Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Boycotts don't equal censorship

Film-makers should support the growing international movement to boycott Israel – it's wrong to cast our actions as censorship

Ken Loach, Rebecca O'Brien and Paul Laverty
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 1 September 2009

"When we decided to pull our film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film festival following our discovery that the festival was part-sponsored by the Israeli state, we wrote to the director Richard Moore detailing our reasons. Unfortunately he has misrepresented our position and did so again last week on Comment is free by stating that "to allow the personal politics of one film-maker to proscribe a festival position … goes against the grain of what festivals stand for", and claiming that "Loach's demands were beyond the pale".

This decision was taken by three film-makers, (director, producer, writer) not in some private abstract bubble, but after a long discussion and in response to a call for a cultural boycott from a wide spectrum of Palestinian civil society, including writers, film-makers, cultural workers, human rights groups, journalists, trade unions, women's groups and student organisations. As Moore should know by now the Palestine Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) was launched in Ramallah in April 2004, and its aims, reasons, and constituent parts are widely available on the net. PACBI is part of a much wider international movement for "boycott, divestment, and sanction" (BDS) against the Israeli State........."

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