(JTA) — In an unusual move, Israel’s ambassador to France criticized in harsh terms a French-German television channel’s nixing of a documentary on anti-Semitism.
The decision, announced last week by the state-funded Arte channel citing the film’s alleged focus on Muslim countries, is “an obfuscation of information and an encroachment on the public’s right to information,” Ambassador Aliza Bin-Noun wrote in an open letter addressed to Véronique Cayla, the president of Arte’s France division. The letter was publishedWednesday by the Actualite Juive weekly.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry rarely comments publicly on content in the media of friendly countries that does not involve Israel directly.
Arte’s program director, Alain le Diberder, told Deutsche Welle that his channel decided not to air the program because its creators, Joachim Schroeder and Sophie Hafner, had said the documentary would focus on anti-Semitism in Europe, whereas in reality it ended up dealing mainly with the phenomenon in the Arab world.
The prevalence of violent attacks and hate speech against Jews increased 17 years ago across Western Europe, reaching levels that had previously not been observed since the end of World War II.