NEW YORK – Today and earlier this week, the film American Revolutionary: the Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs was screened at a Tel Aviv Film Festival. On May 12, activist Grace Lee Boggs, actor Danny Glover, and several others featured in the film released a statement in support of boycotting Israel and in opposition to the film’s inclusion in the festival. In response, Marcie Natan, National President of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., released the following statement:
I was deeply disappointed to learn about this most recent call for a cultural boycott of Israel. Grace Lee Boggs is known and respected for her 70-year career as a writer and activist. Despite opposition from those involved in the film, the movie was screened at the DocAviv film festival and I suspect that the movie resonated with and inspired many Israeli viewers.
Tragically, proponents of these boycotts seek to isolate Israel in the realms where communication and collaboration are most essential. As a democracy, Israel boasts vibrant, independent academic and cultural spheres. Limits on academic and creative exchanges only hinder dialogue and cross-cultural understanding. Even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas himself has spoken out against boycotts of Israel as counterproductive.
Partnerships between Israelis and others have led to amazing technological innovations, medical advances and economic growth worldwide. I call on members of the academic, cultural, and business communities to speak out against boycotts of Israel and actively pursue partnerships that can better the world and support a future of peace in the Middle East.
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Date: 5/15/2014 12:00:00 AM