianism have lost their sense of humor.  In the face of petty tyrants like Lieberman, humor becomes the ultimate subversion.  Democracies tend to be able to laugh at themselves without going to Defcon 4.

The Shas Party, which represents Israel’s Mizrahi community, aired a very different TV commercial.  Their’s displayed all the racism and intolerance for which Israel has become so well-known.  But not intolerance against Palestinians, as you might expect.  No, Shas saves its worst salvos for its fellow Jews: in this case the Russian Jews who’ve emigrated to Israel over the past 20-30 years.  Just when you thought that some of the worst of the prejudice against them in Israel might be subsiding, along comes “nativists” like Shas to prove you wrong.

In this video, an Israeli Jewish groom stands under the chupa with his blonde Russian bride to be.  He looks puzzled at a machine sitting in front of him (under the chupa) and asks what it is.  She replies in chirpy, mangled Russo-Hebrew, it’s a fax.  Why do we need a fax, the groom asks dumbfounded?  Because, she replies, I’m expecting my certificate of conversion any second.  No sooner do the words escape her mouth than the fax spews out her certificate which magically confers Jewish status upon her and allows her to marry her Israeli Jewish husband.  The camera lingers at the end at the still-shocked husband, who appears not to have known what he was getting himself into.

You’d think in a country with as much ethnic division as Israel it wouldn’t need to manufacture such slime as this.  But mistrust and alienation seems to be the coin of the realm in latter-day Israel.  Just like in 19th and early 20th century immigrant America, the guy who got here just after you is low man on the totem pole and yours to kick around.

What better way to kick Russians around than by claiming they aren’t even Jewish?  Not to mention that this reinforces the worst tribal influences of both the Russian and Mizrahi communities, who see such hatred and turn to each other and say: You see, I told you so.  Then they go into the voting booth and vote for the worst representations of their own ethnic community, because they think they will somehow be strong and stand up against those among your fellow Israelis who hate you.

Shas, harping on the prejudices of its constituency, has never been a Party of ideas or values.  It has no ideology nor does it seek to rule.  It exists to dole out patronage. In this, it’s more like the old Tammany Machine than a modern political party.  It controls the Interior Ministry which enables it to harass gay and mixed (Jewish and non-Jewish) couples seeking to make aliyah who don’t “pass muster.”  Shas minister Eli Yishai has done this repeatedly along with launching some of the most disgusting, racist salvos against African refugees.  But as you can see from the video, Shas’ stock-in-trade is precisely this sort of divisive racist rhetoric.  It has no particular vision of what being Israeli means.  So it replaces that with a vision of Israel as a series of ethnic enclaves, each crawling over the other for the few scraps it can scrape up.  It’s Darwinian Zionism.

Whenever I publish the results of a poll showing the extent of racism inside Israel there are those who dispute or deny the findings.  This ad only serves to prove the polls right.

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{ 36 comments… add one }
  • yankel January 9, 2013, 6:23 AM

    “As long as deep in the heart, a Palestinian’s soul is yearning …
    … Our hope is not lost, the 95 years old hope, to be a free people in our land, Al-Aksa land, Al-Kuds!”

  • Rain January 9, 2013, 9:44 AM
  • Strelnikov January 9, 2013, 10:05 AM

    This is why Israel will fail; ethnic-religious balkanization and hatreds. If the Ashkenazi Jews can’t get along with the Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews, and the Orthodox see themselves above everybody else, then their collective hatred and distrust for each will drive them apart….who wants to live in such a society? Only the people who love anger or see political opportunities to be the Jewish Leon Degrelle (before he wore feldgrau) or some other caudillo figure. And all of this will be catastrophic when the Gotterdaemmerung war finally hits the Middle East and the Arab armies try to dislodge the Israeli thorn.

