Boy­cotter Loach at­tends anti-racism sport event

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JESSICA ELGOT

THE DI­REC­TOR of Show Racism the Red Card (SRRC) has de­fended the in­clu­sion of anti-Is­rael film di­rec­tor Ken Loach at its re­cent an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

Foot­ball agent Jeff We­ston said he was shocked to re­ceive an in­vi­ta­tion to SRRC’ s 15th an­niver­sary event, only to find Mr Loach would be one of the guests of hon­our. The char­ity works to com­bat racism in sport.

The di­rec­tor has put pres­sure on the film in­dus­try to boy­cott Is­raeli films. Last year, he threat­ened to pull out of the Edinburgh In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val un­less or­gan­is­ers re­turned a £300 do­na­tion from the Is­raeli Em­bassy.

Mr We­ston said: “It’s amaz­ing that an anti-Is­rael pro­pa­gan­dist at­tended the event. It’s some­thing to­tally inap- pro­pri­ate. Af­ter his be­hav­iour at the Edinburgh Film Fes­ti­val, he’s not ex­actly the best rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the cause they are pro­mot­ing.”

Ged Grebby, SRRC’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: “Ken Loach has been a com­mit­ted sup­porter of our cam­paign. I do not ac­cept any al­le­ga­tions that he is an­tisemitic. We are not here to de­fend ev­ery­thing that Ken Loach says, but as far as I am con­cerned, we would never in­vite any­one whom we were wor­ried held those kind of views.

“We have l ed many c a mpaigns a g a i n s t an­ti­semitism, we spoke out against the abuse of Avram Grant when he was man­ager of West Ham, and chants against [Is­raeli foot­baller] Yossi Be­nay­oun. We also work with Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Day and do work­shops on the Holo­caust. This or­gan­i­sa­tion has no truck with an­ti­semitism.”

PHOTO: AP

Ken Loach

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