5 September 2009
Jane Fonda, Danny Glover and Eve Ensler have joined the growing list of artists who are boycotting the Toronto film festival over a program honoring Tel Aviv’s 100th anniversary, gossip blogger Perez Hilton reported on Friday.
The three have added their names to a letter aimed at festival officials claiming that Tel Aviv was built on violence, ignoring the “suffering of thousands of former residents and descendants,” Hilton reported.
Several Israeli films are being screened at the festival’s new City to City event, which this year celebrates Tel Aviv’s centennial.
Culture critic Naomi Klein and director John Greyson are among those who had already announced their protest over the homage to Tel Aviv.
Two-time Oscar winner Rabbi Marvin Hier, who founded the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called the boycott “an attack on the heart and soul of Israel.”
“People who support letters like this are people who do not support a two-state solution,” he was quoted as saying on Hilton’s blog.
“By calling into question the legitimacy of Tel Aviv, they are supporting a one-state solution, which means the destruction of the State of Israel. I applaud the organizers of the festival for celebrating on the 100th anniversary of Tel Aviv. If every city in the Middle East would be as culturally diverse, as open to freedom of expression as Tel Aviv is, then peace would long have come to the Middle East.”
Fonda, 72, rose to fame as an actress in the 1960s, but has since become known for her political activism, including her opposition to the Vietnam and Iraq wars.
Glover, who is probably best known for co-starring with Mel Gibson in the four Lethal Weapon movies, has also been politically active since his student days. He made headlines in 2006 when he traveled to Venezuela with a group of celebrities to show solidarity with president Hugo Chavez.
Ensler, whose father is reportedly Jewish, is an American playwright and activist who wrote The Vagina Monologues.