Hollywood stars boycott film festival for focusing on Tel Aviv

Monday, September 07, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Hollywood heavyweights Jane Fonda and Danny Glover have joined a very vocal boycott of the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, which will focus this year on Tel Aviv and its film industry.

Those participating in the boycott have accused the Toronto Film Festival of aiding and abetting the "Israeli propaganda machine." They complain that highlighting Tel Aviv in a positive light unfairly disregards the Arabs they say were forcibly ejected from the area when Jewish immigrants built the city.

Taking a cue from other efforts to sully Israel's image, the protestors likened the celebration of Tel Aviv's film industry to "rhapsodizing about the beauty and elegant lifestyles in white-only Cape Town or Johannesburg during apartheid."

Boycott organizers tried to give the impression that while a number of Israeli films will be showcased at the festival, no Palestinian directors have been invited. That claim was quickly debunked by festival co-director Cameraon Bailey, who pointed out that two prominent Palestinian directors will be presenting their work.

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