Is­raeli co­hort un­happy about UN’s taste in films

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News - By Don­ald Clarke

The Is­raeli mis­sion to the UN has com­plained about the de­ci­sion to screen Ju­lian Schn­abel’s Mi­ral in the UN assem­bly hall.

The film con­cerns the ex­pe­ri­ences of Rula Je­breal, a Pales­tinian jour­nal­ist raised in a Jerusalem or­phan­age.

“This is clearly a politi­cised de­ci­sion of the UN, one that shows poor judg­ment and a lack of even-hand­ed­ness,” the Is­raeli state­ment read.

Haim Wax­man, Is­rael’s deputy am­bas­sador, weighed in: “We are not aware of any other films with such con­tentious po­lit­i­cal con­tent that have re­ceived this kind of en­dorse­ment from the pres­i­dent of the gen­eral assem­bly.”

There have been fur­ther com­plaints from Jewish groups in the US.

Schn­abel and dis­trib­u­tor Harvey We­in­stein, both from Jewish back­grounds, re­sponded in ro­bust fash­ion. “As a Jewish Amer­i­can I can cat­e­gor­i­cally state that I would not be re­leas­ing a film that was fla­grantly bi­ased to­wards Is­rael or Ju­daism,” Harvey bel­lowed. “ Mi­ral tells a story about a young Pales­tinian woman, but that does not make it a polemic. By sti­fling dis­cus­sion or pre-judg­ing a work of art, we only per­pet­u­ate the prej­u­dice that does so much harm.”

Schn­abel’s film, which takes a rel­a­tively mod­er­ate line, was, on its re­lease, crit­i­cised for the cau­tious­ness of its ap­proach.

The UN spokesman said that the assem­bly was “just a venue”, but this has been ques­tioned.

Mi­ral: the Is­raeli mis­sion to the UN doesn’t want the film screened in assem­bly hall

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