A man of principle who dares to take a stand when saying and doing nothing (and getting a free trip) is so much easier:
Leigh said he was not prepared to take part in the “great masters” programme at the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem. In a letter to school director Renen Schorr, he cited several of Israel’s policies, including the oath, which would require non-Jews seeking Israeli citizenship to pledge allegiance to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state”.
“As you know, I have always had serious misgivings about coming, but I allowed myself to be persuaded by your sincerity and your commitment,” Leigh wrote. “And it is because of those special qualities of yours that I am especially sorry to have to let you down. But I have absolutely no choice. I cannot come, I do not want to come, and I am not coming.
“Eight weeks after our lunch, the Israeli attack on the flotilla took place. As I watched the world very properly condemn this atrocity, I almost cancelled. I now wish I had, and blame my cowardice for not having done so.
“Since then, your government has gone from bad to worse. I need not itemise all that has taken place … I still had not faced up to the prospect of pulling out until a few weeks ago, but the resumption of the illegal building on the West Bank made me start to consider it seriously. And now we have the Loyalty Oath.
“This is the last straw – quite apart from the ongoing criminal blockade of Gaza, not to mention the endless shooting of innocent people there, including juveniles …”