An English summary of the film on the Jerusalem Film Festival site reads, “Why do Israeli soldiers hate enforcing lockdowns, but just love the smell of a Molotov cocktail?”
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
The 37th annual Jerusalem Film Festival officially opened online last Thursday, with some 45 films scheduled to be screened via the internet, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But Channel 20 News reported that one film on the roster has a radical left-wing agenda, calling it a “breaking the silence” film.
The documentary “Mission: Hebron” highlights the stories of six former Israeli soldiers who served in Hebron, most of whom are associated with the left-wing Breaking the Silence organization.
Hebron has long been a flashpoint city in Judea and Samaria where violent clashes between Jews and Arabs are common. Hebron is considered the second holiest city in Judaism, second only to Jerusalem.
Currently, some 1,000 Jews and 210,000 Arabs live in Hebron. Jewish residents live in an enclave heavily guarded by IDF soldiers, within the 20% of Hebron that is designated as under Israeli control.
“In a studio setting, based on the duties defined in their military handbook, the six ex-soldiers describe their mission, both official and unofficial,” reads the film’s English summary.
“Official: protecting the Jewish community in Hebron. Unofficial: making the lives of Palestinian civilians impossible, using a range of sophisticated strategies.
“Footage documenting numerous appalling situations corroborates their compelling stories, from soldiers taking pot shots with rubber bullets and conducting humiliating searches of passersby to arresting 10-year-olds and turning entire households upside down….”
A different English summary of the film on the Jerusalem Film Festival site reads, “Why do Israeli soldiers hate enforcing lockdowns, but just love the smell of a molotov cocktail? How old was the youngest kid they have ever arrested, and what happened to him next?
“Mission: Hebron offers an unflinching guide to the most troubled city in the occupied West Bank.”
The Jerusalem Municipality told Channel 20, “The [film festival] is supported by the municipality according to [standards] and criteria, like 74 other cultural institutions in the city. The municipality does not interfere in artistic content and any questions can be directed to the director of the Cinematheque.”
Pro-Israel advocacy organization Im Tirztu blasted public institutions in a statement, saying, “It is sad to see that while the people of Israel are celebrating Hanukkah and marking the victory of the Jews over… foreign elements in the Land of Israel, a number of government ministries, the Jerusalem Municipality and Yad Vashem have found it appropriate to cooperate with those continuing their legacy.”
“It is about humiliation, waste of tax money and raising an anti-Zionist culture to a miracle. Apparently there is no limit to personal incompetence.”
Israel’s Ministry of Culture refused to comment on the matter.