Israel’s largest public film fund attaches political strings to its funding

The Rabinovich Foundation obligates filmmakers to whitewash apartheid and ethnic cleansing

Since launching in 2015, Artists for Palestine UK has advocated for artists and arts organisations to refuse professional engagements with Israel’s complicit cultural sector. We have helped publicise much information in support of arts professionals taking these stands.

We have now obtained a full copy of the standard contract of the Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts’ Israel Cinema Project that filmmakers must sign before receiving funding. Rabinovich’s Cinema Project is Israel’s largest film fund.

We are publishing an excerpt of the contract, which shows that the fund insists that filmmakers pledge not to acknowledge Israel’s apartheid or ethnic cleansing against Palestinians. 

All filmmakers seeking Rabinovich funding – whether Jewish Israeli or Palestinians with Israeli citizenship – must agree to these racist political conditions. We hope that by exposing it, international film institutions can make informed decisions regarding their programming. 

The relevant passage reads as follows:- 

The Producer declares and undertakes that there is not and will not be in the film any presentation, statement or message that calls for one or more of the following:

(1) denial of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state;

… 

(4) marking Independence Day or the day of the establishment of the state as a day of mourning;

Israel is not a democracy but an apartheid state, as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Israel’s leading human rights organisation B’Tselem have recently confirmed. The latter designates Israel “a regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea”. This apartheid regime was founded on the ruins of more than five hundred Indigenous Palestinian towns and villages ethnically cleansed during the Nakba (catastrophe).

This contractual complicity with apartheid and ethnic cleansing should be a cause for concern for any international film institution that may be considering promoting Rabinovich-funded films.

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