Anti-Israel movie to be screened in U.N. General Assembly

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The Israeli government, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) are urging the United Nations General Assembly not to go through with plans to screen the anti-Israel film Miral Monday night in the main hall of the United Nations General Assembly.

“We are not aware of any other films with such contentious political content that have received this kind of endorsement from the president of the General Assembly,” said Israel’s deputy ambassador to the U.N., Haim Waxman.

The film, which shows the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through the eyes of an orphaned Palestinian, has been panned as Palestinian propaganda by critics such as The National Post’s Robert Fulford.

“Miral…is a piece of blatant propaganda that does all it can to denigrate Israel and arouse sympathy for radical Palestinians,” Fulford wrote. “It’s a chronicle of history without a trace of fairness: All Israelis are brutes; almost all Palestinians are angels and victims.”

The BBC reported Monday that U.N. spokesman Jean-Victor Nkolo has denied any political motivation in showing the film, noting that “several films have been shown at the U.N.”

Nonetheless, Israel supporters are outraged.

“To say the least, we were surprised to learn about this highly unusual premiere under the auspices of your office,” AJC Executive Director David Harris wrote in a letter Friday to Ambassador Joseph Deiss, President of the U.N. General Assembly. “The film has a clear political message, which portrays Israel in a highly negative light. Permit me to ask why the President of the General Assembly would wish to associate himself — and the prestige of his office — with such a blatantly one-sided event.”

In a letter to Deiss, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman expressed his deep concern over showing the highly one-sided film before the General Assembly.

“The screening of a film under the auspices of the Presidency of the General Assembly outside the context of any thematic program of events at the U.N. is an extraordinary event,” Foxman wrote. “We are not aware of a similar event having been presented. It is particularly troubling that through the presidency of the General Assembly you have chosen to sponsor and promote a film with a specific political point of view dealing with the history of a member state without providing an opportunity for a balanced presentation of another film which could have offered an alternative perspective for the consideration of members of the GA and other invited guests.”

The United Nations has a history of hostility toward Israel. If the General Assembly goes through with the screening, it will be added to the long list of anti-Israel actions the body has taken over the past 60 or so years.

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