Udi Aloni said comments at Berlin Film Festival were directed at Israeli government, rather than at country he ‘loves’
Filmmaker Udi Aloni is interviewed at the Berlin Film Festival (YouTube screen grab)
An award-winning Israeli director has branded Israel’s government as “fascist” during a press conference at a film festival in Germany.
Udi Adoni won the audience award at the Berlin Film Festival at the weekend. During a question and answer session about his film Junction 48 he said Germany supported the “fascist regime of Israel”.
Israel’s Channel 10 News reported that the 56-year-old called Israel a “democracy of white people” and criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s support for Israel by saying: “Merkel does not mention the occupation and sells submarines to Netanyahu to continue such things.”
Aloni later told Channel 10 that his comments were aimed at the Israeli government and not his country, Israel, which he “loves”.
Aloni’s Junction 48 is a drama film telling the love story of two Palestinian rap artists who use music to challenge oppression in both Israeli and Palestinian societies.
The Israeli filmmaker said that “in contrast to the prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) … my movie spreads love and co-existence”.
The film is based on the life of Tamer Nafar, a Palestinian rapper who has previously labelled Israel a terrorist state.
Aloni said Nafar is “an amazing man” who has “from the beginning … sang about the fact that Israel is the real terrorist.”
Channel 10 News reported that Junction 48 received funding from Israel’s Culture Ministry. In response to the news, Miri Regev, Israeli minister of culture, said that Israel should not fund films that criticise the country in such a way.
Regev said Aloni’s statements were “clear proof that artists who subvert the state, defame it and hurt its legitimacy should not be funded by the taxpayer”.
“A sane country should not assist slanderers and denouncers who malign it, immediately after drinking from its coffers,” the minister said.