Greyson complains about propaganda but has no problem engaging others in propaganda he considers appropriate.

What if you pulled your film out of a film festival but your open letter explaining your reasons omitted numerous pertinent facts?

zionists

John Greyson teaches film at York University in Toronto. He is also a prolific Canadian filmmaker whose subject matter often touches on gay themes (he is openly gay) and he is politically active for a number of causes. He also writes boycott letters to film festivals.

Last year, for example, he refused to participate in the Tel Aviv LGBT Festival, hurting the organizers’ feelings (really, there’s a Youtube video where Yair Hochner, the Festival’s director shows how hurt he was by this move by Greyson) with his excuse that because of the conflict with the Palestinians, he couldn’t bring his film to their festival. Well, to be more precise, he accused Israel of apartheid and claimed that he was boycotting this festival because it reminded him of how effective boycotting South Africa had been. More on that letter later in this long post.

A few days ago Greyson made some news in Canada because this time he decided to withdraw a short film (if you click and watch it, please leave him a polite comment) he had directed from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The TIFF is one of the world’s best and biggest film fests and this year they decided to create a new program called City to City, “to take a closer look at global cities through a cinematic lens, especially cities where film contributes to or chronicles social change in compelling ways.” For their first city they chose Tel Aviv.

John Greyson announced in an open letter that he was withdrawing his film and boycotting TIFF. He said many things in his letter, but among them was that the TIFF was serving as a propaganda vehicle for Israel. Cameron Bailey, the curator of the City to City program wrote an open letter in response where he specifically rejected claims made by Greyson and some media outlets that the decision to program Tel Aviv as the first city was made in partnership or via influence of other (i.e., Israel or wealthy media organizations affiliated or owned by Jews). Bailey writes, “Contrary to rumours or mistaken media reports, this focus is a product only of TIFF’s programming decisions. We value that independence and would never compromise it.”

Aside from the funny way in which Canadians spell rumor, I felt that Mr. Bailey’s response to Greyson didn’t cover sufficient territory and that in fairness to Greyson’s strong letter, his comments to the festival required a better response. What I mean to say is that I consider what Greyson had done to be shameful and after watching his short film on Sarajevo, the one which he withdrew from TIFF, I felt that his actions deserve a response. I tried to write it in the same non-linear style he used to edit his movie and to honor his metier, I’ve given myself 24, uh, frames, in which to make my points.

1. John Greyson makes a film about censorship and absence of free speech and then seeks to apply pressure on a film festival to practice censorship and kill free speech.

Make no mistake, his boycott is made to pressure TIFF and any other film festival that would consider programming Israeli cinema that they will be faced with controversy and general insults in the media and on the internet.

2. John Greyson’s film, Covered, a short film with no particular distinguishing qualities (in my humble opinion) which tells the sad tale of a new “queer” (his description) film festival in Sarajevo that was crushed primarily by hostility of a certain population. The film, which briefly mentions that the festival was accused by its opponents of running during Ramadan, arguably covers up for the culprits by skimming over their identities and their actions.

The film will receive far more attention as a result of his actions than it would at TIFF. It seems that attacking Israel is a good maneuver these days if you’re going to generate publicity. Greyson rejects the notion of “Brand Israel” but has no difficulty riding Israel to generate “Brand Greyson.” Of course, letters like his, full of omissions and half truths are the reason Israel need a Brand Israel campaign in the first place.

3. John Greyson uses phrases like “Gaza massacre” “viral growth of the totalitarian security wall” “further enshrining of the check-point system” without even attempting to seek balance or fairness, such as he demands in his movie, for example, from the Canadian ambassador who was in Sarajevo and who didn’t return his call (John Greyson must be a very important person indeed, expecting ambassadors to return his calls immediately).

Examples of fairness in this case would be to mention the several thousand rockets and mortars that were fired at Israeli civilian communities before Israel finally attacked Gaza. He could mention that Israel left Gaza en masse years ago, for example, and instead of building parks and schools, first the PA and then Hamas built tunnels and smuggled arms while firing rockets into Israel. He could mention the consistent Palestinian attempts, every time Israel opened one of the Gaza crossings, to smuggle terrorists through. I could go on, but the list is too long.

