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[Boycott - Cultural]
Alert - Wed 6th Nov - Picket Odeon Swiss Cottage - Protest Israeli Government Sponsored Film Festival
3 November 2013
We will be picketing outside Odeon Swiss Cottage on Wed 6th November to protest the cinema's hosting of a film festival sponsored by apartheid Israel.
Wed 6th Nov 6:45-7:45pm
Odeon Swiss Cottage
96 Finchley Rd,
London NW3 5EL
(very close to Swiss Cottage tube station on Jubilee line)
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/535231909899221
The Israeli Embassy is sponsoring the Jewish Film Festival which is playing at several venues in London including the Odeon Swiss Cottage. We are protesting the hosting of the film festival, not because it’s Jewish, but because its sponsored by the apartheid state of Israel.
In 2003 when Nelson Mandela visited Camden he unveiled a plaque outside 13 Lyme Street, the former home of the eminent anti-apartheid activists Joe Slovo and Ruth First whose home was the hub of the anti-apartheid movement before Ruth First was murdered by the apartheid regime by a parcel bomb, Camden's MP announced "this is a great day for Camden where the British anti-apartheid movement was founded". A few streets away in what in now called Mandela Street was the headquarters of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. As Camden residents, we are proud of our borough’s history in fighting apartheid and racism so we are shocked that our local cinema is collaborating with an apartheid regime by hosting a film festival sponsored by the Israeli Embassy.
In the same way as it was ethically unacceptable to host a film festival paid for the South African regime during apartheid South Africa so today its not acceptable to host apartheid Israel.
Film festivals should not be used in staging a propaganda campaign on behalf of an apartheid regime. Odeon Swiss Cottage is wittingly or unwittingly, been complicit in a million-dollar ‘Brand Israel’ PR campaign to change negative perceptions of the state of Israel, to take the focus off Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and refocus it on culture. As former deputy director general of the Israeli foreign ministry, Nissim Ben-Sheetrit, explained upon launching the Brand Israel campaign in 2005: “We are seeing culture as a hasbara [propaganda] tool of the first rank, and I do not differentiate between hasbara and culture.”
We urge Swiss Cottage Odeon to make a commitment to abide by the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel. We welcome Jewish filmmaking but we reject the promotion of Israel in the UK while Palestinians continue to live under siege, discrimination and exclusion.
More info on Jewish Film Festival: http://ukjewishfilm.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/UKJFF_full_brochure_web1.pdf
( Embassy of Israel is listed as the primary "Funding Contributor" on pg2)
Live updates during protest
We will, inshAllah, be tweeting live (hash tags #SayNoToApartheid #BDS ) from the protest with live photos being uploaded to our twitter and facebook page. So if you can't join us on the day, please help us by sharing the photos as they get uploaded.
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