The mayor of Cadiz suspends the film cycle when it “contradicts the 2016 agreement to join the campaign ‘Espacio Libre de Apartheid Israelí’
The City of Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain, yesterday suspended in a surprising way the Israeli Film Cycle that began Tuesday in the Contemporary Culture Space (ECCO), a municipal facilities that has hosted two projections of this cultural initiative included in the official program of Culture of the City, which had convened and promoted and disseminated by the usual channels.
“The Contemporary Culture Space (ECCO) will host an exhibition of Israeli cinema on Tuesday, September 26 and next Friday 29, with the launch of a cycle of projections composed of four feature films. (…) With this cycle, ECCO continues with its program of dynamization of space. The activity is carried out in collaboration with the Israeli Embassy in Spain. The opening ceremony on Tuesday will be attended by the director of cultural projects of the Israeli Embassy in Spain, Jesús Arcos García.
The cycle began with the screening of the film Good Morning, Mr. Fidelman, by Yossi Madmoni. On Wednesday, Gay Nativ’s The Flood was screened. And on Thursday, the City of Cadiz issued a brief statement announcing the suspension of the cycle, alleging that the same “contradicts the agreement to join the campaign” Space Free Apartheid Israel “, which the City of Cadiz “acceded by an agreement of Board of Government on August 12, 2016.”
It is an international campaign of “boycott, divestitures and sanctions against Israeli colonization, apartheid and occupation”, an initiative in solidarity with Palestine, according to the website ‘boicotaisrael.net’.
Jesús Arcos García, who went to Cadiz to inaugurate the cycle last Tuesday, and is coordinator of Israeli cultural projects in Spain, such as the Jewish Film Festival of Barcelona, which also takes place during the month of September.
On the sudden suspension, he underlined that “can not be understood”, and acknowledges that from the Embassy “we are upset.” The suspension of the cycle leaves without projecting two tapes, ‘The matchmaker’, of the director Avi Nesher; and Roi Werner’s “2 Night,” from the four films that made it up, which were awarded at different festivals. The municipal website continues to show the cycle information as current.
Response of the Israeli Embassy in Spain
Press release from the Israeli Embassy
Repulsed by the cancellation of the Film Series
Israeli by the City of Cadiz
Madrid, September 29, 2017
The Israeli Embassy in Spain wants to make public its repulsion by the decision of the City Council of Cadiz to cancel the Israeli Film Cycle that was taking place since last Tuesday, September 26 in the ECCO (Contemporary Cultural Space), dependent on the city council.
In a note sent yesterday to the media, the Culture Delegate of the City of Cadiz, Eva Tubío, announced the suspension of the Israeli film cycle for being in “contradiction with the agreement to join the” boycott Israel “campaign adopted by the Local Government Board of the City of Cadiz in a session held on August 12, 2016.
The suspension of the Israeli Film Series is an act of cultural censorship based on political criteria, something that reminds us of dark times in contemporary history.
We consider it unacceptable that public institutions in a friendly country adopt measures to dictate anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic organizations. The organizations and campaigns dedicated to boycotting Israel do nothing to advance the road to peace between Israel and the Palestinians and aim to demonize not only the state or government of Israel but also all its citizens and their manifestations cultural, artistic, etc.
We regret that the Mayor of Cadiz has endorsed this decision that is against the interest that had been expressed in inviting Israeli companies to their city in order to create employment. This sectarian and isolationist policy is against the objective of attracting investments in the city, being the citizens of Cadiz the main disadvantaged.
The Cinema Cycle consisted of four fiction feature films that have had an extensive tour of different European festivals. Before the suspension, two of the four films had been screened. Culture and art are and should serve to establish bridges and links between peoples.
The Israeli Embassy will continue to work to strengthen cultural, artistic, tourist, scientific, technological and economic relations with Cadiz and its citizens.