Mike Leigh cancels Israel trip over loyalty oath
Tuesday 19 October 2010
Mike Leigh, the British filmmaker, has cancelled a trip to Israel in protest against controversial plans to introduce an oath of loyalty for new non-Jewish citizens.
The bill, which was passed by Israel's Cabinet last week and has yet to be approved by the country's parliament, would require non-Jewish immigrants to pledge loyalty to a "Jewish and democratic" state. It has been criticised as discriminatory towards Israel's Arab minority.
Mr Leigh, 67, the award-winning director of Naked and Secrets & Lies who is himself Jewish, was due to participate in a film festival next month.
But in a letter to the school sponsoring the event, he said he already opposed Israel's policies on Gaza and called the loyalty oath the "last straw".
"I have become ever-increasingly uncomfortable about what would unquestionably appear as my implicit support for Israel were I to fulfil my promise and come," he wrote to Renen Schorr, director of the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem.
"I have absolutely no choice. I cannot come, I do not want to come, and I am not coming."
In his reply, which was published on the school's website, Mr Schorr said the "academic-cultural boycott of Israel" weakened rather than strengthened concern about humantarian issues among Israelis. "Boycotts and ostracism are the antithesis of dialogue," he wrote.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
- 5 Friends reunion: Jennifer Anniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits due to illness
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
Friends reunion: Jennifer Anniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Great British Bake Off embroiled in Baked Alaska 'sabotage' scandal
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >