The Morally Void Cultural Boycott of Israel

Jonathan Tobin and I have written of the appalling decision, by organizers of a European music festival, to ban an American Jewish performer, merely because he refused to issue a public statement in favor of Palestinian statehood. (Update: the festival has backed down, admitting that it “made a mistake, due to the boycott and the campaign of pressure, coercion, and threats employed by the BDS País Valencià.”) Now comesnews, from the New York Times(though Ynet was on it last week), of another allegedly unintended but utterly predictable consequence of the cultural boycott of Israel. Roy Zafrani’s film, The Other Dreamers, about disabled children in Israel, has been rejected from Oslo’s Human Rights, Human Wrongs festival because Zafrani is Israeli. As Ketil Magnussen, founder of the Oslo Documentary Cinema explained, “we support the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.” For that reason, the festival will not show films by Israelis that do not deal directly with illegal discrimination against Palestinians.”