London theatre ends relationship with Israel-sponsored Jewish festival
London’s Tricycle Theatre has decided to end its relationship with the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) over the UKJFF’s sponsorship by the Israeli embassy, the Times of Israel reported.
Jonathan Levy, the chairman of the Tricycle – an independent theatre and cinema in Kilburn, northwest London – said in a statement:
Given the present situation in Israel/Palestine, and the unforeseen and unhappy escalation that has occurred over the past three weeks, including a terrible loss of life, the Tricycle cannot be associated with any activity directly funded or supported by any party to the conflict.
The Tricycle will be pleased to host the UKJFF provided that it occurs without the support or other endorsement from the Israeli government.
In mid-July the Tricycle informed the UKJFF that it was unhappy about hosting the festival if it received Israeli embassy funding. The theatre offered to replace that funding with money from its own resources, but the UKJFF declined.
In an unconvincing attempt to explain why the UKJFF rejected the offer of funding from the Tricycle, Simon Johnson, Chief Executive of Britain’s Jewish Leadership Council, an Israeli stooge organisation, said there are “unavoidable and indelible connections between Jewish culture and Israel”, omitting to mention that the same “Israel” belonged to the Palestinians until it was ethnically cleansed and stolen by European Jews in 1948. “It is right and appropriate that the Israeli embassy would offer small support for an event that promoted Jewish culture,” Johnson added.
The UKJFF had planned to hold at least 26 of it films at the Tricycle, including six high profile gala events. At the time the the Tricycle decided that enough was enough, the UKJFF was in the middle of preparing the promotional materials for the event.