Anti-Zionist director denied funds
Jerusalem Post 17/05/2007
Government-funded Rabinovitch Foundation will not participate in the financing of director Eyal Sivan’s Jaffa.
A fiercely anti-Zionist director will not receive taxpayer money to make a film for Israel’s next Independence Day, Ma’ariv reported Wednesday. According to the report, the government-funded Rabinovitch Foundation will not participate in the financing of director Eyal Sivan’s Jaffa, a proposed documentary that would have explored the changing public image of Israel and the Jaffa brand of oranges during the country’s six-decade history. The film, which had already received the approval of the Jerusalem Cinematheque and the Channel 8 documentary network, would have aired on Channel 8 near Israel’s 60th Independence Day next year. Opposition to the film grew ferociously last month after it was announced Sivan was the frontrunner among 10 directors seeking government funding for an Independence Day documentary. Born in Haifa and raised in Jerusalem, the director moved to France in the mid-1980s and has served as an increasingly vocal critic of Israel ever since. The director signed a public statement last summer blasting IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon and Kassam launchers in Gaza as examples of Israeli “brutality and cruelty.” Earlier this year, Sivan lectured at “Israeli Apartheid Week” in London, delivering a speech on “Zionism, Israeli Media and Rationalizing Racist Consciousness.” The controversial director hasn’t been without Israeli supporters, however. Israeli filmmakers were divided in their response Wednesday to the Rabinovitch Foundation’s decision, with some praising the announcement and others describing it as an infringement on Sivan’s freedom of speech.