By John Minto
The Doc Edge Film Festival has abandoned Israeli Embassy sponsorship this year after a furore caused by such sponsorship last year.
We are very pleased to chalk this up as a success.
This is a win for the international BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign against apartheid Israel — a Palestinian-led initiative since 2005.
- READ MORE: Calls to boycott Doc Edge festival over Embassy of Israel funding
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Earlier this year the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA) wrote to all the Doc Edge festival sponsors urging them to ensure the 2023 festival was an “apartheid-free zone”.
We told them it would be highly provocative for the festival to receive money from the Israeli Embassy particularly given the strident anti-Palestinian policies of the new far-right Israeli leadership.
SAVE THE DATES: The 18th Doc Edge International Documentary Film Festival & its associated events will be held from 24 May to 9 July 2023.
Auckland: 24 May – 5 June at The Capitol Cinema
Wellington: 7-18 June @RoxyCinemaNZ
Nationwide: 19 June – 9 July at @Docedge Virtual Cinema pic.twitter.com/pTvZTQWn1T
— Doc Edge – Life Unscripted (@Docedge) March 12, 2023
It seems Doc Edge is following the policy of the Sydney Festival which was thrown into turmoil in January last year over its sponsorship by the Israeli Embassy.
Sydney has since abandoned foreign sponsorship and Doc Edge has done the same this year.
Doc Edge claimed last year that it was “apolitical” but this is untrue.
Festival organisers tweeted in support of the people of Ukraine under Russian invasion and occupation but have never tweeted in support of Palestinians living under Israel’s military occupation.
Just as this country campaigned to help end apartheid in South Africa through boycotts, we are doing the same to help end Israel’s apartheid policies.
We will remain vigilant.
John Minto is a political activist and commentator, and spokesperson for Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa. This article is republished with the author’s permission.