Re: Toronto Film Fest

From: Can Candan (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Aug 30 2009 - 03:18:59 PDT

How sad it is to read such a racist statement on Frameworks...

Can Candan

From: Peter Rosen <email suppressed>
Reply-To: "Experimental Film Discussion List <email suppressed>"
<email suppressed>
Date: Sat, 29 Aug 2009 16:29:07 +0000
To: <email suppressed>
Subject: Re: Toronto Film Fest

Palestinians are terrorists

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

From: Matt Helme
Date: Sat, 29 Aug 2009 08:23:34 -0700
To: <email suppressed>
Subject: Toronto Film Fest

*Please Post Widely*

Protest Toronto International Film Festival City-to-City Spotlight on Tel
TIFF Celebrating Israeli colonialism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid!

Dear CAIA allies and supporters,

We urge you to write to the Toronto International Film Festival protesting
decision to Spotlight Tel Aviv for its inaugural City-to-City program. The
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
issued a statement urging all filmmakers and audiences to boycott this
Spotlight on Tel Aviv. For the full PACBI statement please see:

As the PACBI statement points out:

³The Œdiversity¹ celebrated by the Spotlight is in fact based on the
erasure of the physical presence of the Palestinians, their culture,
and memory. The adjacent Palestinian city of Jaffa and numerous villages
emptied of their indigenous inhabitants to make way for Tel Aviv. Many
from Jaffa and other destroyed villages that Tel Aviv replaced reside in
Toronto today, denied the right to return to their homes.

Such a celebration at this time, therefore, can only be seen by Palestinians
and supporters of a just peace around the world as an act of complicity in
whitewashing Israel¹s war crimes and other grave violations of international
law. It is a cynical and immoral politicization of the TIFF.²

Please send letters of protest to TIFF co-director and City-to-City
at email suppressed> and to TIFF¹s press office at
email suppressed>

A sample letter is provided below, though it is always better to draft your
original letter.

For more information please email us at: email suppressed
<mailto:email suppressed>

In Solidarity,
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid <>


Re: City-to-City Spotlight on Tel Aviv

I am writing to you out of my concern about the Toronto International Film
Festival¹s City-to-City spotlight on Tel Aviv.

According to your website, the spotlight ³will showcase the complex currents
running through today¹s Tel Aviv. Celebrating its 100th birthday in 2009,
Aviv is a young, dynamic city that, like Toronto, celebrates its diversity².
Nowhere in this description of Tel Aviv is there mention of the fact that
Aviv is built on destroyed Palestinian villages. In 1948, the inhabitants of
these villages were forcibly removed in order to make room for the city of
Aviv. Today, many of the former inhabitants of these villages and Tel Aviv¹s
neighbouring city of Jaffa reside in Toronto because they are refugees who
been denied the right to return to their homes.

In addition to ignoring Palestinian history, the spotlight is also part of
Israeli propaganda campaign known as ŒBrand Israel¹. In 2008, Israel chose
Toronto as a test city for ŒBrand Israel¹. This campaign is an effort by
the Israeli government to improve its image globally. The campaign¹s goal is
to draw attention toward Israel¹s medical, scientific and cultural
accomplishments in order to shift attention away from its numerous crimes
against the Palestinian people. The ŒBrand Israel¹ campaign is a blatant
example of how Israeli cultural institutions play a vital role in
Israeli war crimes. Israeli consul general Amir Gissin said that the
culmination of the campaign would be a major Israeli presence at the 2009
Toronto International Film Festival. Whether or not TIFF sees it this way,
City-to-City program is being viewed by the Israeli state as an important
aspect of its international propaganda campaign.

This past winter the world watched in horror as Israel launched a full-scale
military assault on the people of Gaza. Over 1400 Palestinians were killed
this attack, including over 400 children. TIFF showcasing Tel Aviv and
is equivalent to the festival choosing to showcase Cape Town at the height
South African Apartheid. It is simply unacceptable and inexcusable.

In support of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott
Israel (PACBI) statement calling for a boycott of the Spotlight, I will not
attending any of these films and will be encouraging others to do the same.
strongly urge TIFF to reconsider its celebration of Tel Aviv and Israel ­ a
state that has been described as an Apartheid regime by prominent figures
as South African Bishop Desmond Tutu and former US President Jimmy Carter.


 __________________________________________________________________ For info
on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.


For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.