We’re reaching out for your help. Over the past 36 hours, TLVFest, Tel Aviv’s annual LGBTQ Film Festival, has been unfairly attacked by Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) activists. A South African film director succumbed to pressure from BDS activists and cancelled his participation in TLVFest at the last minute, citing “Israel apartheid.” Two other directors have since followed suit.
TLVFest released a statement in response to BDS pressure, which includes the following:
“The claim that TLVFest is “pinkwashing” the suffering of the Palestinian people is complete nonsense and an absolute disregard of our festival’s films and their content. Our festival was created out of a response to social injustice: the LGBT community, much like the Palestinian community, lacks visibility.”
A Wider Bridge is proud to be a recurring sponsor of TLVFest, and is looking forward to hosting Evan Wolfson and screening the Israeli premiere of Eddie Rosenstein’s Documentary, “The Freedom To Marry,” on June 8th at the Tel Aviv Cinemateque.
There is nothing to be gained through the pressure and censorship of LGBTQ artists and their work. Far from a “pinkwashing” campaign, TLVFest is a platform that promotes open dialogue and the exchange of ideas, and includes directors and filmgoers that are LGBTQ and allies, Israelis, Palestinians, and communities around the world. Ultimately, both the causes of LGBTQ rights and Israeli-Palestinian peace will be achieved when our societies learn to recognize and accept “the other.” The boycott movement in both cases only serves to take our communities backward and drive us apart.
Tomorrow, A Wider Bridge kicks off our 7th annual LGBTQ Leadership Mission to Israel, featuring 30 U.S. leaders in politics, advocacy, the media and culture (including several community leaders involved in US LGBTQ Film Festivals), to educate them about Israel and its LGBTQ movement. Through our trips, we are growing US support for great organizations like TLVFest, and giving our participants the experience and knowledge to constructively engage their local communities with Israel and LGBTQ Israelis.
Below, we invite you to support TLVFest to ensure Israel’s premiere LGBTQ cultural festival has the support and resources to thrive.
If you’re in Tel Aviv:
- Show up and invite your friends. Join A Wider Bridge and Evan Wolfson for “The Freedom to Marry” screening on June 8th at 8:00 p.m.at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. Proceeds from tickets support the important work of TLVFest and can be purchased here. A full schedule of screenings can be found here.
If you’re not local:
- Support TLVFest. to ensure the festival’s success this year and well into the future. Donations can be completed here.
- Support A Wider Bridge. Our strategies of engagement, advocacy and philanthropy are advancing LGBTQ equality in Israel, and equality forIsrael. If you’re not yet a 2017 Member, please consider joining today.