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Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist and playwright who has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. She has published seven internationally best-selling novels, and is the author of a hit play.


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PostTue Sep 08, 2009 4:40 am     Toronto Film Festival's Ugly Face - By Naomi Ragen    


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Toronto Film Festival's Ugly Face

By Naomi Ragen
September 8, 2009

Friends,
Toronto had a film festival highlighting movies about Tel Aviv. You'd think a city that pre-dates the Jewish State, one not in the 'occupied territories' would not be controversial. Guess what? Jane Fonda, Danny Glover and Eve Ensler (that basket case) Naomi Klein, Alice Walker etc. are protesting, signing a letter which says: "we are deeply disturbed by [TIFF's] decision to host a celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv," the letter begins. "We protest that TIFF, whether intentionally or not, has become complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine...we object to the use of such an important international festival in staging a propaganda campaign on behalf of ... an apartheid regime."

And now, the festival's director, Cameron Bailey, whose good idea it was in the first place to focus on Tel Aviv, has backed down, calling Tel Aviv 'contested ground' and vowing: "to learn more about the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement." Contested by whom? The Hamas?

Just shows you the inroads of Palestinian hate speak, and the useful idiots involved.

You can enlighten Cameron Bailey at: tiffg@tiff.net

From TMZ: "Now, Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is blasting the the actors -- and everyone else who signed the letter -- claiming "Whoever would sign on to a campaign like this would support the complete destruction of Israel."

Hier -- who's won two Academy Awards for documentaries -- added, "People who support letters like this are people who do not support a two-state solution. By calling into question the legitimacy of Tel Aviv, they are supporting a one-state solution, which means the destruction of the State of Israel."

"I applaud the organizers of the festival for celebrating on the 100th anniversary of Tel Aviv. If every city in the Middle East would be as culturally diverse, as open to freedom of expression as Tel Aviv is, then peace would long have come to the Middle East."

Read more:
http://www.tmz.com/2009/09/04/.....z0QUVyimO6

Now another film festival coordinator reacts:
________________________________________
From: Peggy Shapiro [mailto:pegtwo@comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 7:30 AM
To: Naomi Ragen
Subject: Re: Toronto International Film Festival

Dear Naomi,
The vile movement to undermine Israel's right to exist (not to have sovereignty over certain areas, but to live and breathe as a free nation anywhere in the Middle East) is the natural ally of ignorance. Protests such as the one currently in progress at the Toronto International Film Festival feed upon an infestation of hate by a minority of vocal anti-Semites and the abysmal ignorance of almost everyone else. Thus the besieged director of the Toronto Film Festival tried to justify showcasing Tel Aviv at its centennial celebration not by pointing out the Jewish city of Tel Aviv pre-existed the modern state of Israel, not by explaining that this modern center of business and finance, or architecture and culture, of non-stop night life and tolerance was an uninhabited sand dune only one century ago. Rather than call to attention such remarkable achievements, festival co-director Cameron Bailey wrote that spotlighting Tel Aviv was "not a simple choice and that the city remains contested ground. We continue to learn more about the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement."
http://jta.org/news/article/20.....g-tel-aviv

All of Israel is contested? Bailey admits that the festival directors need to learn more about the Palestinian point of view. They need to learn more indeed, but I would start with a history book, preferably one that has not been published by Hamas.

Peggy Shapiro
Coordinator
Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema
www.chicagofestivalofisraelicinema.org


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