Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rachel Corrie Flap: San Fran Jewish Film Festival

Oh dear, a bit of a much ado about nothing situation has arisen from the screening of a film that investigates the death of the American peace activist Rachel Corrie at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival...

Snippets from JTA:

SAN FRANCISCO (J. Weekly) -- If the Academy handed out an Oscar for community turmoil, the Rachel Corrie flap at this year’s San Francisco Jewish Film Festival would win handily.

Dissension in the local Jewish community continued unabated over the festival’s upcoming screenings of “Rachel,” a film that investigates the death of anti-Israel activist Rachel Corrie, and the festival's invitation to her mother, Cindy Corrie, to speak afterward.

On July 20, festival board president Shana Penn resigned from her post, citing “healthy differences on how to approach sensitive issues,” with five months left on a two-year term.

This came as a pro-Israel speaker was hastily added to the July 25 screening in San Francisco and as some sponsors criticized the festival’s program. Penn will continue to serve on the board. Vice president Dana Doron, a marketing and product development executive, has assumed the post of president.

Clearly the good Jews of San Fran (and anybody else who might attend the Festival) cannot trusted to watch such a film without being chaperoned by a pro-Israel speaker, undoubtedly there for the sole purpose of providing 'context' and 'balance' to Rachel 'Pancake' Corrie's already so much maligned death... Heaven forbid that anyone might draw the conclusion that Rachel died protesting a military occupation that is the root of much evil in the I-P conflict.

“Rachel” is a sympathetic portrait of the American pro-Palestinian activist who was killed in 2003 in Gaza while protesting a home demolition in front of an Israeli bulldozer.

Booking the film and Cindy Corrie for the festival has struck a nerve with some in the Jewish community, who believe the festival crossed a line into overtly anti-Israel propaganda. Some have called for a boycott of the festival, saying Corrie, and now her parents, worked to ostracize and delegitimize Israel.

In a statement released July 21, festival executive director Peter Stein apologized “for not fully considering how upsetting this program might be,” though he added that the festival stands by its decision to screen the film.

The apology was not good enough for many, who flooded local Jewish leaders and this newspaper with protest letters.

Screening a film about the death of a peace activist is 'overtly anti-Israel propaganda'... Tell me again how many Zionists and Israel apologists (Jewish or non-Jewish alike) aren't hell bent on suppressing any information that doesn't portray Israel in the We Rock! mode.

But it gets richer:

Sponsors of the festival also voiced their concerns. The Koret Foundation and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, each headed by philanthropist Tad Taube and self-described as “sister philanthropies,” issued a joint statement July 21. Koret and Taube, among dozens of sponsors of the S.F. Jewish Film Festival, criticized the festival for working with the American Friends Service Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace -- “two virulently anti-Israel, anti-Semitic groups” -- in co-presenting the film, for inviting Cindy Corrie to speak and for booking “Rachel” in the first place.

Jewish Voice for Peace, a virulently anti-Israel, anti-Semitic group...

Read the rest of the Rachel Corrie flap here, if you have the stomach for it...


Mondoweiss on the actual screening of the film and reactions to it.


At 5:37 AM, Blogger Frank Partisan said...

American Friends Service Committee is the activist wing of the Quackers, for goodness sakes. That's sure a hotbed of antisemitism.

It's powerful putting a human face to anti-Zionism, just as Neda has been a strong symbol.


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