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Scotland: Film Festival Returns Israeli Money

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    Edinburgh International Film Festival Returns Israeli Money in response to Boycott Plans 2 August 2006 http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5377.shtml The
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 12, 2006
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      Edinburgh International Film Festival Returns Israeli Money
      in response to Boycott Plans
      2 August 2006
      http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5377.shtml


      The organisers of the Edinburgh International Film Festival have
      cancelled an official Israeli Embassy sponsorship of their programme
      and returned the Israeli cheque following a huge public outcry over
      Israeli Embassy involvement.

      Shane Danielsen, the Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International
      Film Festival wrote to all those who complained that he had "almost
      had my bottom teeth knocked out with the butt" of an Israeli rifle
      recently in Occupied Palestine, and that he was eager to assist those
      Israeli filmakers who stood "above all the gunfire, and the shouting
      of thuggish soldiers."

      Writers, actors and members of the public inundated the organisers
      with mail and phone calls demanding the financial support from the
      Israeli Embassy be ended and warning that they would boycott
      Edinburgh's flagship event if this were not done.

      The Edinburgh branches of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
      and the Stop the War Coalition had planned to picket all major film
      festival events and shame the organisers if the link with the Israeli
      Embassy had been maintained.

      The film festival website carries the following: "this funding was
      secured some three months ago, well before the commencement of current
      hostilities in Lebanon. Of course we acknowledge that the situation
      has altered dramatically since then, and with this in mind, took the
      decision early yesterday to decline any funding from the Israelis."

      Scottish PSC welcomes this late conversion of the EIFF organisers to
      opposition to human rights violations; it is regrettable, however,
      that the EIFF allowed the link to be made in the first place. It is
      simply not good enough to respond to the most recent massacres in
      Qana. Israel, after all, has been violating Palestinian human rights
      for decades. Israeli killing in Palestine, and Lebanon, continued
      yesterday.

      The Edinburgh StWC and SPSC never at any time called for the banning
      of the Israeli film or filmmaker in question. We will engage
      artistically and politically with all filmmakers who deal with the
      issues of Israel's past and ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine and
      invasion of neighbouring countries.


      For further information and interviews, contact

      John Wight, Press Officer, Edinburgh Stop the War Coalition
      07738 528 145 jscotlive @ aol.com

      Mick Napier, Chair, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
      0780 32 44 739 chair @ scottishpsc.org.uk

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