After the break, 21 more…and they get better!

4. This happened after the PA demanded that when Israel left Gaza, that not a single Jew would be left there. Gaza is Jew-free!

There are, however, Arabs living in Tel Aviv. Legal residents. Citizens who can vote in Israeli elections. They own businesses, send their children to school and university and lead normal lives. Greyson must know this because he has been to Tel Aviv. Instead of acknowledging these simple facts, he quotes the false assertion of a filmmaker by the name of Udi Aloni (son of Shulamit Aloni perhaps?) who claimed Tel Aviv is “the only city in the west without Arab residents.”

Hyperbole trumps truth, Mr. Greyson? It is Gaza that is without any Jews, just like Jordan and Saudi Arabia, while Tel Aviv has many Arabs who live within its boundaries.

5. Which leads us to some other details Mr. Greyson’s letter to the TIFF omits. The security situation that forced Israel to build its Security Barrier is one prime example. Another example would be the security difficulties that forced Israel to build more checkpoints.

Why was there a security situation? One could blame Israel, settlers, wars or whatever. What one can’t deny, however, is that this difficult security situation followed Israel’s offer to the Palestinians of a Palestinian state in 2000.

Then, in 2001, right after a second, aborted, peace offer by the Israelis that was far more generous than the previous year’s offer, the Palestinian war became even more intensive with hundreds of Israeli civilians (not soldiers) being targeted and murdered intentionally by suicide bombings.

There is an easily provable correlation between the decline of those successful attacks and the construction of the Barrier, the increase in checkpoints and the closure of once-open gateways of passage like those between Gaza and Israel.

None of this pertinent information appears in Mr. Greyson’s harangue of the TIFF. He is worried about “Brand Israel.”

6. Who was being protected by these security arrangements that Greyson criticizes? It was not settlers living in territories to which Mr. Greyson refers as “Palestinian.” Most Palestinian attacks targeted Israelis inside the 1967 borders, not inside the territories. Large cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were key targets of these attacks. Put another way, the city which TIFF is exploring in its festival was a direct victim of the very terrorism that led to the security arrangements Greyson denounces.

7. Who committed the attacks? The Palestinians. Virtually all of the attackers share a similar profile, by the way, with the people who threatened and successfully shut down the film festival in Greyson’s film. Young men. Mostly Muslim. Devoutly religious or easily influenced by the devoutly religious. Willing to target innocent people and harm them.

8. What was offensive to Greyson in Sarajevo, however, is not offensive when it involves Israel. There he thinks that he should support those who commit atrocities even if they’re far worse than those attacks committed in Sarajevo. He’s concerned himself with presenting the unfortunate silence involving the threats and violence that had a gay and lesbian film festival shut down, but instead of recognizing that Israel is under real threat by the same people, when it comes to Israel/Tel Aviv he shifts the blame and connects the violence and its source to Israel.

Is he confused? He can’t be, because as an openly gay man he knows that Israel is a society that is far more open to gays than most societies in the world. It is far more open than Palestinian society is to homosexuals.

9. He may not be confused, but his behavior is confusing. He can refuse to attend a gay and lesbian film festival in Tel Aviv, as he did last year, but when he wrote to the organizers to say he wasn’t coming, why did he say that he is looking forward to meeting them in Ramallah in the future? Does he think Ramallah will be holding a Pride parade soon? Does he think Israeli queers will be safe there the way Palestinian queers are safe in Tel Aviv?

10. If not, then why is he not boycotting Palestinian films? He could, for example, boycott TPFF, the Toronto Palestinian Film Festival, for his disappointment that Palestinian society hurts members of the gay community to an extent that some have to flee into Israel, where they have been accepted and given legal residence.

He is a board member of TPFF, by the way.

Is it possible Mr. Greyson is promoting Palestinian propaganda? Is he promoting Brand Palestine?

