Roger Waters, draped with a Palestinian keffiyeh.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The City of Takoma Park decided to reschedule, “Occupation of the American Mind,” on July 23rd following concern from a number of organizations and individuals that the documentary was anti-Israel.
The film is narrated by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, an avid critic of Israel and a BDS supporter.
While the film was scheduled to screen on Thursday in Takoma Park Community Center in Maryland, the community center rescheduled the event amid backlash.
A letter signed by Executive Director of JCRC Ronald Halber to the Mayor of Takoma Park expressed some of the community’s dismay that the screening had not be cancelled altogether.
"It was Meredith’s understanding from her conversation with you that the film screening would be postponed perhaps until even next year and that you and members of the arts commission would engage in further conversations with our staff regarding strategies for presenting a more balanced approach to this difficult but important topic, that would not involve this film," the letter stated. "Since that conversation, we have not heard anything further from your office or the staff person for the arts commission. We are dismayed that we learned of this new plan only from your communications staff."
"That is hardly the basis for a respectful and productive dialogue," the letter continued. "It is completely dismissive of Takoma Park’s many Jewish residents, and our national Jewish community who have already endured the dangerous escalation of anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence locally and nationwide over the last year."
After the first-push to have the showing cancelled, the JCRC said in a statement, "“The very title and description of the film, asserting that pro-Israel groups are engaged in a propaganda campaign to control the American media and government, echoes sinister, age-old antisemitic tropes about Jews that of late are resurfacing with alarming regularity."
“The film’s rhetoric sheds more heat than light and only serves to inflame and divide people rather than increasing mutual understanding."JTA contributed to this report.
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