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CANADIAN FILMMAKER ROBERT LANTOS TAKES PRINCIPLED STAND AGAINST IAW ACTIVIST AT YORK U'S UPCOMING FILM FESTIVAL

from Simon Weisenthal Centre in Toronto, posted September 24, 2011

 

 

[Editor's note: I have run this story because John Greyson was a speaker at both University of Manitoba and Winnipeg campuses during Israel Apartheid Week last year.]

Robert Lantos, one of Canada's most renowned filmmakers, whose movies have received multiple Golden Globe, Genies and Cannes Festival awards as well as Academy Award nominations, resigned during the summer from the jury of York University's upcoming CineSiege Film Festival because of its association with John Greyson, a radical anti-Israel act 

Greyson is a York University film professor and a vociferous anti-Zionist who tried to initiate a boycott of Israeli artists at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival; he was also a passenger on the Canadian ship "Tahrir ' trying to break Israel's embargo of Gaza this past spring.
 
In an email to the Chair of York's Film Department, Lantos wrote of Greyson, "He fraudulently attempted to use his podium to sabotage the free flow of ideas in order to promote his own prejudices," adding, ". . . As a film maker, I will not be involved with conferring laurels on any film that is associated with someone who takes a page from the fascist handbook to try and suppress works of art. As a Jew, I will not be associated with someone who promotes hate propaganda against my people."
 
Despite York's attempt to persuade him to reconsider, Mr. Lantos stood firm.
 
 "You and your students and faculty may be the collateral victims, but you are not helpless. There is action the University can take to protect you from your colleague's hate mongering. Silence is tantamount to consent - and it taints the innocent.
 
I spent my childhood in a country whose Jewish population was massacred. It all began with demonization, delegitimization, exclusions and boycotts - and the world was complicit through its silence.
 
I cannot afford to remain silent. Thus, with much regret, I confirm my resignation."
 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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