11. At the very least, Greyson could acknowledge that Israeli society is far more open to queers than Ramallah and that Tel Aviv is the center of this openness.

12. Why is Tel Aviv the center of this openness? Well, because Tel Aviv really is a “vibrant metropolis [and] dynamic young city…” just as the TIFF said in marketing the City to City program.

13. Tel Aviv is also commemorating its centennial after having been founded literally as a suburb of an Arab town (with a Jewish population), Jaffa, on lands that were purchased by Jews and developed by Jews. It was built on dunes. It was built legally. It was built as part of a dream to establish a democratic state for the Jewish people.

When the Palestinians refused the 1947 UN plan to partition Palestine (not the state, as Greyson knows, since such a state has never existed, but the southern part of the Syrian province of the Ottoman empire which was named Palestine by the Romans), that plan included Jaffa, next door to Tel Aviv at the time, as one of the cities that would remain in Palestinian hands. There was no mention of doing this to Tel Aviv because it was already the leading city of the Jewish community of Palestine. Its Jewish provenance and history were indisputable.

Even today, when the world does not accept Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, it is Tel Aviv where they establish their embassies.

14. So what is Mr. Greyson saying? That this city is illegitimate? Isn’t that the same as saying that Israel is illegitimate?

Is he saying that it isn’t a young and vibrant city?

Is he saying that Tel Aviv doesn’t deserve celebration for being such an extraordinary source of art, culture, literature, music and film?

15. Well, in the letter to the film festival in Tel Aviv, he brought up apartheid. Of course, having been to Tel Aviv, he must know the mix of people of all skin colors, backgrounds, races, etc. who live there side by side and in peace.

So no, I suspect that’s not what he’s saying.

He is saying that one can’t celebrate these positive things about Tel Aviv while the Palestinians are suffering. That people should apply pressure on Israel through boycotts and censorship to end the Palestinian suffering.

16. In that case, perhaps Mr. Greyson should read recent news reports. In those he would learn that Israel offered the Palestinians a state once again last year, in 2008.

This time, they even offered to turn the key areas of Jerusalem under dispute into an international city, dominated by neither the Israelis or the Palestinians. Presumably, they also offered all that was offered at Taba. This would include removal of the settlers on 97% of the West Bank land and giving the Palestinians land within Israel for the other 3%. This would include agreement to offer the Palestinians tens of billions of dollars in reparations. This would include giving the right to some refugees (from the real generation of refugees, the first one), to move into Israel.

There’s more that was offered, but what is more important is that the Palestinians, led by Mahmoud Abbas, refused the offer, just as they did in 2001 at Taba.

To remind John Greyson, they also refused the offers of 2000, 1947 and 1937. In every instance that they refused a state, they were involved in violent actions. This is true of the 2000 Palestinian War, the 1947 attacks that preceded the 1948 war launched by the Arabs and the 1936-1939 Arab riots.

17. The Palestinians didn’t stop there. When Obama was elected, Abbas was quoted as saying he had no intention of negotiating for peace with Israel. He would wait. One of his aides suggested that the Palestinians believed such a tactic would destroy the present Israeli government within two years because it would create deep friction between Israel and the USA.

Great plan for peace!

Mr. Greyson then decides to support Palestinians by applying pressure on Israel! Shouldn’t the pressure be applied on those who would “wait?”

18. And the Palestinians didn’t stop there either. The organization that leads the Palestinian Authority, led by Abbas, is Fatah. Fatah just had one of their most important gatherings ever, their Sixth Congress, where they voted on their future direction.

If Mr. Greyson has read about this incredible congress, he should. He would learn that,

– they voted to KEEP the refugee camps open, because they are an asset in the “struggle.”
– They voted to maintain the right to violent struggle against Israel.
– They did not change the part of their charter that claims Jews have no historic connection to Israel (of course, the Dead Sea Scrolls disprove this claim easily, but Greyson prefers to call them “notorious” instead of addressing their importance).
– Fatah also voted to bring into their fold one of the key terror groups involved in many of the suicide bombing and other attacks on Israeli civilians that have taken place in the last decade.