  • bar_kochba132 January 9, 2013, 12:58 PM

    Strelnikov-
    This SHAS advertisement does not represent Israeli attitudes, nor does it represent attitudes of SHAS voters. One man decided to run the campaign this way and he has been out of touch for years. Young Sefardi-Mizrachi Jews do not identify with the SHAS chip-on-their-shoulder campaigns of 20 years ago….many young Sefardim are educated and getting ahead and don’t feel they are being held back any more. This SHAS campaign is very different than the ones of recent campaigns and it will boomerang on them. They will learn their lesson.

    • Davey January 15, 2013, 6:30 PM

      But, how then did the ad get aired at all? It must be expensive to run these. Something must be wrong with your comments on the ad.

  • Deïr Yassin January 10, 2013, 9:04 AM

    OFF TOPIC: Latest news:
    “Gatekeepers”, the Israeli film as well as “Five Broken Cameras” by Emad Burnat from Bil’in are nominated for an Oscar: Best Foreign Film. I truly hope that “Five Broken Cameras” will be representing Palestine though Guy Davidi, the co-producer, is Israeli, and the money French. This is Emad Burnat’s film about his own life, his friend Bassem Abu Rahmeh and the fate of Bil’in and the Palestinian people, but when it was shown on French Television this autumn only Davidi was interviewed…..
    One of the best film I’ve ever seen about Palestine and karamah (dignity). Worth a long drive…. I’m so happy, overwhelmed. Wonder what the Hasbara is going to do about this.

    • Deïr Yassin January 10, 2013, 9:11 AM

      PS. I just googled, and guess what: Haaretz talks about “Five Broken Cameras” as an Israeli film: “In an exceptional achievement for local film industry, two Israeli films were nominated…”. I’m pissed off ! Wonder if that’s how they got the Nobel Prizes that the hasbara brag about :-)

      • SimoHurtta January 10, 2013, 10:55 PM

        Well Arutz Sheva saves your day. Israeli Films Nominated for Oscar Are Pro-Arab

        The heads of the Otzma LeYisrael party, Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben-Ari, denounced the films on Thursday as “two Palestinian propaganda films disguised as Israeli documentaries.”

        They added, “Given the flood of self-hatred films one can only be surprised that only two were nominated. The Palestinian propaganda film ‘5 Broken Cameras’ can easily win any terrorist film festival. Israeli filmmakers have discovered the formula that says that the more you discredit the IDF, the greater are your chances of winning. Israel should renounce the film and present it as a film by Hamas.”

        If one these films wins right wing Israelis will have some difficulties in their flag waving.

        • Deïr Yassin January 10, 2013, 11:39 PM

          Haha, that means six former Shin Beth directors are participating in “Palestinian propaganda”, according to thugs Eldad & Ben-Ari (they have a anti-Arab election campaign video out too where they both (try to) speak Arabic…..).
          Right wing Israeli would have some difficulties in their flag wawing if “Five Broken Cameras” wins, but what about “liberal Zionists” ? Such a film is the proof that “Israel -is-a-democracy-and-we-are-so-humanistic”. Nowhere else have I seen this film solely presented as Israeli.
          PS. I’ve just looked at the Haaretz article once again: among the first commenters, more than one pointed out this is a Palestinian documentary, co-directed by an Israeli. By the way I think the Oscars only accept one film from each country in the final selection, if that’s the case it can’t represent Israel. And how could Emad Burnat represent Israel, he isn’t even allowed to go there :-)

        • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2013, 12:10 AM

          Hilarious that the liberal Zionist Haaretz appropriates both films, turning them into “Israeli” films, while Arutz 7 turns them both into “Palestinian” films. Apparently, even if a film is made by Israelis, as long as it supports the “terrorists” it can’t be Israeli, but must be Palestinian. Also tickled by the fact that 6 former Shabak directors participated in making a Palestinian film.

          • yankel January 11, 2013, 3:07 AM

            Next they’ll be banned on American campuses for being antisemitic.

