Don’t try to rebrand Israel into a democracy

The Toronto International Film Festival has suffered international attack for highlighting Tel Aviv. The focus on apartheid Israel has arguably been positive for issues that the mainstream generally ignores.

The Toronto Declaration is a document of significance, not least due to the growing number of global figures attached to it:

The organizers of the Toronto Declaration – No Celebration of Occupation are pleased to announce that more than 1000 people from around the world—including many Israelis—have signed on in protest of TIFF’s City-to-City Spotlight on Tel Aviv. New signatories include music and cinematic legends Harry Belafonte and Julie Christie. Actor Viggo Mortensen, who will be attending this year’s festival, just added his name. Leading intellectual figures Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler and Anne McClintock have also recently endorsed the declaration, along with prominent Canadian writers Rawi Hage, Joy Kogawa, Dionne Brand, and Kerri Sakamoto. Celebrated local filmmakers Velcro Ripper, Min Sook Lee and Lynne Fernie have also signed the letter.

International support for the declaration continues to grow despite denunciations, unfounded personal attacks on earlier signatories Jane Fonda and Danny Glover, and despite an aggressive campaign of misinformation regarding the letter’s content.