Jane Fonda joins boycott of Toronto film festival over homage to Israel
  Jane Fonda, Danny Glover and Eve Ensler have joined the growing list of artists who are boycotting the Toronto film festival over a program honoring Tel Aviv’s 100th anniversary, gossip blogger Perez Hilton reported on Friday.

The three have added their names to a letter aimed at festival officials claiming that Tel Aviv was built on violence, ignoring the “suffering of thousands of former residents and descendants,” Hilton reported.

Several Israeli films are being screened at the festival’s new City to City event, which this year celebrates Tel Aviv’s centennial.

Culture critic Naomi Klein and director John Greyson are among those who had already announced their protest over the homage to Tel Aviv.

Two-time Oscar winner Rabbi Marvin Hier, who founded the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called the boycott “an attack on the heart and soul of Israel.”

“People who support letters like this are people who do not support a two-state solution,” he was quoted as saying on Hilton’s blog.

“By calling into question the legitimacy of Tel Aviv, they are supporting a one-state solution, which means the destruction of the State of Israel. I applaud the organizers of the festival for celebrating on the 100th anniversary of Tel Aviv. If every city in the Middle East would be as culturally diverse, as open to freedom of expression as Tel Aviv is, then peace would long have come to the Middle East.”

Fonda, 72, rose to fame as an actress in the 1960s, but has since become known for her political activism, including her opposition to the Vietnam and Iraq wars.

Glover, who is probably best known for co-starring with Mel Gibson in the four Lethal Weapon movies, has also been politically active since his student days. He made headlines in 2006 when he traveled to Venezuela with a group of celebrities to show solidarity with president Hugo Chavez.

Ensler, whose father is reportedly Jewish, is an American playwright and activist who wrote The Vagina Monologues.



  1. William said,

    September 5, 2009 at 15:37

    As long as Israel “calls into question” MY Spiritual and Human EQUALITY with “GOYIM, SHISHKA, GENTILE”, I shall question theirs. Israel is like a Southern Slave Owner mad at Abolitionists for questioning his “ownership”, and, amazingly, Israel ALIGNED itself with Apartheid South Africa and continues to carry on those bigoted practices.

  2. Norman G Smith said,

    September 5, 2009 at 15:45

    Thank God some people still have a conscience. Most people are too timid to call Israel on it’s racist atrocities, apartheid, warmongering and baby killing.

    As a Canadian who supports diversity: I find the whole concept of a “Jewish State” that openly discriminates against non-Jews is something that no person of conscience should have anything to do with – let alone celebrate over it.

    If someone tried to form a “Jewish only” city in Canada they would be criminally charged for violating the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Shame on the Toronto Film Festival for supporting a violent Apartheid Regime.

  3. No Name said,

    September 5, 2009 at 16:04

    They have guts.

  4. Sephardi said,

    September 5, 2009 at 16:20

    Letter to TIFF posted at rabble.ca:

    “We protest that TIFF, whether intentionally or not, has become complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine.

    In 2008, the Israeli government and Canadian partners Sidney Greenberg of Astral Media, David Asper of Canwest Global Communications and Joel Reitman of MIJO Corporation launched “Brand Israel,” a million dollar media and advertising campaign aimed at changing Canadian perceptions of Israel. Brand Israel would take the focus off Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and its aggressive wars, and refocus it on achievements in medicine, science and culture. An article in Canadian Jewish News quotes Israeli consul general Amir Gissin as saying that Toronto would be the test city for a promotion that could then be deployed around the world. According to Gissin, the culmination of the campaign would be a major Israeli presence at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. (Andy Levy-Alzenkopf, “Brand Israel set to launch in GTA,” Canadian Jewish News, August 28, 2008.)”


  5. Joe Gall said,

    September 5, 2009 at 16:37

    I am boycotting TIFF until its boss class scumbags denounce and repudiate zionism.

  6. Appolonius of Ottawa said,

    September 5, 2009 at 17:01

    Your reporting above states: Two-time Oscar winner Rabbi Marvin Hier, who founded the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called the boycott “an attack on the heart and soul of Israel.”

    And I agree with him. The boycott is an attack on the dastardly heart and twisted soul of Israel.

    Now for today’s pop quiz. The UN declaration that “created” the state of Israel, also created another state at the same time. Name that state!

  7. 5ds said,

    September 5, 2009 at 17:28

    well, something is better than nothing.

    now say, “israel has no right to exist.”

  8. Aufzuleiden said,

    September 5, 2009 at 18:15

    It is a good thing that Jane Fonda is lending her celebrity to such a worthy cause, but, unfortunately, mainstream America will likely not pay much attention for many reasons, not the least of which being that Fonda’s reputation for becoming embroiled in meaningful campaigns is always tainted by the caveat that she represents the ‘radical left’ – a claim that is harped upon by the heartless, conscienceless, unfeeling right-wing extremists who don’t see anything wrong with the status quo. All they see is the woman who stood up against the war in Vietnam (oh, that was so bad, right) and spoke out against senseless death, along with millions of other like-minded Americans.

    This movement – this boycott – needs far more teeth than can be provided by Ms. Fonda and other celebrities who might find the deaths of Palestinians something worth fighting against. Until that happens, until the number of people opposed to the violence of Zionism rises above those willing to throw their support in with it as a part of their false belief that it meshes with Christianity, nothing will change. Christo-Zionism is the greatest threat to the Palestinian people next to the Zionists themselves – having the financial support from the millions of middle-class (mostly) American evangelicals cannot hurt a nation that is largely dependent upon the patronage of their own people, and state sponsored charity.