          • Nimrod January 12, 2013, 3:14 AM

            they are movies made by a Palestinian, with Israeli (channel 8) funding, so technically they are both

          • Richard Silverstein January 14, 2013, 1:33 AM

            Correct, but Haaretz called it Israeli, full stop, which is typically obtuse.

    • yankel January 10, 2013, 10:15 AM

      My understanding is that it’s on the Docu-Feature category. I really hope it wins.

      The next best thing is for the Gatekeeprs to win. Israel’s stranglehold on national-level American politics is based on disinformed ignorance. Anything that might drive Americans to explore more facts about the conflict has the potential to dent this ignorance. I haven’t seen the film but my impression is that all those veteran cogs of the oppression-machine share the insight that mutually accepted co-existence is essential for Israel’s survival. This might serve to further legitimise – maybe even encourage – a more critical view of Israel’s policies, particularly among American Jews.

      • Deïr Yassin January 10, 2013, 11:26 AM

        Of course, Yankel, you’re right :-) It’s the Documentary category. I mixed it up with a Danish film (A Royal Affair), nominated in Best Foreign Film-category.
        I remember seeing a rather long extract of “Gatekeepers” somewhere, but I simply can’t find it. Of course, it would be a great win too. Still, I pray for “Five Broken Cameras”. It’s such a beautiful film. When Guy Davidi and Emad Burnat presented it at a film festival in Paris, the only thing they didn’t fully agree on, was where it’s most important for the film to be seen. Burnat mentionned the Israeli public and Davidi – who’s a long time activist with Anarchists Against The Wall – though that the idea of non-violence was important to be shown in Palestine.

        If some of you happen to know French, and don’t have the opportunity to see the full 90-minutes English version, here’s the shorter television-version (52 minutes) in French with music of Trio Jubran and beautiful pictures of Bil’in and Bassem Abu Rahmeh, Emad’s best friend. One of my favorite moments is when Emad’s little boy Idriss gives a flower to an IOF-soldier (BEFORE they killed Bassem Abu Rahmeh).
        http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k6cGOVNZnpOctx3qac0

  • DavidL January 14, 2013, 7:51 AM

    The content of the film has less to do with who’s film this is, or represents. It’s more an issue of where the funding came from and where the producers are from.

    I noticed that “…Five Broken Cameras” received funding from an Israeli film fund (New Fund for Cinema and Television). These funds give financial assistance to films meeting the criteria of being “Israeli”, that is at least one producer/production company being in Israel (many are made as co-productions too and thus include other countries and producers). So of course it will be considered part of the “Israeli” film industry, and if an award is won, part of that honor would go to Israel, as one of the supporting financers as part of the deal.

    What irkes me, from a filmmaker POV is taking money from a fund and then spitting back in it’s face saying basically,
    “well thank you for the money, but I want nothing to do with you”. It says something about the filmmaker more than the film does. I don’t think anyone in the Israeli film community would object to Davidi or Burnat saying “This is an Israeli film that wants to show a very troubling and disturbing side of the country that needs to be shown”… or something like that…. they can even say “I’m ashamed to be and Israeli”….but to take money from a country’s fund and then say ” I don’t represent that country” is unethical and disrespectful of the process. You don’t want to represent the country… don’t take it’s money.

    There are PLENTY of filmmakers who have what to say about Israel ( and just as critical as “FBC” no doubt) that could use the money just as much as this film did (hell, every film needs good funding!). So they don’t want to be associated with Israel, fine…give back the funds. Then they can claim to represent Mars for all I care.

    Let me also say that this isn’t an issue of content… I haven’t seen the whole film yet, but the issues raised and situation shown are more than worth addressing. That is the power and influence a film should/can have. My ideological differences with the film don’t concern me as much as the filmmakers stuping to politcal grandstanding and abusing the supporter the got by accepting funding from a country and then denying any connection to it.

