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Filmmakers Say London Cinemas Should Not Host Israeli Film Festival

Several film makers have urged cinema chains to boycott a government-backed Israeli film festival that is set to open this week.

The Israeli Film and Television Festival, called ‘Seret 2015’ is due to start in London on Thursday.

In an open letter Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, John Pilger and Peter Kominsky are among a list of 40 prominent directors, producers and artists who call for banning the event.

This is just the latest in a string of anti-Israel campaigns in the UK and across Europe as an increasing number of people joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Press TV reports:

“Israel is promoting this festival and supporting it financially. By hosting it, these cinemas are ignoring the 2004 call by Palestinian civil society for sanctions against Israel until it abides by international law and ends its illegal displacement of Palestinians, discrimination against them, and occupation of their land. By benefiting from money from Tel Aviv, the cinemas become silent accomplices to the violence inflicted on the Palestinian people. Such collaboration and co-operation is unacceptable. It normalizes, even if unintentionally, the Israel’s violent, systematic and illegal oppression of the Palestinians,” the letter wrote.

The filmmakers were clear that they were against censorship and were happy to promote individual filmmakers but they were unhappy that Israel is investing money and promoting the event.

Meanwhile, British movie theater chain has rejected the request by the filmmakers, saying it will host the film festival.

London-based political commentator Rodney Shakespeare believes that artists have “a political responsibility on behalf of everyone” to shed light on the “racist and aggressive” nature of the Israeli regime.

“Artists should come together and refuse to have any sort of exhibitions or film festivals which has anything to do with Israel. They must boycott relationships… That’s the only thing which will have impact on this Zionist entity whose aim ultimately is to dominate the world…,” Rodney Shakespeare told Press TV on Tuesday.