I have been following the brouhaha over the Toronto film festival and its part in promoting Brand Israel, it is notable that opponents of the Toronto declaration misrepresent what it says and attack it with strawmen arguments. It is doubly disappointing that a raft of Hollywood notables then signed up to protest the protest, again repeating the fictional claim of a blacklist. It is a triumph of marketing and an abject failure of those signing the protest against protest to engage with the actual Toronto Declaration and not its fictionalised bogeyman. One could play similar games (although with arguably more credibility), one could say the celebrities protesting the protest are supporting apartheid, that historically this makes them similar to those who supported the apartheid regime of South Africa and ensured Nelson Mandela remained imprisoned. It’s not really helpful to go for that kind of hyperbole even though what I have just written is more truthful that the pro-Israel PR attack on the Toronto Declaration. That is why it is disappointing when clearly intelligent and talented creative people lend their support to an effort to sink the debate to that disingenuous level. The reason for lowering the issues to fictional mud slinging is because in the sharp light of day it is evident Israel enacts polices more extreme than the Bush/Cheney reign and the Toronto Film Festival worked with the Israeli government to put a shiny spin on it. As for issues of career in lining up to sign the protest against the protest, well we all make our choices and have to live with them, I’m sure readily available drugs help with that, as ever.
The world is shifting and unthinking US elite support of the Israeli regime is making them a laughing stock and for some a pariah. It is perhaps predictable for an empire entering its bloody decline that its corporate mass media is also similarly uninformed and irrelevant to global citizens. No wonder a film about evolution was not bought for the US market. (But hey I’m not proud, I’m thinking instead … Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens in Adam & Eve- Creation Musical! That’s all kinds of retarded Awesome-all the way to the bank! Or Miley Cyrus & Seth Rogen in Samson & Delilah, Smackdown!)
NB. Some of those signing the blacklist advertisement are conservatives, so I expect little of them as they have their own problems, it is the notionally progressive signers who are bewildering in their (wilful?) blind spot when it comes to Israeli policies, human rights and Palestine. It is also noticeable that the signers of the Toronto Declaration are more diverse and less wealthy than the signers of the ‘We don’t need another blacklist’ advertisement, so it goes.