    • Deïr Yassin January 14, 2013, 3:10 PM

      @ DavidL
      The main funding of “Five Broken Cameras” is French, and so is the producer Serge Gordey and most of the technical staff. Emad Burnat filmed rush images for five years with his own cameras and at his own costs, before he contacted Guy Davidi. because he needed advice on what to do with his hundreds of hours of rushes, (cf. interview with both Burnat and Davidi at Sundance Film Festival, on youtube). Electronic Intifada has an interesting article on the financial aspects, and whether this film should be on the BDS-list.
      By the way, a huge amount of Israeli films, Amos Gitai, Eran Riklis etc receive sometimes nearly all their funding from European film funds, particularly French or are produced by ARTE, and still I can’t recall France or Germany claiming these films as theirs, as not only Haaretz but also the Israeli embassy in the US did (cf. Twit/article on Electronicintifada).

      • DavidL January 15, 2013, 12:06 AM

        You are correct in that many quality documentaries are co-productions and do receive funding from other sources… even from other countries. There are all sorts of production funds and broadcasters who will pay into a production and assist it.

        Yet, some funds are based on projects originating from their country, such as the case with NFCT. Thus part of the criterea for taking funds from them is having it, at least in part, an Israeli production (that would be both Davidi and Burnat, who, is an Israeli citizen, if I’m not mistaken… part of the film when he was in the hospital seemed to indicate this).

        So ARTE, and ZDF or whomever may have put funding into it, but they realize it is not their film, but another’s. IF they received funding from a French film fund, who supported French filmmakers and French films, etc. then this film would probably be labeled a French film, or French/Israeli co-production. So, again, if you’re eligable to take funding from a country’s film fund say “thank you” and DON”T deny your part of that country (thus making you ineligable for the funding in the first place). I see Burnat’s hate for Israel, but if he and Davidi (who also hates the “system” I’m sure”) take their money from that fund, gotta play by those rules.

        I’m wondering why that if they’re so against Israel and don’t want to be affiliated with Israel…plus the European and other financial support they seem to have…. why did they took any money from Israel. Why aren’t other Arab countries (like the oil rich ones in particular) or stations like Al Jazzera, didn’t pour in funding instead having to turn to Israel?

        And I also wonder how willing those other countries would be willing to support films that are not (in those country’s eyes) PC??? How many films about, say women’s rights in Saudi Arabia would get funding from their country… and the list can go on.

        • Richard Silverstein January 15, 2013, 12:28 AM

          @DavidL: “Hate for Israel?” Whoa, fella. On what basis to make such a claim? You go and read the comment rules again. If you want to smear someone you will support your claims with evidence, in this case a quotation that supports such claims. If you don’t, you not only discredit yourself, you risk endangering your standing to comment here.

          Be very careful how you proceed. Consider yourself warned.

          • DavidL January 15, 2013, 1:18 AM

            Point taken. I did make an assumption here and I retract that comment. And if he doesn’t, then that’s great.
            So maybe let’s say then great disdain for some of Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians (which many other Israelis have as well).

        • Deïr Yassin January 15, 2013, 12:53 PM

          @ DavidL
          How do you think a farmer from Bilin would become an Israeli citizen ? Emad Burnat’s stay in an Israeli hospital does not indicate that he’s an Israeli citizen, he clearly said that he had to pay everything himself (which caused difficulties for his family), and in the end he bring his kids to the beach in Yafa on a special permit allowing them to go with him for the last visit to get the stitches removed. And before you start ‘hasbarizing’ about Israeli goodwill: access to health care is part of the obligations of a occupying power.
          Are we to understand that you’re an American oleh who doesn’t understand Hebrew too well ?

          • DavidL January 15, 2013, 2:32 PM

            DY-
            You are correct and I retract the statement. I watched the film last night very late (very tired) and mis-read the subtitles. Burnat is not an Israeli citizen.

          • Richard Silverstein January 15, 2013, 6:07 PM

            So now we know that it’s not an Israeli film as far as the Oscar documentary category is concerned, that Burnat is not an Israeli citizen, that he doesn’t “hate Israel,” all of which were claims you made. You also claimed they were both spitting in the face of Israel & the Israeli funders by denying that the film had any Israeli origin or connection. I’ve asked for support of that claim as well.