And

– They voted to build up their attempts to have the international community boycott Israel.

Is Mr. Greyson aware of this? I would think he probably is, being on the TPFF’s board. Need I mention Brand Palestine again?

19. The positions taken by Abbas, the PA and Fatah raise interesting questions. With whom should Israel make peace? How is a boycott going to improve the situation? If an Israeli government offers the Palestinians a state with extremely fair terms such as the internationalization of the key sections of Jerusalem and giving up 100% of Gaza, 97% of the West Bank (and replacing the other 3% with land inside Israel), then why is Mr. Greyson not applying pressure on the Palestinians to accept?

20. Hypocrisy?

I realize that’s a nasty word and I apologize. However, what other conclusion can there be when Mr. Greyson seeks to censor the TIFF and then writes in his letter:

“For instance, I’m helping organize a screening in September for the Toronto Palestinian Film Festivalรขโ‚ฌยฆthat profiles Ezra Nawi, the queer Israeli activist jailed for blocking army bulldozers from destroying Palestinian homes. Technically, the film probably qualifies as meeting the technical criteria of boycott –not because it was directed by an Israeli filmmaker, but because it received Israeli state funding. Yet all concerned have decided that this film should be seen by Toronto audiences…”

When the material suits Mr. Greyson’s politics and personal views, then the ends justify the means…even if the means directly contradict what he is seeking to force the TIFF to do.

Greyson complains about propaganda but has no problem engaging others in propaganda he considers appropriate.

21. There’s also a little lesson there. The state funding Greyson mentions, that is Israeli state funding for a movie that is heavily critical of Israel, is emblematic of much of the cinema made in Israel, isn’t it? Israel doesn’t shy away from supporting critical filmmakers, including ones who are not Israeli Jews.

Yet Greyson’s call is to boycott this democratic and open cinema.

22. Mr. Greyson must have seen Eytan Fox’s The Bubble, being shown at the TIFF this year as part of City to City. It is a film dealing with queers falling in love, one Palestinian and one Jewish Israeli, while criticizing both the Israeli and the Palestinian societies for their respective failures. That film is being boycotted by Greyson.

However, bringing out to the Toronto Palestinian Film Festival a film that is critical of Israel without providing the complexity, balance and fair depiction of Israeli and Palestinian societies shown in The Bubble is not a problem for Greyson.

Is it because he happens to be on that other film festival’s board? Or is it that the ends justify the means, even if one has to fudge issues like, you know, fairness, along the way?

23. Attempting to stifle and censor the TIFF while using a film about censorship to make one’s point is either a poorly thought out stunt or one that engages in hypocrisy. I have a feeling that were I to go through the past festivals where Greyson has shown films without reservation, I will find many where films from countries that are engaged in extreme and ongoing human rights violations have been shown.

Yet here he has chosen to boycott a festival spotlighting a place that represents openness, free speech, democracy, liberal values, freedom of sexual expression and that’s probably also the heartland of the peace movement in Israel.

24. Minimally, Mr. Greyson’s approach is confusing and mistaken. Yet, he seems to be very knowledgeable about the topic. That raises the possibility, supported by the indications in this movie and his letter to the TIFF and maybe even more so by the many pertinent omissions in his movie and letter, that his effort to boycott the TIFF may be cynical. Meaning well is not enough, and seeking peace and justice is not going to be achieved by omission of pertinent facts or by self-serving, exploitative boycotts.

UPDATE! In a later post about the “protest” letter written by seven artists and writers, including John Greyson, to TIFF, I may have stumbled upon the organization with which Greyson was working when writing this letter. It makes for interesting reading

(photo source)

UPDATE (Feb, 2010): John Greyson is in boycott mode once again

For more Jewlicious reading about this:

Is TIFF Protest organized by Toronto’s Palestine House?

Exposing Naomi Klein’s Boycott Denial

Response to the “protest” letter against TIFF, 2009

Olmert’s offer to the Palestinians

Abbas choosing to stall on peace talks. Again.

