The recent controversy over the Toronto International Film Festival’s decision to spotlight films from Tel Aviv this year, had some parallels to the Ken Loach boycott of the Melbourne Film Festival over an Israel link.
Naomi Klein, an outspoken Canadian Jewish activist who has been a leader of anti-Israel activity including Boycott moves, helped organise a letter and signatures criticising the spotlight on Tel Aviv’s films. The Festival organiser stood up admirably against this push, calling it a threat on free speech.
Canadian Broadcasting Service has a podcast of an interview with Naomi Klein and a counterargument from Israeli/Canadian Simcha Jacobovici – it is listed here, with the interview occurring on September 11.
The radio exchange is worth listening to, not primarily because it confirms the fluency of Naomi Klein and her ability to frame an anti-Israel line in a palatable way for “progressives”, (although that is useful to listen to), but because of the excellent, strong pro-Israel arguments used by Jacobovici. His arguments very much cut down Naomi to something Klein (small). To read more about Jacobovici’s impressive film career see here.
The above interview reference was noted in the comments section of the excellent Engage website. For more about the Festival maneuverings and Naomi Klein’s tactics see this comprehensive review on Jewlicious. Since Klein enjoys a favoured reputation among the anti-Israel brigade, here are a couple more links, including a critical review of her book The Shock Doctrine, and a discussion between Naomi Klein and Alan Greenspan.