            Don’t you think it’d be more advisable to check your claims & have support for them before you make them?

          • Davey January 15, 2013, 6:50 PM

            DavidL has a problem with the basic idea that “taking the money” does not impose an obligation. The money is a grant, not a payment, and implies no obligation other than whatever terms are spelled out. Few Americans would angst over a similar situation given US government funding of an art project. It just goes with the territory and that territory is democracy. So DavidL’s problem is really with the basic principle of democracy, even the presumed democracy of Israel. The production of a high caliber artful film is more than “thank you” — it’s everything that matters in this instance, that is, it is a critical success.

    • Richard Silverstein January 15, 2013, 12:25 AM

      THis is largely stuff & nonsense. “Receiving funding” means little unless you specify how much funding it received from Israeli sources. You imply that Israeli sources provided the majority of the funding, which appears false.

      As for spitting in Israel’s face, isn’t that what Israel has been doing to its Palestinian minority and those in the Territories since 1948 (and 1967 repsectively)? You’ve got a lot of nerve to get worked up over some imaginary slight the Palestinians have meted out regarding this Israeli funding.

      It is NOT an Israeli film. The subject of the film is Palestinian & it was filmed in Palestine. Get over it. At best it’s multi-national effort.

      • DavidL January 15, 2013, 1:29 AM

        I did NOT imply that Israel supplied a majority of the funding. I said that the NFCT DID supply funding and support and part of their criteria is supporting Israeli films.

        You don’t know what your talking about. READ what said. I didn’t talk about Palestinians meting out anything. I’m refering to the two Israeli filmmakers who took Israeli money from an israeli film fund and then claim they don’t represent that country.

        YOU can claim all you want who’s film it is or isn’t, you dont’ make up the rules (it isn’t in the closed world of you blog-control, I’m sorry to say) on this. Considering the fact it is submitted to the Acadamey Awards as an Israeli film, that should end the discussion… and does as far as I’m concerned. I’ve made my point, you can argue it till cows come home but your flat out wrong.

        And BTW, what’s this issue of “spitting in the face’ crap,… that’s the answer… “spit right back”… very mature response. How about properly addressing the issues such as indeed, make an Israeli film that points to the errors and unfair treatment of that government of the Palestinians. THAT’s a stronger statement about Israel’s policies than making the film and then denying a connection to the country.

        • Richard Silverstein January 15, 2013, 2:21 AM

          You did imply Israel supplied a majority of the funding when you failed to mention that other non Israeli sources offered far more funding.

          Are you claiming having “great disdain” for an Occupation that kills his friends is anything close to “hating Israel?”

          Filmmakers are under no obligation in accepting funding to adhere to any particular nationalist stand regarding that support. They are under no obligation to say nice things about Israel or to not say critical things about Israel.

          I know you can’t understand this, but this is art and culture, not political agitprop and hasbara. If you want filmmakers who wave the blue and white go talk to the MFA & Hasbara ministry. They’ll undoubtedly have such hacks who can do the job. They won’t be nominated for an Oscar though because they’re, after all, hacks.

          The “spitting right back” comment is a non sequitur as far as I’m concerned. When Israel murders Palestinians virtually daily including some of Burnat’s closest friends, I see Palestinians under no obligation to kiss the hand that offer them a few shekels to make a movie.

          • DavidL January 15, 2013, 5:35 AM

            1) Give me a break… you’re splitting hairs because you don’t have a case. I never indicated who gave what amount of funding. I stand by what I said.

            2) As to “great disdain”… well, what do YOU think Burnat feels toward’s Israel?

            3) Don’t even pretend to preach to me about “art and culture” in filmmaking. You obviously know very little about the process for applying to film funds and perhaps even less when it comes to making films- stick to blogging.