The PA did not change its charter as per their Oslo obligations. This was recently publicly confirmed before the Fatah conference by two of Fatah’s leaders including Dahlan.

Israel’s peace offer at Taba.

Six Day War Anniversary Post

About the author

themiddle

28 Comments

  • It’s all ok, eventually they will all understand the problem. Like my gay friends in Brussels learned when we had to run 10 blocks from a group of nice guys shouting insults in Arabic because we made the mistake of parking our car “in their district” during gay pride parade ( the organizers won’t dare to include “their” streets in the event either).

  • OPEN LETTER to John Greyson

    Dear Mr. Greyson,

    Having now watched your film…

    1) Your film is not a coherent piece of storytelling. Presumably it was invited to the festival in the first place due to your relationship with the festival heads.

    2) One aspect of what you attempt to illuminate in your film is important: The violence against that festival in Sarajevo. What I learned from your piece of filmmaking here I could have learned reading one paragraph in 20 seconds. Where is your art here, as a filmmaker? Why are you telling us this story, rather than showing it? (One of the cardinal rules of screenplays and filmmaking is SHOW US, don’t tell us.) And what is this voiceover of someone teaching another words in presumably the Bosnian language? To hit us over the head with the written narration you want us to read? Pointless. No connection to the story you’re attempting to tell. Just let us read the narration.

    3) What is the point with famous musicians in this story, doing covers of songs? How does this relate or connect in any way with the violence to shut the festival down?

    I do not know you. I’ve never seen any of your work before. And this is the first time in my life, in my career, that I have ever written non-praiseworthy comments about another filmmaker. If I don’t like someone’s feature or short, I keep the comments to myself or among conversation with friends.

    Because of the quality of your film (or my perceived lack of), this pulling your film from Toronto strikes me as a publicity stunt. Sure, some can say you don’t do this kind of stuff, because you don’t care about Hollywood. But you do care about publicity, I’m sure. We both know the power of this, and what it can do for one’s career. This appears to be no more than a publicity stunt.

    And this is disconcerting to me. Using the complicated politics of the Middle East to promote yourself is, in my view, dishonest, disingenuous, and opportunistic.

    I am an American Jew. I do not claim to know all the intricacies of all the issues between Israelis and Palestinians. But I have been following the issues since the first Palestinian intifada in 1987.

    While I have never personally approved of the way the Israeli government handled that, or the second intifada, one MUST have perspective on the entirety of the issues in that region, and NOT pull aspects out of the larger issue to look at them individually and out of context. I believe most Jews, as myself, do not want to ever see an Israeli soldier killing anyone. But I also don’t want to see terrorists blowing innocent people up in Tel Aviv clubs and hotels, or see Hamas firing rockets into Israel killing children.

    So let’s cut to the chase here, because I (or anyone) could write about all the back & forth between the two sides ad nauseam, and who’s to blame or who first started “the latest round.”

    The Arab world, particularly the Arab nations that attempted to destroy Israel and wipe Israel off the map in 1967 and 1973, hold much responsibility in there being no peace in the Middle East. Anyone who truly understands the issues there — TRULY UNDERSTANDS — knows that for a lasting peace to take effect, it will require the real participation and backing of these Arab nations.

    What does this mean? For one, they stop funding the Palestinians’ various military wings (and past and current terrorist activities) and they come to the bargaining table in sincerity. What many people not educated on these regional issues don’t realize, is that it serves some of these Arab nations’ OWN politics to maintain Israel as the pariah. As long as Israel is hated and despised, it focuses attention away from some of these corrupt Arab governments. (The leaders of these governments are not stupid.)

    It is not in their best interests, in their minds, to have a “global” peace with Israel. Egypt became the exception in the late ’70s due to the foresight and forward thinking of that nation’s leader then, and Jordan in the ’90s as well. But this is not the norm. You have textbooks — TEXTBOOKS — in some of these Arab nations that schoolchildren read, that teach hatred of the Jews and Israel.

