Re: Director Mike Leigh cancels Israel trip in protest

Dear Editor,

You fooled us again. Of course.

In your short report “Director Mike Leigh cancels Israel trip in protest” you write that “The school’s director, Renen Schorr, says Israeli artists face growing international isolation because of Israel’s political situation.”

The Jerusalem Post though prints another reaction by the same founding director of the school. It quotes him partially as writing:

The students, teachers, artists and various professionals from these institutions who are waiting to hear you are not the elected government of Israel, nor are they responsible for its policies. By this boycott that you are effectively imposing in canceling the visit, you are creating an association between the cultural-artistic genre and the policies of the government and the military – an exceedingly disturbing, sad generalization.

We agreed to convene a press conference where you had an open platform to express your sharp objections to Israeli policy, should you have desired. The reverberation of the words you spoke here – from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jenin – would have been heard so much differently. Here, too, you were presented with the genuine opportunity to speak to hearts and minds, and have a direct influence upon public awareness and opinion. To touch the future. To try to change the realities. Yet now you have chosen to stay distant.

I am greatly saddened by Leigh’s cancellation.

We were quite excited about his upcoming visit.

While the political situation is isolating us more and more in the international arena, I shall continue attempting to bring the greatest international cinema personalities to Israel.

The JPost reporter adds: The irony is that Israeli filmmakers, whose films are often government-funded, have been the staunchest and most outspoken critics of government policy. The cinematheques and film schools at which Leigh has refused to appear have been at the forefront of social criticism, and have nurtured and helped develop Palestinian filmmakers.

Here we have it. In plain sight for all to see, how AP mutilated the reaction. All criticism on the Israel basher, which was the brunt of the school’s reaction, you took out.

Never trust AP on Israel reporting!

Shalom,

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