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Israel’s Culture Minister Wants Tel Aviv Cinematheque Fined for Hosting Nakba Film Festival

'While is Israel is celebrating 70 years, the Cinematheque State is trying to remember and sanctify the Nakba. Not on my watch,' Miri Regev says

Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev has asked Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to see if the Tel Aviv Cinematheque can be fined for holding a film festival about the Nakba, “catastrophe” in Arabic, the term used by Palestinians to describe Israel’s 1948 War of Independence and its aftermath.
“While is Israel is celebrating 70 years, the Cinematheque State is trying to remember and sanctify the Nakba. Not on my watch” said Regev.
Regev claims holding a film festival like this would be a violation of the “Nakba Law”. The controversial law is written into the budget by law, giving the finance minister the power to withhold funds from government-supported institutions if they hold events which deny Israel’s right to exist. Regev has called for an urgent meeting of a government committee that reviews complaints against events that might undermine the state, its symbols and values, in hopes of cutting the cinematheque’s funding for the film festival.
Regev said that the festival, organized by Zochrot, an organization that works to raise awareness in Israel about the events of 1948 from the Palestinian perspective is made up of people, who she said had forgotten the facts of what happened in 1948 which she described as an organized attempt to wipe out the remnants of the Jewish people.
“This group is trying to rewrite history and create an imaginary Palestinian narrative” she said.
Regev said that her ministry had already approached the treasury’s legal counsel on the matter.
“The delay in dealing with this harms the law which protects our values and very existence” she said.
This is not the first time Regev’s ministry has tried to cut the cinematheque’s budget. Two years ago Regev set up a team to investigate if another festival’s films were in violation of the Nakba Law. The committee found that some films were offensive, but not to the point of violating the law.
Regev then dropped her request for a fine.
Some of the films in the upcoming festival were originally scheduled to be screened at the Al-Saraya Theater in Jaffa, but the theater cancelled, citing concerns it would see some of its government funding cut. In the past the theater was in danger of losing funding for staging an event called “Notebooks from Prison” and for holding an evening honoring Israeli-Arab poet Dareen Tatour, who is under house arrest for posts she put on Facebook that the Israeli authorities said were examples of incitement to violence and support for a terror organization.
Zochrot issued a statement, rebuffing Regev’s comments, saying the festival is intended to create a space for talking about the Nakba: “We believe that without knowing about and taking responsibility for the events of 1948 we cannot achieve peace and integration into this region. It is time for a critical reflection on the past, present and future.”

Nirit Anderman

Haaretz Contributor

read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.823145

Israel s Culture Minister Wants Tel Aviv Cinematheque Fined for Hosting Nakba Film Festival


Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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