    Propaganda? Damn right it is. The leaders of some of these nations do not want their citizens blaming them for their social ills, or high unemployment, or — God forbid — the reason there is no peace in that region. Blame the Jews. It’s easy and convenient. And of course, historical.

    I apologize for my bluntness here, but people like you, Mr. Greyson, do not truly understand ALL the issues at play. The regional issues and the geopolitical issues. You glom onto pieces of the debate, and believe you understand everything.

    If there is ever going to be peace in the Middle East, it will NOT take leaders, but statesmen. It will take all the Arab nations, and Israel, and the U.S., to come together to hammer out something everyone can live with. It will take the Arab Nations forcing the Palestinians to accept compromises that the Palestinians don’t want to accept, and it will take the U.S. forcing Israel to accept compromises that Israel does not want to accept.

    One thing most people forget, is that Israel is a democracy. The leader that gets elected is either a “conservative” or “liberal,” and very contingent upon the mood of that nation at the time of election. (Just like the U.S.) Unfortunately, this affects their policies and engagement of the peace process. When there are terrorist attacks in Israel, the people there want revenge, not peace. (Just like here in the U.S. with 9/11.) Unfortunately, the human element of feeling injustice and wanting revenge cannot be removed from the human psyche. Awareness of this psychology, however, can sometimes help. But I digress.

    You think that Israel engaging in some governmental propaganda, to try to change some of the world’s low opinions of it, is wrong. And thus, you pull your film and assert you’re making a statement. And yet, by doing so, you are asserting that Israel IS in the wrong here, and that they should be “punished” in some way. Forget about the latest round of Hamas rockets being fired into Israel last year, forget about the Palestinian leaders (Yasser Arafat, for one) in the past refusing to make peace with Israel when Israel had leaders who tried, and forget about discussing the Arab Nations’ leaders and their lack of real participation.

    Just blame Israel.

    This is short-sighted of you, and shows you have a real lack of comprehension of the all the issues at hand.

    This is beside the point, but if Israel wants to engage in some propaganda around the world, why shouldn’t they? The Palestinians do it. And when looking at the entire history of U.N. resolution votes (and Security Council votes) since the birth of Israel, you have nearly every nation in the world voting AGAINST Israel the majority of the time. Except for the U.S. This speaks volumes about the world’s prejudices still existing today. Volumes.

    Pulling your film from TIFF for publicity purposes? That’s your choice as a filmmaker and as a person. Pulling it under the guise of bringing light to your judgement that the TIFF is wrong in showcasing Israeli films? Naive, uneducated, and opportunistic.

    Jerome Courshon
    Producer/Writer
    Los Angeles, CA

  • CK: I know it feels very warm and fuzzy for you to say that “Israel” isn’t apartheid, but nobody is really talking about “Israel” when they use that word. It’s the occupation, silly.

    Oh and in Tel Aviv, Arabs can’t buy land. They’re not legally allowed to. Just because it’s not apartheid everywhere doesn’t mean it’s not still racist everywhere.

  • KFJ, ck didn’t write this post, I did.

    John Greyson isn’t boycotting the “occupation” but Tel Aviv. His letter mentions only aspects of the “occupation” but his point is that Tel Aviv is no less “guilty” of whatever crimes he feels like ascribing to Israel than any settlement in the West Bank.

    And even if he is talking about the “occupation,” it still doesn’t mean apartheid. It’s not even close. And using it as shorthand to promote one’s propaganda doesn’t change the basic dishonesty of the assertion.

    Jewish Israelis are also not allowed to “buy” land inside Tel Aviv. They lease it from the state or from the JNF. And yes, Arabs can buy homes in Tel Aviv even if it is highly unusual, just as it’s highly unusual for Jews to buy homes in Umm al Fahm. It’s not “racist” everywhere and to say that it is suggests you don’t know the first thing about Tel Aviv or most of Israel where it is very common to find, for example, dark skinned Yemenite families living next to pale skinned blonde Russian families. You have cultural differences and economic discrepancies that do dictate that certain neighborhoods are far less likely to have, say, Ethiopians, living there, but it’s not an issue of racism as much as it is cultural. When racism is involved, both the government and the Israeli High Court have spoken out against it.