            Nobody asked either of these to filmmakers to make any accolades to Israel or wave anyone’s flag.
            Once again… and I’m tired of saying it any more. They DID take money…. doesn’t matter how much… from a country’s film fund. Go read the critera for accepting support from the film fund and you’ll see it’s for Israeli made films OR co-productions… that makes it, in part an Israeli film. Simple as that. Done here.

          • Richard Silverstein January 15, 2013, 2:26 PM

            Do you have any proof of your claim that they “spat in Israel’s face” or denied Israeli involvement in the film’s production? I want proof of this claim as well. If you don’t offer it that will once again be a comment violation.

            You seem to claim to know something about filmmaking & yet don’t know the rules for the documentary category of the Oscars?

            Sorry bud, but I know a whole helluva lot about art & culture & film. So you’re gonna have to listen to my views on it whether you like it or not.

        • Deïr Yassin January 15, 2013, 1:57 PM

          @ DavidL
          “Considering the fact that it is submitted to the Academy Awards as an Israeli film, that should end the discussion”
          Nope, “Five Broken Cameras” is NOT submitted as an Israeli film. Where did you get that from ? This is the Documentary category where the rules of Best Foreign film do not apply. Neither the official site for the Oscar nominees nor the film’s own website describe the film as “Israeli”, and on the wikipedia page it says Palestinian Territories, France, Israel. It used to say: Israel, France, Palestinan Territories, but since I mentioned that on electronicintifada, someone was so kind to change the order. Do you really think Emad Burnat would submit his film about his own life as solely “Israeli” (cf. his reaction after Haaretz etc claimed so) ?
          You have no idea how this film came into life. How come this is “an Israeli film pointing to the error of the government” and blahblah, when all the rushes were filmed BEFORE any Israeli (in fact Guy Davidi is the only Israeli) was involved. Your comment is a perfect example of how nationalistic brainwashing alters reality !

          • DavidL January 15, 2013, 2:58 PM

            I realize how the film came to be and I realize it is a co-production. Once again… Israel had a part to play in this production (Davidi is Israeli), funding was given by an Israeli film fund for Israeli films…. EVEN in a co-production role.

            Believe me, if the film didn’t receive funding from the Israeli fund I’d agree it wasn’t an Israeli film. Yet the only claim I’ve made ehre is simply this. By taking funding from NCFT, and Israeli film fund, it makes this film a co-production. The name Israel appears on the IMDB the funding process here, it can, is, and will be considered, in part as an Israeli film… Israel appears along with the other countries who gave support. I don’t know under what condtions funding was made, but the Israeli fund is designed to support Israeli films.

            It doesn’t matter who filmed the raw material or when. Turning to Davidi, who in-turn wrote and edited the material into a story/film, who then, no dobut approached the Israeli film fund, and then by accepting those funds, make it in part an Israeli film as a co-production.

            Why didn’t Burnat approach Al Jazzera or other Arab or pro-Palestinian entities for funding? He turned to an israeli… a good film was made and I agree in certainly isn’t pro-Israeli, but it was funded, in part by them. He could have said, no, I don’t want those funds… but he didn’t. He took the money, and thus this end result.

            THAT’s why it is, in part, an Israeli film. I’m not saying this from a “Nationalistic” or hasbara POV… it’s how I see the process in making films. Perhaps YOU”RE brainwashed into not being able to accept that is can be considered, in part, and Israeli film.

          • Deïr Yassin January 16, 2013, 9:26 AM

            @ DavidL
            “I realize it is a co-production (…) Israel has a part to play in this production (…..).Yet the only claim I’ve made here is simply this”.
            So that “considering the fact it is submitted to the Academy as an Israeli film, that should end the discussion” was just because you were ‘very tired’ too.
            Israel maybe has a part in the film, but that’s not what the hasbara is saying. “Five Broken Cameras” is mainlly an Palestinian film, and no hasbara can change that.
            By the way, I just googled about the funding of “Gatekeepers” and had a look at the official website. Guess what: it’s largely funded by international funds too and coproduced by Les Films du Poisson (France) among others, and in collaboration with NDR, ARTE, RTBF (Belgium), Radio Canada, DR (Denmark), NRK (Norway). Well, how about each of these countries claiming their due part of the honor Hardly anything left for Israel, then…

