In an open letter in response to a protest by dozens of celebrities protesting the Toronto International Film Festival’s decision to showcase the city of Tel Aviv, 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.”
If the city, which was founded on sand dunes by Jews in 1909, is “contested ground” then everything is. And in truth the existence of every last Jew in Israel is “contested”. This is not a big surprise to anyone who pays attention to what Palestinian Arab leaders of any faction say whenever they are not speaking specifically for Western consumption.
I am sure that Bailey, who does not appear to be particularly political, is “learn[ing] more” about the morally inverted ‘movement’ to isolate Israel. Naomi Klein, one of the leaders of the protest, describes her motivation thus:
Since 2006 Israel has been steadily escalating its criminality: expanding settlements, launching an outrageous war against Lebanon, and imposing collective punishment on Gaza through the brutal blockade.
Klein lives in an alternate universe, where Israel did not (in 2005) dismantle 21 settlements in Gaza and 4 in the West Bank, and evict more than 8,000 Jews (and some Bedouins whom the Palestinian Arabs view as ‘collaborators’). In Klein’s universe, Hezbollah apparently did not invade Israel, killing seven soldiers and firing missiles into Israel, and Hamas did not fire eight thousand Qassam and Katyusha rockets against Sderot and vicinity. This is undoubtedly the version of reality that Bailey is busy ‘learning’.
Meanwhile, one of the celebrities protesting is this one:
Fonda later said that climbing on that gun for propaganda photos in a nation that was at war with the US — by 1972, 50,000 Americans had died in Vietnam — was “the largest lapse of judgment that I can even imagine“.
It’s obvious that her judgment hasn’t improved much since then.