Anti-Israel propaganda films to be featured at NY Jewish film festival

Documentaries with clear anti-Israel messages and shaky facts to be screened at New York film festival.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

Several films demonizing the Jewish state are set to be featured during the Other Israel film festival, which will be screened at the Marlene Meyerson Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Manhattan, New York.

Israeli filmmaker Alon Schwarz’s documentary Tantura will debut at the festival. The film charges that in 1948, Israeli soldiers massacred Arabs in a coastal village near Zichron Ya’akov and that the mass killing was later covered up.

Schwarz admitted in a recent Haaretz article that his ”film doesn’t focus on the question of whether 12, 20 or 200 people were killed in Tantura” and argues that the actual facts of the massacre – such as the number of people who were allegedly murdered – is irrelevant.

Prominent Israeli historian Benny Morris revealed in an October op-ed for Haaretz that Schwarz had interviewed him on camera for two to three hours while making the film. Morris said that he was surprised to see that he didn’t appear in the final cut of the movie, attributing his absence to the fact that he disproved many of Schwarz’s claims in the film.

“To me it is clear that he simply didn’t like what I said, because my comments weren’t compatible with the narrative about Tantura that he wanted to sell his viewers: a sensational, earthshaking tale – ‘the Jews behaved like Nazis’ – that would garner him extensive publicity and perhaps even prizes from so-called Israel lovers abroad,” wrote Morris.

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Another film set to make its North American debut at the Other Israel film festival is H2: The Occupation Lab.

A synopsis of the documentary, which is set in Hebron, explains that the movie covers the “policy of ethnic separation implemented by the military.” How Hebron has become “the test site for the methods of control Israel is implementing throughout the West Bank” is also a focus of the film.

The synopsis does have a vague reference to the “1929 massacre” of local Jews by Arabs, calling it “year zero” of the conflict. However, the synopsis pointedly avoids naming the perpetrators and the victims of the incident.

The festival’s organizers claim that airing the movies is important for sparking conversation about the Jewish State among diaspora communities.

“With Israel once again in an election year, the importance of amplifying messages of social change through these films feels more needed than ever,” Isaac Zablocki, executive director of the festival and JCC Manhattan’s senior director of film programs, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) in a statement.