    The need to educate people about the necessity of this boycott is something that transcends the issues of celebrity. It is important to reach out to people and tell them that purchasing goods from Israel is tantamount to sending bullets there, it is the same thing as putting the round into the sniper’s gun that is then used to kill the innocent women or child – killed by ‘accident’ – by highly trained IDF soldiers.

    I find it disturbingly odd that there are so many ‘accidental’ deaths committed by soldiers who are, ostensibly, the best trained in the world. IDF soldiers travel to the United States to train with Americans, to share their experiences with ‘urban warfare’ with the Americans – if this is the type of experience being traded it’s of no surprise that there have been so many ‘accidental’ deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the deaths of friendlies.

    As the saying goes, you sow what you reap. Train with murderers and murderers you shall become.

    Wie viel ist aufzuleiden!

  9. Dave Gregg said,

    September 5, 2009 at 19:23

    (The average answer from an American) Uummm… huh… uuhhh… Hawaii? That’s a state right?

    (The average answer from the rest of the world) Why Palestine of course.

  10. September 5, 2009 at 21:37

    […] JANE FONDA GIVES A BOOST TO THE ISRAELI BOYCOTT « Desertpeace. September 5th, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized | Leave a comment | […]

  11. Ben Johnson said,

    September 5, 2009 at 22:30

    Good for them. What courage! I hope they know there are millions of us who support what they’re doing here. Honoring Tel Aviv’s birthday is like honoring ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

    Way to go guys!

  12. crimethink3r said,

    September 6, 2009 at 00:57

    This is the best news I’ve read in weeks.

  13. barone said,

    September 6, 2009 at 14:32

    Miss Fonda is truly an Amrican hero. Most movie stars are afraid to speak up against Israel, lest their film careers would be shortened as Mel Gibson’s career was. As Miss Fonda has Italian parentage, wouldn’t it be a powerful gesture if Italians all over the United States took the same stance as Jane and boycotted everything Israeli until they renounced Israel’s apartheit policies in Palestine? Italians would surely be doing a great service to our own country, the good ol’ USA at the same time.

  14. Tim said,

    September 6, 2009 at 16:00

    Maybe they should all leave America since it was built on violence also. tens(hundreds?), of thousands of native peoples were murdered, mutilated and tortured and are now forced to live in refugee camps, oh excuse me Reservations and are completely ignored by people like Fonda and her ilk

  15. TruthSeeker said,

    September 6, 2009 at 16:29

    Appolonius of Ottawa said:
    Now for today’s pop quiz. The UN declaration that “created” the state of Israel, also created another state at the same time. Name that state!
    You mean Resolution 181? The one was OPPOSED by the Arabs?

  16. qc said,

    September 6, 2009 at 18:44

    Name that state!

    Would the land of that State be the West Bank (stolen by Jordon), the Sinai (grabbed by Egypt) and the Golan Heights (whisked away by Syria)? That land ?

  17. fritzz said,

    September 7, 2009 at 14:45

    Thank God I thought I was the only one seeing what Israel is doing….they are the most racist people on this messed up planet

  18. Tom Bosnan said,

    September 8, 2009 at 11:37

    I m glad that there is alot of true honorable Americans like Jane fonda and Dany Glover!
    Just becasue We are Americans dosnt mean that we are blind to what Israel Goverment is doing to millions of Palestians..Way to go guys, Hope all the public is educated that Israel is a country that is baseless…

  19. Aufzuleiden said,

    September 8, 2009 at 19:02

    To #13 – barone – pray tell, how was Mel Gibson’s career at all effected by the expression of his ideas? He became the director of a multi-million dollar grossing blockbuster that was, quite frankly, a piece of crap as far as its relation to scripture. ‘The Passion of the Christ’ and his next movie, whatever the name that was, have made Gibson rich – despite the fact that he has espoused Antisemitic and racist things while under the influence of alcohol (not to mention the extra-scriptural garbage that could be interpreted as being Antisemitic and overtly racist in the ‘Passion’ which was also gratuitously violent).

    If Gibson has ever spoken out about the rights of any group it certainly hasn’t influenced his box office receipts. The man never even disavowed the racist remarks made by his father prior to the release of the ‘Passion’.

    Jane Fonda, on the other hand, has experienced career ramifications for her political stances; after her ‘Hanoi Jane’ days she had great difficulty getting leading roles in Hollywood, becoming virtually blacklisted by producers. I doubt that Mel Gibson has ever had any difficulty finding a project to star in or develop since his career took off (Mad Maxx franchise) – he’s been writing his own ticket quite well since starring in the ‘Lethal Weapon’ franchise and anything else that has crossed his path and interested him. He only works when he wants to, spending the rest of his time on his large property.

    Wie viel ist aufzuleiden!

  20. John Clarke said,

    September 10, 2009 at 16:12

    It is John Greyson who is politicizing TIFF and abusing it for his own political ends.

    I wonder if John Greyson’s big public hissy fit about TIFF has anything to do with him being on the Advisory Board of the Toronto Palestinian Film Festival and always pushing for a world-wide boycott of anything even remotely related to Israel?

    Knowing what TIFF’s plans were, one wonders why he waited to the last moment to withdraw, rather than just in the beginning many months ago withdrawing?

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