A Democracy, but No Dissent

It’s one thing to not get funding in the first place, but for the Israeli Film Fund, a state run agency, to take it away because the film compares the Holocaust to the Occupation?! The only “democracy” in the Middle East strikes again, proving that dissent will not be tolerated. Now, Israel that doesn’t seem very democratic of you!

Oh well, at least it gives me hope that there are emerging voices working for justice in Israel. And makes me wonder why the translation for Popsicle is Eskimo?

Israeli film comparing Holocaust to occupation loses state funds
By Haaretz Service and City Mouse

The Israel Film Fund has ended its financial support for director Yonatan Segal’s new piece Odem, after learning that it compares Israel’s occupation of the West Bank to the Holocaust. Segal is best known as the star of the 1978 Israeli film Lemon Popsicle (Eskimo Lemon).

In an article published last Friday in Yedioth Ahronot, Israeli journalist Yair Lapid cited a passage from the marketing brochure for Odem, in which Segal wrote: “It took a lot to convince the Israel Film Fund that the occupation is worse than Israel has ever admitted too and that it is possible to compare the occupation to the Holocaust.”

Lapid took issue to this comment, and criticized the fact that such a film was receiving financial support from a government body. In the wake of Lapid’s article, the executive director of the Israel Film Fund announced that support for the film has been cut off.

Odem, which is currently being filmed, is a story that jumps in time and tells of two Palestinian women who decide to sneak into Jerusalem one night.

The Israel Film Fund pledged NIS 1.3 million for production of the film, and has already invested NIS 850,000 of that sum.


4 responses to “A Democracy, but No Dissent

  1. Democracy in scare quotes?

    Classy. Very classy.

  2. Opressing 3 million+ Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel and completely suppressing any open discourse or dissent is also incredibly classy.

  3. Brand names often wind up in Hebrew as the name for an entire item. “Eskimo” = “popsicle.”

    Anti-occupation sentiment in Israel is alive and well, and you might be surprised what you find.

  4. win win situation

    if the film fund would have refused to support the film you would say that there’s no freedom of speech or freedom of art in Israel, when the film fund let the money you cam smile and say “look Eskimo Lemon’s star compares the occupation to the holocaust”. there’s no need to compare something to the holocaust for saying that it’s wrong or evil, and i think that what you showed is that there’s a democracy in Israel after all. what the people of Egypt and Tunisia have just learnt any Israeli citizen Jewish or Arab could tell, it’s better to have democracy with some bad frogs (as Liberman and the ultra orthodox) than have no democracy and blame the neighbours at your own problems.
    by the way, with all the respect to Eskimo Lemon there are some beautiful Israeli films from the last few years, such: Waltz with Bashir, the Hangman, the Archive’s Silence, the Internal Grammar, Bena and many others. I don’t know where else could Ilya Sulieman to shoot a critical film as The Time That Remains (which is also great).

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