  • Hey, what happened to the post’s stats? Previously 9 people had given it a score of 4.57 out of 5 and it had been retweeted 6 times. Is it because I changed the title?

  • ‘the zionists are stealing all the fresh air’ Ah! well then we can all stop worrying about clilmate change and carry on pulluting cause now we can blame it all on the zionists. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyway talking about blaming the zionists, a friend of mine was having an argument about the unbelievable success of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. And how all the plans and goals set out in them were bieng or have been achieved, she then produced a whole load of evidence on who owns what and who runs what whilst goin through the protocols step by step i must say i was pretty startled and i must say impressed.

    YOU GUYS ARE SOME SCARY MF’s.

  • Thanks, Llwalyn! You know who else loves the Protocols? Hamas. Yesirree, they love that junk at Hamas headquarters. They have it incorporated right into their little ol’ charter.

    Now speaking of the Protocols and your lovely lady friend, you both do know it’s a forgery, right? I mean, you are aware it’s a fake, written by a non-Jew? Sure you do, everybody knows that. Except for Hamas, that is.

  • Oh never mind, I just saw your email address and it includes an 88 in it. You’re one of the morons who actually thinks that document is real.

  • People like Greyson go to bat for political principles that completely defy logic. It’s almost like one of those faulty syllogisms, e.g. “Fish can swim/I can swim/therefore, I am a fish”, except in this case it’s “I am gay and claim to take a stand on human rights issues/I support the Palestinian cause/therefore, if I support the Palestinian cause then the Palestinians must be like-thinking people who support everything I support, i.e. gay rights, freedom of expression, etc.”

    It’s symptomatic of a more general problem with certain American and Canadian leftists: they falsely believe that their leftist/rightist politics is the whole world’s leftist/rightist politics. Since US Republicans are the traditionally pro-military party, and Israelis strongly support their military, then therefore Israelis must be opposed to universal health care, are anti-union, are anti-LGBT rights, etc. It’s a convenient assumption for guys like Greyson to make, no matter how wrong it is, because it fits his own political worldview so nicely without having to make any additional effort to really understand the issues at hand. It’s pretty easy to be so smug when you self-confine yourself to ignorance (and shouldn’t Greyson know that, I mean, isn’t public ignorance the main obstacle in the fight for LGBT rights?)

  • I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this post and the subsequent comments. Even those by the Nazi guy!

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Aw shucks, that’s nice. If I hadn’t been so busy today, I would have written about the letter Greyson and a bunch of other filmmakers published today attacking TIFF for their Tel Aviv section. They, of course, use the A word.

  • ck am not a NAZI if i was a NAZI i would say i am, i mean if i believe in something what use is it if i hide it all the time. ‘themiddle’ i got an 88 in my email cause dats my year of brith. And hey you guys whats with the accusation and bieng defensive, there’s a whole load of bull outthere that i dont believe and honestly i couldn’t give a monkey’s behind if these protocols are for real or not they aint got nothing against me so heck with it like all the other crap outthere. The only one thing that interested me is how everything that was mentioned in the protocols decades ago, is ALL in motion now and bieng achieved as they said they would achieve it wether it be real or not.

  • Well, Llwalyn, you poor, poor man…next time get born in a different year.

    By the way, nothing changes. You didn’t know this book was a forgery and yet here you are extolling its virtues. Either you’re like a Nazi or you’re a moron. Or you’re both. My bet is on both. I mean, the book’s not even that old, relatively speaking, and yet you not only believe it, you come into an unrelated discussion to sell it.

    Actually, maybe you’re not a Nazi. You could just be one of the citizens of Gaza educated and influenced by their government, Hamas, which has the Protocols mentioned in their Charter. In that case, don’t worry too much, you have a bunch of useful North American and European propagandists supporting you even as they ignore the same fundamentalist beliefs that cause you to hate them just as much as Israel and Jews. And queer film festivals in Sarajevo.

