Israel Media Watch, a watchdog organization which monitor's Israel's media, has petitioned several bodies to reconsider a decision to let a controversial, anti-Zionist film director work on an Israel promotional film.
Film Director Eyal Sivan, an Israeli resident of France, was chosen in a tender issued by Channel 8, the Jerusalem Cinematheque and the Yehoshua Rabinovich Fund for the Arts for the production of a film promoting Israel's 'Jaffa' brand citrus fruit. The film is to be made as part of the project "Past and Present in Israel," for the country's 60th anniversary celebration next year.
IMW's letter states that Sivan defines himself as "an avowed anti-Zionist" who has said he thinks that creating the State of Israel in its present form was "a historic mistake." Sivan was also a signatory on a letter of "solidarity" that was sent by Israeli filmmakers to their Arab colleagues in Lebanon, Judea, Samaria and Gaza in the course of the Second Lebanon War, even as soldiers were fighting. The filmmakers' letter said "we absolutely object to the brutality and cruelty of the Israeli policy, which has reached new heights in the past weeks."
IMW says Sivan's film "The Specialist" showed senior Nazi official Adolf Eichmann in a favorable light
IMW's letter also notes that Sivan's film "The Specialist" showed senior Nazi official Adolf Eichmann in a favorable light. Sivan, says IMW, did not deny he had used cinematic manipulation to achieve this end. The film hurt the feelings of many.
Prof. Eli Pollak, IMW Chairman, says that "Mr. Sivan has the right to hold any opinion he wants to, but does he have to be Israel's first choice for making a film about a Zionist enterprise? Both in his films and in various utterances, he has expressed alienation and hostility towards the State of Israel and has taken actions that damage its name and image.
"This is both ironic and angering. How can the state's funds voluntarily be paid to a person who states he dislikes the state in such a crude and hurtful way, and in the context of a national celebration?"
A French court last year dismissed a libel suit filed by Sivan against French-Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut. Finkielkraut had called Sivan "one of the actors of today's particularly hard and frightening Jewish anti-Semitism."
The philosopher criticised Sivan for having made a link between the Israeli treatment of the Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and the Holocaust, in a film called "Road 181, Extracts from a Palestinian-Israeli Journey."
Finkielkraut received the support of Claude Lanzmann, director of "Shoah."
"I don't know why this man is indignant about being called anti-Semitic, that's what he is," Lanzmann said when he testified in favour of Finkielkraut.
Israel Media Watch is calling upon the public to send letters of protest to the following:
MK Yoel Hasson
MK Yuli Tamir
Mr. Giora Eini, Director
The Keren Rabinovitch Foundation
Rehov Avraham Irulson 29
Ms. Na’ama Henig, Chairwoman
Cable and Satellite Broadcast Council
Rehov Yafo 23, Jerusalem