Israeli comedy pulled from French cinemas....
And replaced with a incendiary anti-Israel film....
A small cinema chain has set off a sharp debate in France about the deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish ship trying to break the blockade of Gaza, and whether some French are overreacting to the episode.
In what was described as a protest against Israeli actions, the Utopia chain canceled all screenings of an Israeli comedy, “Five Hours from Paris,” scheduled to open this month. Instead, it decided to show a French documentary about Rachel Corrie, a young American who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while she protested the destruction of Palestinian housing in Gaza in 2003.
For Anne-Marie Faucon, the co-founder of Utopia, a chain of art cinemas in five cities, the ban was a gesture of disapproval for Israel’s use of violence and the blockade of Gaza. “It was a protest of our whole company,” she said in an interview. “We show many Israeli films, we organize a lot of debates on what happens in the world, but this time we reacted very strongly and in a very emotional way.”
But for others, including Richard Prasquier, the president of a major French Jewish organization, the ban was another sign of the growing “delegitimization of Israel” among the intellectual classes in France.
“It’s totally scandalous,” Mr. Prasquier said in an interview. “This cultural boycott is ridiculous, but it defines the way some people think in our country — in black and white, and they are always on the white side, and the black is always the most powerful and wealthiest and somehow Israel is always there.”