  • ahhh ‘get born in a different year’, thats funny. your a funny guy. Hey look at the bright side at least i was’nt born a jew.

    interesting but no, am not from gaza way too far from it. And ‘middle’ if i was a NAZI trust me you would know about it. The only thing i dont seem to understand is why your reply’s are all defensive and provocativley rude i mean if they are a forgery fair enough i dont care so why call me a moron or a nazi, am not sure you understand ‘middle’ if it was’nt for my country you jews wouldn’t have got very far in the world and even if this shity little book was for real 3 quarters of it would have been achieved because of my country and u knw dat.

    But as alaways you did what all jews do best and avoided the question and made me look like the aggressor. I will put it to you again. Why if the book is a forgery, everythin that was stated init is in motion now and bieng achieved as they said they would.

    • Um, Llwalyn, my response wasn’t all that rude until I saw the 88 in your name. We’re pretty experienced around here with folks such as you. Now you can leave. Bye.

  • It seems like suggesting boycotting could be a lucrative position for Israeli-Jewish-Zionist events. We can sell the “right to boycott” a PR service to failing artists world over.

    I can see the campaign already:


    Artist!
    Career failing?
    Face time dwindling?

    You’re not alone!
    Join John Greyson, Roseanne Bar, Jane Fonda, Danny Glover and other has-beens celebrities and BOYCOTT US!

    Go Pro!
    Become an official [insert event name here]
    OFFICIAL BOYCOTTER!

    Coverage in leading media outlets GUARANTEED!
    (terms apply)

    Seeing as how most of these idiots aren’t too bothered with details, and things like historical or geographical facts tend to elude them, I’m pretty sure we’ll make a killing.

    Heck we can even promise to donate 10% of our proceeds back to the community (I’ve always had a soft spot for the “Land Rights for Gay Jewish Whales” movement…)

    Mike

  • Without Jews the world would die of boredom. We are like the “yeast that enters the flour”..(not my quote) We gave the world…God, the Ten Commandments, Jesus, and even Allah! And what do we get a kick in Tuchas for it. You guys (Jew haters) be “chosen” ..see how you like it! And I got six million reasons to be pissed at every freeking anti_Semite that ever lived. Most are dead, Thank God…but a few are still here (in this Post). Arabia is loaded with them!

  • I just want to point out one factual error in this letter. Gaza is not totally Judenfrei since the Israeli withdrawal. There remains one Jew in Gaza; he is there against his will because the Palestinians want him there, not because he or the Israeli government want him to “occupy” Gaza. His name is Gilad Schalit.

  • Speaking of universities and racism, what happened to the Feb. 11 story in the Globe and Mail, “York film professor slammed over Israel boycott”? It literally vanisted from the site, comments and all. Did someone at York disagree with the piece and threaten the Globe?

    Hmmm… censorship in action?

  • Whoa, that is interesting. Completely gone and not even available in cached form.

    The largest chunk of that article that I could find was on this blog:

    Globe & Mail

    “The faculty of York Universityรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs film school has taken the unusual step of criticizing its own staff member, John Greyson, over his continuing campaign to promote a cultural boycott of Israel.

    It was Greyson who precipitated last fall’s controversy at the Toronto International Film Festival when he withdrew his own short documentary film from the lineup, in protest of the Festival’s decision to spotlight a series of films about Tel Aviv. Now, Greyson, an associate professor of production, is spearheading a new drive to boycott the Tel Aviv University International Student Film Festival, scheduled for the spring, and it’s this one that has irked his colleagues at York. Last month, in letters to 90 film schools soliciting support for his position, Greyson attached the names of director James Cameron (Avatar) and actress Jane Fonda implying that they supported the campaign.

    However, neither Cameron nor Fonda had been asked to sign on to this open letter. “

    It might have been removed because the letter was never sent with the names of Cameron and Fonda attached. That was a “draft letter” sent, from what I understand, to potential signatories as examples of the types of people who would sign on. The final letter that was apparently sent to film schools did not mention Fonda or Cameron from what I’ve read.

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