Palestinian Movie ‘Villa Touma’ Arrives in Venice Amid Israeli Controversy

Villa Touma

Suha Arraf’s “Villa Touma,” which screens in Venice Critics’ Week, has arrived in Italy carrying the baggage of a major Israeli controversy.

The film, a melodrama set in Ramallah during the early days of the Israeli occupation, was made primarily with Israeli public funds, including $400,000 from the Israel Film Fund.

But Arraf, an Arab citizen of Israel, has registered “Villa” as a Palestinian movie, infuriating the Israeli minister of culture and prompting the Israel Film Fund to demand its money back.

The brouhaha has led to a series of manifestos, with various local artists, both Israeli and Palestinian, rallying behind Arraf and her decision.

As for Arraf herself, the first-time helmer and screenwriter of “Lemon Tree” and “The Syrian Bride” has written a piece in the Israeli daily Haaretz defending her stance.

“I am an Arab, a Palestinian and a citizen of the state of Israel. I have the right to emphasize my nationality as I present my film to the world, and there is no law in the state of Israel that forbids me from doing so,” Arraf wrote. “As far as I am concerned, a film’s identity is that of its creator.”

Roughly 20% of Israel’s 8 million citizens are Arabs and consider themselves Palestinian.

Hany Abu-Assad, the Nazareth-born Arab director, also found himself in hot water when he petitioned to have his Oscar-nominated “Paradise Now” listed as a film from Palestine at the 2006 Academy Awards.
“Paradise Now” was also made with coin from the Israel Film Fund, and in the end was listed as a product not of Palestine but of the Palestinian Authority.

With his sophomore effort “Omar,” Abu-Assad took no chances, and refused all Israeli funds. That film also received an Oscar nod and was classified at the kudocast as a film from Palestine, the first ever.

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  1. Mara Cohen says:

    The only people that the US registers for citizenship via ethnicity are American Indians, and that, because via the use of Blood Quantum Standards, (which began as part of the Spanish “Casta” system) which is designed to continually diminish in numbers the Peoples who are owed by the US Federal Government for the Resources taken and colonized. A whole body of Law applies to these Citizens, that apply to no one else, these Laws were instituted to take everything they had, and now that they are down to minimal, are also the only Laws that protect these minims of what was once theirs. So, they are the only group of US Citizens who are legally different than all other US Citizens. Israel is different, and is not part of the US, no matter what a number of Americans think. If an Arab Palestinian is an Israeli Arab, it would seem that by considering “Palestinian” a nationality, Arraf considers herself non-Israeli. There has never been a Nation-State called “Palestine”, and the idea of Arab Palestinians as a separate People from all other Arabs on the Levant is a very new idea invented by Yasser Arafat, and in place as a weapon to be used against the Nation-State of Israel. If Arraf wants to identify as an Arab Palestinian, she needs to get her funding for films from Hamas or the PA, and move there.

  2. Haya says:

    100% pro Israel, and 100% pro Arraf. She makes great films and I can’t wait to see this one. seems right that the identity of a film is defined by the filmaker who created it. in this case, a great one.

  3. Chris says:

    I am shocked by the vitriol and factually incorrect statements by some of the posters to this string. The idea that a people who populated an area for a relatively short period of time well over 1000 years ago can use that ancient fact as a pretext for waging war on the area’s current, hapless occupants is preposterous. If such thought were to be sanctioned, the world would certainly be a bloody free-for-all battlefield. Jerusalem has been “home” to many. I give my full support to Arraf and look forward to seeing her film.

    • Mara Cohen says:

      Chris, My Father’s Family had always been in residence in the Levantine area, documented to long prior to the Arab Invasions in 638 C.E. The forced removals of Jewish People and ethnic cleansing of an area does not change the fact that there are people Indigenous to that area, and it isn’t Arabs-they come from the Hejaz. Might as well say that because Egypt was once conquered by the Persians, it should be considered Iran. Americans rarely know there own histories, so thinking that they can make historically and culturally based judgements regarding Indigenous People’s “Rights” and histories elsewhere on the Plant is a bit of arrogance, doncha’ think?

  4. David Sykes says:

    How about a movie about Israel’s unwarranted attack on the USS Liberty during the 1967 war resulting in the deaths of 30 plus American sailors.

    • Kemal Izmirli says:

      David: The case of USS Liberty has been cleared. It is well documented and th4e documents are available under the freedom of information act. In summary President Johnson had ordered the navy to get out of the area. Somehow Liberty did not receive the order (or ignored) and continued heading towards Israel. Israel warned the ship several times to identify itself but it was ignored. Finally it was decided that it must be a hostile Egyptian vessel and was attacked. President Johnson was aware of it. No charges was made to Israel.

