Israeli Consul Claims Two Critical Oscar Nominees Prove Diversity of Opinion

Diplomat Hits '5 Broken Cameras' Director for Boycott Call

‘Broken’ Boycott: Israel’s top diplomat in Los Angeles tactfully said two documentaries that harshly criticize his government are evidence of Israel’s vibrant democracy. He did slam the maker of ‘5 Broken Cameras’ for supporting a boycott of Israel.
getty images
‘Broken’ Boycott: Israel’s top diplomat in Los Angeles tactfully said two documentaries that harshly criticize his government are evidence of Israel’s vibrant democracy. He did slam the maker of ‘5 Broken Cameras’ for supporting a boycott of Israel.

By Nathan Guttman

Published February 22, 2013, issue of March 01, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

David Siegel needed all his diplomatic skills to make lemonade out of the lemons handed to him by the Oscar-nominated documentaries ‘The Gatekeepers” and “5 Broken Cameras.”

The Israeli Consul General in Los Angeles acknowledged that both films criticize the government’s policies toward the Palestinians, but asserted that they underscore Israel’s diversity of opinion and freedom of expression.

“We can be proud of the open democratic political discourse we have in Israel,” Siegel said.

‘5 Broken Cameras’ tells the story of a West Bank village’s life under Israeli occupation. “The Gatekeepers” includes startling criticism of Israel’s policies by a string of highly placed security insiders.

Despite his effort to put a positive spin on the movies’ Oscars nods, Siegel did lash out at Guy Davidi, co-creator of “5 Broken Cameras” for backing an international boycott on Israel in order to force it to end the occupation.

“This is a cynical PR maneuver aimed at promoting the movie’s chances to win an Oscar,” said David Siegel, Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles. In a Thursday interview Siegel went on to ask whether Davidi’s call for a boycott “would also include the Israeli funds that provided support to his movie.”

The creators of “5 Broken Cameras,” Davidi, who is an Israeli, and Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat, made clear from the outset they do not view their movie as representing Israel and would refuse any attempt by Israeli government officials to embrace their success.

This made life somewhat easier for Siegel. Utilizing trademark diplomatic language, he said that since the producers do not want to be associated with Israel, there is no need for the Israeli government to accept the film as representing Israel.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • What do a Southern staple like okra and an Israeli favorite like tahini have in common? New Orleans chef Alon Shaya brings sabra tastes to the Big Easy.
  • The Cossacks were a feature in every European Jewish kid's worst nightmare. Tuvia Tenenbom went looking for the real-life variety in Ukraine — but you won't believe what he found. http://forward.com/articles/202181/my-hunt-for-the-cossacks-in-ukraine/?
  • French Jews were stunned when an anti-Israel mob besieged a synagogue outside Paris. What happened next could be a historic turning point.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.