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With this letter I would like to officially withdraw as a member of the jury for the 2008 Prize of the Alex and Ruth Dworkin Foundation for the Promotion of Tolerance through Cinema (2008 Prix annuel de la Fondation Alex et Ruth Dworkin pour la promotion de la tolérance à travers le cinéma) at the Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québecois.
For those who may not be aware, this prize, which includes a grant of $5000, “goes to a producer representing the production team which has best demonstrated, in the winning work, a message of comprehension and tolerance”.
I accepted the invitation from the Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québecois to join this year’s jury in good faith. But after examining in more detail the political and financial basis of the prize I must refuse to have my name associated with it. Behind this noble sounding “award for tolerance” hides a story of intolerance, division and discrimination.
Firstly, I quit the jury because the Prix annuel de la Fondation Alex and Ruth Dworkin is an initiative of the Congrès juif canadien, Région du Québec, an organization which I consider to be a vehicle for the Israeli propaganda machine and fundamentally intolerant of dissent and difference, particularly when it comes to Israeli government policies.
One case in point is the refusal of the national leadership of the Congrès juif canadian (CJC) to accept a recent membership application from the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians (ACJC).
ACJC members “joined together to create a cross-Canada alliance of Jewish anti-occupation forces… whose views are not represented by the government of Israel or by the uncritical positions taken by the leadership of the major Jewish organizations in Canada.”
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17th, 6:30pm
Leacock Building, Room 232
McGill University, 688 Sherbrooke St.
A public event hosted by Tadamon! Montreal & the Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) at McGill University within the context of the campaign to challenging Hezbollah’s listing as a ‘Terrorist’ Group in Canada…
Bilal Elamine: Currently living in Beirut, originally from Southern Lebanon, the former editor of Left Turn Magazine, Elamine will outline the current and historical role of Hezbollah in Lebanon from a progressive perspective. Critical recent events in Middle East history will be addressed within the presentation, as Elamine will speak about the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon, the 2007 general strike and opposition protests within the context of Hezbollah’s role in Lebanese society.
Brian Aboud: Presenting on Tadamon!’s campaign to challenge the listing of Hezbollah as a ‘terrorist’ organization in Canada. Today, Canada is one of only three countries world-wide to designate Hezbollah as a ‘terrorist’ organization. The other two are Israel and the United States.
A Summer Not to Forget: A film by Lebanese film maker, Carol Mansour. Using powerful and disturbing images, the film tells a story of yet another war on Lebanon: 1,200 killed, 4,000 injured, one million displaced, 78 bridges destroyed, 15,000 homes damaged, 15,000 tonnes of oil spilled on 80km of the Mediterranean coastline, 57 collective massacres and much more. Director Mansour takes you into the harsh realities of a nation devastated by war and a people caught under siege.
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.