British filmmaker Judy Price, an activist in the fringe group Jews for Justice for Palestinians, has been selected to curate a series of archival film screenings around the British Mandate period for the festival marking Israel’s 60th anniversary.
Price, in turn, invited Israeli-born anti-Zionist film lecturer Haim Bresheeth to take part in the festival. However, Bresheeth turned down the request, saying he said he would not come to the “racist” state to speak, as Israel had “crossed all the boundaries of a civilized nation.”
“The best and only thing we could and should all be doing is having no contact whatsoever with official and institutional Israel, certainly not being part of the celebrations of the destruction of Palestine,” he said.
“My whole family was destroyed by the Nazis in the death camps and ghettos, and will not participate in any action which denies the rights of the Palestinians, or which celebrates the victory‚ of their oppressors,” he added.
In response, Price said she saw the festival as “an opportunity to bring to the forefront the British Mandate’s role in the Nakba and establishment in the State of Israel and to construct a program that could not in any way be interpreted as jingoistic or nationalistic.”
A spokesperson for the British Council in Tel Aviv told The Jerusalem Post that Price had been chosen for her artistic credentials.