WASHINGTON (JTA) — The municipality of Takoma Park, a Maryland suburb of Washington D.C., is screening as part of a free documentary series, “Occupation of the American Mind,” an anti-Israel film narrated by Roger Waters.
“‘Occupation of the American Mind is a captivating documentary that reveals how the Israeli government, U.S. government, and pro-Israel lobbying groups have engaged in a decades-long propaganda campaign to shape American media coverage of Israel and its occupation of Palestinian lands,” says a blurb on Culture SpotMD, a culture website paid for in large part by Montgomery County, where Takoma Park is situated. Narrating it is Roger Waters, the Pink Floyd member who has become a leading advocate of boycotting Israel.
According to Takoma City’s website, the film is being screened June 13 as part of the town’s “We Are Takoma” free cultural event series, taking place in its community center.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington asked the municipality, which includes a thriving Jewish community, to reconsider showing the film.
“Regardless of the fact that there is a disclosure saying that ‘the views expressed in the film are those of the filmmakers and don’t necessarily represent the views of officials or staff in the City of Takoma Park government,’ for a government to use taxpayer funds to present a one-sided, highly contentious, and highly biased film as part of a “cultural series” of presentations is short-sighted, highly problematic, and frankly discriminatory against the mainstream Jewish community,” said the letter sent Friday to Takoma Park’s mayor and council.