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Houston Funnels Tax Dollars To ‘Palestine Film Festival’ Featuring Film Glorifying Terrorist Who Murdered US Army Officer

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Gabe Kaminsky Investigative Reporter
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The city of Houston is bankrolling a pro-Palestine film festival screening a documentary that glorifies a convicted communist militant who murdered a U.S. Army officer, the Daily Caller News Foundation has confirmed.

The city is co-sponsoring the Houston Palestine Film Festival, a nonprofit “seeking to expose the 6 million inhabitants of the greater Houston area to Palestinian culture and identity through film.” The festival, which has taken place since 2007 and is screening the controversial documentary Saturday, received a $10,000 public grant in 2022, a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office told the DCNF. (RELATED: ‘Discrimination’ Petition Mark Ruffalo Blasted Out To Followers Was Crafted By Palestinian Group Linked To Terror Orgs)

“Fedayin” was released in 2020 and premiered in Lebanon. It centers around the life of a former leader of the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions (LARF), which was a Marxist-Leninist terror group founded after the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, another terror group, was dissolved.

LARF’s former leader, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 after murdering U.S. Army officer Charles R. Ray and Israeli Diplomat Yaakov Barsimentov in 1982 in France. The attack, which LARF reportedly claimed responsibility for, was committed in response to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

“Today, Georges Abdallah represents a strong figure of the revolutionary left and his career symbolizes an anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist heritage that is still alive today,” a spokesman for Collectif Vacarmes Films, which produced and directed the documentary, told the DCNF. “This is what we have tried to restore through this documentary film.”

Liora Rez, executive director of StopAntiSemitism, a watchdog probing anti-Israel behavior and related violence, told the DCNF her group is calling on city officials in Houston to “immediately rescind funding” of the film festival.

“American tax dollars should not fund propaganda films that glorify the murderer of a U.S. colonel,” she said.

The city of Houston told the DCNF that the funds allocated toward the film festival come from a portion of its Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue. The city imposes a 7% tax for hotels that operators have to pay, according to the Texas Comptroller.

“Houston Palestine Film Festival is a 2022 Festival grantee,” said a city spokeswoman. “Houston artists and nonprofits can apply for city funding through five competitive grant categories that are adjudicated through a peer and community-based process. Funded activities support the artists and nonprofit programs and experiences that are made available to residents and visitors of the City.”

A group called the Lebanese Campaign for the Liberation of Georges Abdallah has held screenings for “Fedayin.” The film plays a vital role in showcasing Abdallah’s freedom “case to international audiences” and breaks down “the walls of injustice that continue to keep him imprisoned in France, away from his homeland Lebanon,” according to the pro-Palestine media outlet Samidoun.

“Fedayin” was notably going to be screened at the University of British Columbia in Canada in December 2021 but the event was postponed “pending a safety and security review in accordance with university procedure.”

The film festival, which is also sponsored by the BIPOC Arts Network & Fund, did not respond to a request for comment.

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