The statement's contained in an article in the leftist Aussie magazine New Matilda by pro-BDS Sydney academic Dr Nick Riemer regarding what he sees as the imperative of boycotting and demonstrating against the Israeli Film Festival in Sydney, which takes place this week.
It will be the 11th annual such festival, held under the auspices of the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE), and in the words of the Israeli ambassador to Australia, Shmuel Ben-Shmuel:
"The importance of cultural exchange in the development of strong bilateral ties is demonstrated clearly in the relationship between the State of Israel and Australia. The Australia Israel Cultural Exchange plays a vital role in promoting our respective cultures and therefore deepening the friendship between our two countries....
Israeli films present a unique perspective of our nation, and provide a unique insight into our vibrant national character and dynamic culture...."
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"Critics ... try to discredit the boycott on the grounds of its selectivity, claiming that it is incumbent on cultural boycotters not to limit their activism to Israel, but to protest against human rights abuses by, for example, China, Russia or Syria as well.
If these critics are genuine, let them organise boycotts or other protests against these states: we will gladly support them... But don’t criticize us for not simultaneously organizing demonstrations against everything.
It doesn’t invalidate the pro-Palestine movement that we don’t also have the time to fight all the other vital battles too ....
When Palestinians get justice, then we will turn our attention to other issues. For now, while we unreservedly condemn human rights abuses, genocide and colonial dispossession wherever they occur, we’re busy boycotting Israel." [Emphasis added]here, and with the Aussie BDS movement partly in mind, he observed earlier this year:
"The international BDS movement has always targeted, not just the Jewish population of the state of Israel, but also Jews worldwide who support the continued existence of Israel (whatever their political views on conflict resolution) as the political enemy....
[E]ven if most BDS advocates identify as opponents of racism, the fact remains that the core agenda of the BDS movement is anti-Semitic. The movement does not seek Israeli/Palestinian peace and reconciliation and/or the enhancement of Palestinian national and human rights by means of a two-state solution. Rather, it seeks to eliminate the existing Jewish State of Israel, and replace it with a new national state dominated by an Arab majority which I have called elsewhere a "Greater Palestine."....'As for the Israeli Film Festival, a commenter on Riemer's piece has a rather apt observation:
"At the very least films made in Israel are not the sort of Death porn so beloved of Hamas and those with a totalitarian heart like the usual suspects who will undoubtedly be delighted by another opportunity to dust off their usual barely disguised anti-Semitic memes."