Remembering the Nakba 70 Years on – Brighton Picket of Israeli Film

Remembering the Nakba 70 Years on – Brighton Picket of Israeli Film

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

This
weekend was a busy one in Brighton.  On Saturday there was a
commemoration of the Naqba, the Catastrophe for Palestinians in 1947-8 when
over ¾ million were expelled from what became Israel in order that Israel could
become a ‘Jewish’ state without officially becoming what it is now, an
Apartheid state. 

There was a stall at the Old Steine and then a march and a 70
Years Naqba sign placed on the beach.  On the Sunday night there was
a picket of the Israeli Seret Film Festival which took place at the Brighton
Komedia Centre.  This included a number of people who went in and
disrupted the beginning.  The performance itself was only half full
and that included a number of Zionists from Sussex Friends of Israel who had
bought tickets.
 There is another performance this Thursday and there will also be
another picket at 17.30.  It is not known if there will be any
Palestinian supporters who will be going to watch!!
The history of what has
happened has been told in many books and articles such as Ilan Pappe’s Ethnic
Cleansing of Palestine and Benny Morris’s The
Birth of the Palestinian Problem Revisited
.  When I grew up as a
Zionist we were fed the story of how the Palestinians were instructed to
abandon their homes and villages in 1948 in order to allow the Arab armies to
invade Israel.  In fact over half the Palestinian refugees had
already been expelled by May 15th when Israel declared its
independence.
We were also told how the Zionists begged the Palestinians to stay
and in particular how the Mayor of Haifa had pleaded with the Palestinians to
stay. What we hadn’t been told was how the Palestinians in Haifa had been
shelled and mortared by the Zionist terror militias and how the main such
militia, the Labour Zionist Haganah had used loudspeakers to warn of a terrible
massacre if any Arabs stayed.  Such was the panic that many
Palestinians drowned in the sea at Haifa Port when boarding the boats to take
them to safety.
Of course  it would have been impossible to form a
racial Jewish  state if there had been an Arab majority in
it.  In 1961 two researchers, quite independently of each other,
Walid Khalidi and Erskine Childers conducted research which involved
transcribing the CIA and BBC reports and tapes of the Arab radio stations of
the period.  What they found was that these radio stations instructed the
Arabs of Palestine to stay and indeed threatened them with dire consequences if they
left.  There was no evidence of any instruction to leave, contrary to
the Zionist mythology and yet a whole lie has been built on a myth constructed in order that Israel could avoid implementing UN Resolution 194.
Tony Greenstein

The
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) calls
on all participants to withdraw from the Israeli government-sponsored SERET
Film and TV Festival
 taking place in London, Brighton and Edinburgh,
from May 6 – 17.

Israel’s decades-old regime of military occupation,
settler-colonialism and apartheid desperately needs such propaganda festivals
to art-wash its egregious crimes against the Palestinian people. Israeli army
snipers are implementing a deliberate shoot-to-kill-or-maim
policy
 in Gaza, killing dozens and maiming thousands of peaceful
Palestinian protesters — including children, journalists, women and young men
praying — who are demanding nothing more than their UN-sanctioned rights.
The International
Criminal Court Prosecutor
 has warned that these murders may constitute
war crimes.
Israel continues to demolish Palestinian homes, ethnically cleanse
whole Palestinian communities, especially in Jerusalem and the Naqab (Negev),
and lock up Palestinian children.
In response to Israel’s “atrocities
in Gaza,
the Oscar-winning star, Natalie Portman, has boycotted
a ceremony in Israel
 that would have honored her.
The SERET festival tries to falsely project Israel as “a melting
pot of cultures, religions and social backgrounds,” rather than as an apartheid and
colonial regime that has more than 65 racist laws discriminating
against its indigenous Palestinian citizens.
Rozanski (left) and Simon Cobbs with the camera
This is straight out of apartheid
South Africa’s propaganda playbook
 and illustrates the way in which
Israel uses the arts in the explicit attempt to deflect growing condemnations
of its violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.
One of the vilest racists – Shaiki Rozanski, an Israeli security specialist
In addition to Israeli ministries and diplomatic missions, the
festival is also sponsored by racist, anti-Palestinian, Israeli
government-backed agencies, including the World
Zionist Organization
 and the Jewish
Agency
. Both play a pivotal
role
 in the strategic and operational planning of racist Jewish-only
settlements at the heart of Israel’s illegal land
grabs in the occupied Palestinian territory, and by Leumi Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank,
both of which finance Israel’s settlement expansion. 
Cobbs of SFI – playing with his 
Thankfully, people of conscience and supporters of social justice
worldwide are seeing through the smokescreen. As Israel’s popularity continued
to dip
worldwide
, thousands of artists, including filmmakers Mira
Nair
, Ken
Loach
, John
Greyson
The
Yes Men
 and Mike
Leigh
, have heeded the Palestinian call, refusing to allow
their art to be used to conceal Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.
Last year, a wave
of cancellations and boycotts
 hit Tel Aviv’s LGBT film festival over
Israeli government sponsorship, with a total of fourteen filmmakers, actors and
other artists withdrawing or, if unable to do so, declaring support for the
boycott.
By not performing or exhibiting their work in Israel and by
refusing to take part in Israeli government-sponsored events, artists send
Israel a clear message that as long as it continues to deny Palestinian human
rights, the cultural community won’t engage in business-as-usual relations with
its regime.
PACBI, as part of the growing Nobel
Prize-nominated
 Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement,
calls on filmmakers participating in SERET to withdraw from this blatant
propaganda festival and urges people of conscience to boycott it in its
entirety.
Help us pull back the curtain on Israel’s crimes and end the
impunity that has allowed it to carry on its oppressive and criminal policies
for decades. As a first step, refuse to take part in whitewashing them.
The Palestinian Campaign for the
Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
 was initiated in 2004
to contribute to the struggle for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality.
PACBI advocates for the boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions,
given their deep and persistent complicity in Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights
as stipulated in international law. Visit PACBI at https://bdsmovement.net/pacbi and
follow us on Twitter @PACBI

 

 

 

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