Israeli documentary and crew disinvited from Dubai film festival

( The crew of an Israeli documentary, “Israel: A Home Movie,” was disinvited from the upcoming International Federation of Television Archives (IFTA) festival because the festival is going to be held in Dubai.

The film’s producer, Arik Bernstein, was notified by IFTA’s chairman that because the ceremony is taking place in Dubai—an Arab country that does not recognize Israel—and the film deals with Israeli history, it will not be shown at the event. Additionally, the film’s crew will not be allowed to attend the event and will be disqualified from winning any prizes, Haaretz reported.

“Israel: A Home Movie” uses archival and private footage to depict the story of Israel’s establishment during the mid-20th century.

This is not the first instance of controversy surrounding Israel and Dubai. In 2009, after international pressure, Dubai’s decision to ban Israeli tennis player Andy Ram was reversed, and he was allowed to compete in a tournament in Dubai despite anti-Israel opposition to his participation.

“Conferences and festivals such as this are designed to open and foster dialogue, and in my view it's scandalous that an international organization would succumb and boycott one of its members for reasons that have no connection to the conference's substance,” Bernstein told Haaretz.

The popular blog Elder of Ziyon is urging readers to contact IFTA’s sponsors to pull their sponsorship of the festival until the decision is reversed.

Posted on August 30, 2013 .