Israel envoy slams filmmaker, a compatriot, over Kashmir Files remark: 'You have abused in worst way…'
Gilon said the filmmaker should be ashamed of his remark on Kashmir Files as it is “insensitive and presumptuous to speak about historic events before deeply studying them and which are an open wound in India.”
Israel ambassador to India Naor Gilon launched a scathing attack on his fellow countryman and filmmaker Nadav Lapid for calling 'The Kashmir Files' “propaganda” and "vulgar" at the 53rd International Film Festival of India. Gilon said that Lapid, who was the jury head at the IFFI 2022, should be ashamed of his remark on Kashmir Files as it is “insensitive and presumptuous to speak about historic events before deeply studying them and which are an open wound in India.” (Also Read | Who is Nadav Lapid, the IFFI jury head who called Kashmir Files ‘vulgar’?)
In a series of tweets, the Israeli envoy said he was “extremely hurt to see reactions in India to you that are doubting Schindler’s List, the Holocaust and worse.”
“I unequivocally condemn such statements. There is no justification. It does show the sensitivity of the Kashmir issue here.”
The ambassador accused Lapid of abusing the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges and the trust, respect and warm hospitality bestowed by them.
“In Indian culture they say that a guest is like God. You have abused in the worst way the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at @IFFIGoa as well as the trust, respect and warm hospitality they have bestowed on you.” Gilon said.
'The Kashmir Files' was screened at IFFI on November 22 as a part of the Indian Panorama Section. Lapid criticised the entry saying the jury was "disturbed and shocked" by the film and deemed it “inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.”
Lapid has been a vocal critic of Israel's treatment of Palestinians and, in one of his interviews, said the "Israeli collective soul is a sick soul." He was also among 250 Israeli filmmakers who signed an open letter to protest against the launch of the Shomron (Samaria/West Bank) Film Fund which they deemed had just one goal – inviting Israeli filmmakers to "actively participate in whitewashing the (West Bank) Occupation in exchange for financial support and prizes.”
Gilon advised the filmmaker to “feel free to use the liberty to sound your criticism of what you dislike in Israel but no need to reflect your frustration on other countries.”
“I’m not sure that you have enough factual basis to make such comparisons. I know I don’t,” he added.
“You will go back to Israel thinking that you are bold and “made a statement”. We, the representatives of Israel, would stay here. You should see our DM boxes following your “bravery” and what implications it may have on the team under my responsibility.”