A controversial Israeli documentary film which covers the career of a radical left-wing Israeli attorney has made it to the short list of 2020 Academy Awards nominees.

“Advocate”, which first premiered at the Sundance Festival in January, follows the career of Lea Tsemel, a far-left anti-Zionist activist and attorney who has represented high-profile terrorists, including Salah Hamouri, a PFLP member who plotted to assassinate Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, a string of would-be Hamas suicide bombers, and Abdel Aziz Salha, who was pictured in the infamous photograph waving his blood-soaked hands after the lynching of two IDF soldiers in Ramallah in 2000.

The film covers Tsemel’s defense of Ahmad Manasra, one of two teenage terrorists who stabbed a 25-year-old Israeli man and a 13-year-old Israeli boy, nearly killing the latter.

"Israelis have no right to tell Palestinians how to struggle,” Tsemel says in the film in justifying her work as a defense advocate for terrorists.

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev blasted the film upon its release, while the bereaved families of terror victims and other protesters demonstrated outside of the Mifal HaPayis (National Lottery) offices over its funding for the Docaviv film festival which promoted the film.

On Tuesday, the Zionist activist group Im Tirtzu and the Choosing Life Forum of Bereaved Famlies slammed the decision to include “Advocate” on the Academy Awards’ short list, issuing a joint statement.

"Those who benefit from the conflict and from the blood of innocents found yet another way to profit. As it isn't enough that there are attorneys who make a living defending the terrorists who murdered our loved ones, now these immoral filmmakers are celebrating this blood industry and are using it to advance their own careers."

"The lack of humanity of these so-called cultured individuals exceeds all imagination."

“Advocate” is one of 15 films on the Academy’s short list, selected from 159 entries.