  • DavidL January 16, 2013, 11:44 AM

    @DY- The funding sources you talk about for “The Gatekeepers” and as well as “5 Broken Cameras” are NOT state-sponsored funds like NFCT (I believe… didn’t check each one out). THAT makes the difference. The ones you noted- NDR, ARTE, RTBF (Belgium), Radio Canada, DR (Denmark), NRK (Norway) are all BROADCASTERS/PRODUCERS… not state film funds. The NFCT is an Israeli “establishment” film fund.

    Here’s what Davidi said (from the EI article you noted): ” There are dear Israelis, some of them also inside the establishment itself, who supported and lifted up the film, such as the New Fund for Cinema and Television, who were the most incredible and supportive partners for the making of the film,…”

    This makes is in part and Israeli-backed film… thus IN PART Israeli. This is the only claim I’ve been trying to make. Is it Pro-Israeli “hasbara” …. NO. Is it exclusively Israeli… NO. Is an Israeli involved in it’s production… YES. Did it receive funding from an Israeli film fund… YES. Can Israel say it is (in part) an Israeli film… YES. Can it be a co-production with other entities, countries… YES.

    As for the Oscar’s category… yes doco films are not submitted by countries, but they can be associated with the countries whom are the( co-) producers and submitters, which is what I meant by saying it was submitted like this… NOT to mean that Israel submitted it directly as their representative film(s).

    @Davey- I believe you are wrong… the monies given by NFCT are not grants, but are investments/backing to a production… at least that’s how other producers I know received funding for films via another Israeli film fund. There IS an obligation as spelled out in the contracts. I don’t know what “5 Broken Cameras” deal was, but I don’t think it was a grant, nor were the funds given without certain criteria, no doubt showing it was supported by an Israeli State film fund.

    Lastly@RS- What do YOU think Burnat’s opinion of Israel is? So he doesn’t hate Israel… what does he think of Israel?

    Also, it appears I was mis-informed on Davidi’s comments as well. He apparently did NOT deny being part the Israeli film industry…. so yes, I retract that statement as well. I was apparently mis-informed and commented on an inacurrate understanding of what he stated.

    Agreed… we ALL should be more careful in our comments about other people’s thinking and try and check facts before knee-jerking a response.

    • Davey January 16, 2013, 12:42 PM

      DavidL — well, we don’t know what the deal is, what is “spelled out” and what is not there. I just assumed it was a grant. If an investment, then the funding share in exploiting the product, of course. Accordingly, controversy — even this tempest in a teapot about “Israeli” film — is good for the prospects.

    • Deïr Yassin January 16, 2013, 3:50 PM

      @ DavidL
      Okay, I understand: when you, Haaretz, the Israeli embassy in the US, Huffingtonpost ect all speak about an “Israeli film”, in fact you all mean “in part Israeli”.
      I did read Guy Davidi’s statements on EI before commmenting, so speak for yourself. What I retain by this nice Guy is what he said in an interview at the Sundance festival: that he’d come to Bilin for a long time on a weekly basis for the Friday-demonstrations, and that “I found out that the villagers of Bilin have a great hospitality, and I just wanted to stay there. So I found excuses by making films, short films in the area….” and he actually settled down in Bilin for a while, and that’s why Emad Burnat contacted him.

      There’s another village whose fight against the theft of their land has been filmed:
      http://www.justvision.org/budrus
      A 17-years old boy, Samir, was killed in Budrus yesterday by 4 bullets, one in the head, when leaving school after an exam. According to the hasbara, the youngsters were trying to “infiltrate” the Only-Democracy.

      You claimed without knowing anything about him that Emad Burnat hates Israel. Well, maybe because that’s how you would feel if you were in his place !

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