Red­grave speaks out for Is­rael

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JC RE­PORTER

BRI­TISH AC­TRESS Vanessa Red­grave has de­nounced the artists who urged or­gan­is­ers of the Toronto Film Fes­ti­val to drop a cel­e­bra­tion of Tel Aviv.

Ms Red­grave, 72, is an un­likely de­fender of Is­rael. The Os­car-winning ac­tress has been a long-stand­ing backer of the Pales­tinian cause.

But now she has writ­ten a let­ter, cosigned by artist Ju­lian Schn­abel and play­wright Martin Sher­man, to the New York Re­view of Books, de­fend­ing the Toronto Film Fes­ti­val’s de­ci­sion to show­case films about Tel Aviv.

The fes­ti­val’s cel­e­bra­tion of Tel Aviv led to an at­tack by writ­ers and ac­tors in­clud­ing Jane Fonda, Danny Glover and David Byrne. (Jane Fonda sub­se­quently said she had signed the boy­cott let­ter too hastily.)

The let­ter from Ms Red­grave and her co-sig­na­to­ries said: “We op­pose the cur­rent Is­raeli gov­ern­ment, but it is a gov­ern­ment. Freely elected. Not a regime. Words mat­ter.

“...Th­ese cit­i­zens of Tel Aviv and their or­gan­i­sa­tions and their cul­tural out­lets should be ap­plauded and en­cour­aged.

“We do not agree that this in­volve­ment is a rea­son to shun or protest, picket or boy­cott, or ban peo­ple who are ex­press­ing thoughts and con­fronting grief that, iron­i­cally, many of the pro­test­ers share.”

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