The Israeli government has ordered the release of a film by a Palestinian filmmaker which critics have described as a thinly veiled attempt to silence a popular film by Israeli-Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti.
The film is entitled “Silence,” and it is a dramatization of Barghouts life as a young man in the occupied West Bank, and how he became a victim of Israeli violence and harassment during the 2006-2007 Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.
Barghoudi’s film was initially released in November to coincide with Barghououti’s 50th anniversary of the founding of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), but it has since been delayed and has been blocked by the Israeli authorities.
It is expected to come out on April 24, when Barghouthi will be in Israel for the 60th anniversary commemoration of the Nakba.
The decision by the Netanyahu government to prevent the film’s release comes as part of an escalating series of attacks on Palestinian filmmakers, and it highlights a disturbing trend in Israeli-controlled media, which is increasingly hostile to Palestinians and the Palestinian cause.
This week, for instance, the Israeli media was outraged by the arrest of Palestinian filmmaker Hala Abu El-Rajab, who was charged with terrorism offenses for filming in front of the Israeli parliament in Tel Aviv in October, the same month that Barghouli was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the Nakbah protests.
“It’s a huge victory for me, for my family, for the Palestinian people,” Barghroudi said of the release.
“This will open up a whole new dialogue for me and for my fellow activists, and hopefully, it will inspire people to continue to work on the issue and push the authorities to allow this film to be released.”
But even with the government’s intervention, “Silenced” will likely be delayed until at least April.
“I know that there are a lot of people who are going to want to see the film, who are ready to watch it, who want to read it, and who want it to be seen, and we want to give them the opportunity to do that,” Barhamouti said.
“We have to respect the law, but it’s also a matter of our life.”
This week’s decision comes after Israeli media outlets began publishing a series of articles critical of the film in recent weeks, with the headline, “Is Israel blocking a Palestinian film?”
“The Israeli government should take into consideration that its actions have created a climate of fear, intimidation, and intimidation,” said Palestinian filmmaker Issa Abou-Aziz.
“The censorship has been in the interests of the Jewish establishment, which wants to use the Nakbahs anniversary to bury and bury the Nakbdah.”
The article in the Hebrew-language newspaper Haaretz, for example, claimed that Barhamouts film was “filmed under the cover of darkness, to the exclusion of all the people, from the moment that the Nakbeids anniversary falls on April 18.”
In response, a number of prominent Israeli artists and film critics called for the film to not be released, including Barghourt, who said the film is “a very sad and difficult story.”
“I’m very sad that I can’t talk to my friends and my family,” Barghaouti told Al Jazeera.
“Silencing” is part of a wider wave of censorship in Israel, with several other films banned in recent months. “
And the world needs to know that the world has changed, and I hope that this will be an inspiration to all the Palestinian artists.”
“Silencing” is part of a wider wave of censorship in Israel, with several other films banned in recent months.
Earlier this year, a video by an Israeli man named Omer Amro, who had previously directed films for the state, was blocked from being released on Israeli television.
“Silent Films” and “Silences” were also blocked from reaching Israel, in accordance with a decision by Israeli authorities in April to stop issuing permits for films in the country.
The move followed the publication of a list of 100 films by the group Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) that were deemed to be “anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, and anti-Israel.”
In a letter to the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, BDS slammed the “films as propaganda” and said it is “deeply disappointed that Israel has chosen to block access to films by a number known to the BDS movement, including the director of ‘Silenced’ and ‘Silences.'”
“These are the same groups who have been working to destroy Palestinian filmmaking and artists in the West Bank,” said Amro.
“These actions will further isolate Palestinian artists and filmmakers and further weaken their ability to speak