    • ploome says:

      How about a movie about the SS St Louis…Jews, escaping the HOlocaust, refused asylum in USA

      “……… the United States accepted only 21,000 refugees from Europe and did not significantly raise or even fill its restrictive quotas, accepting far fewer Jews per capita than many of the neutral European countries and fewer in absolute terms than Switzerland. “

  5. (@jamalkk) says:

    Israel came to Arraf’s country, Arraf did not go to Israel…

    • Mara Cohen says:

      Israel, Lebanon, Syria, TransJordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, ALL came to be Nation States via the defeat of the Turks during the first World War. Arraf’s Family came to the Levant when? Was it at the the time of the Arab Invasions, forced conversions to al-Islam, and Colonization, starting in 638CE? Or was it the the later and most common emigrant influx from Muslim areas of the Sultanate, post the influx of major financial investment by the Zionist Land Acquisition Companies, and their investment in skills, science and moneies that neither the Effendi nor the Turks would make. Jerusalem, circa 1850’s had around 15,000 people, mostly Jews. Arabs generally have been sold horsesh-t history as justification for the Arab Palestinians to be used as a distraction, as for Israelis to be scapegoated for every piece of stupidity and corruption done by Arab Leaders. Israeli Jews are now primarily Mizrahi/Sephardi, wioth the Ashkenaz returnees quickly melding in to the Levantine Mizrahi/Sephardi Majority. And yes, it is their Land…Arraf should move to Jordan, and help ger rid of the Hashemi if she feels that strongly about living in “Palestine”.

    • ploome says:

      you ever read any history? Jerusalem , Judea, the homeland of the Jews…..the Temple in Jerusalem, where Jesus taught, THE TEMPLE OF THE JEWS

      which the muslims stole, as they stole the Hagia Sophia in Constantiople.,

      Israel is not arab land…the TURKS controlled it for more than 400 years, and the Turks ABANDONED IT

    • ploome says:

      Jews were driven. expelled and ethnically cleansed from Israel just as the Christians and Yazidis are being slaughtered and expelled from Iraq today

      and just as the Armenians were slaughtered and expelled from Armenia by the muslim Turks

      You are watching history repeat itself

      The so called “Palestinians” are arabs and other muslims, from Egypt, Russia, Circassia and Iraq and Arabia..

      All “palestinain” narrative are LIES

    • Ruth says:

      Jews have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years and were never strangers in that land.

      In future Ms. Arraf, who has made an exceptional career in Israel until now, should apply to Palestine or other Arab countries for financial support. She would not dare to do such a thing if she had received financial support from the US, the UK or any other country.

  6. Kelly says:

    Ask Hamas for the EDUCATION, FUNDS, and FREEDOM to be an ARTISTIC CREATOR!! PAY ISRAEL back!!

    • Abed Abukar says:

      Israel owes Palestinian for back rent since 1948 for the Palestinian properties being occupied by Israelis and substantial income from gas exploration in Palestine. It would be fair to close all books on this matter.

  7. Shade says:

    Very brave filmmakers…and in Israel they say they are a democracy…LOL

    • Mara Cohen says:

      Well, Abed, I think that the Arab Colonialists, starting with Abu Bekr owe the Jews back rent since he came up the Perfume Road, and conquered Ceasare Maritime from the Byzantines. The Byzantines had just two years prior destroyed the state set up by Binyamin of Tiberias in concert and alliance with the Sassanids, a Sovereign JEWISH State. Then the Arabs invaded. Since 1948? Well, the Arabs had been butchering Jews for a few years prior to that time, including a chunk of my Family from Hebron…it wasn’t enough to subject us to the Apartheid of “dhemmi” Laws for 1400 years, but the Mufti attempting to collect the “Jizya”, bankrupting Families, and taking their Lands and Homes in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. And THEN, the Nebi Musa Riots….and the Massacre at Hebron. The Rapes of children, gutting pregnant Women and thieving everything in sight. Most of the Arabs who today call themselves “Palestinians”, whose Families didn’t even come into the Land from Egypt and the Peninsula, Algeria, the Caucasus, et al, until the Turks and then the Effendi Families of the Arabs began to import those populations after 1870, when the Zionist investment in the Land and infrastructure, and trade, apart from religious pilgrimage brought growth, with the Suez Canal completed, where do you think most of those workers and their families went???? Especially since the majority of the own to the fact that their families came from Egypt? The Arabs like Erekat, are members of the Howeitat Trbe-THAT IS IN SAUDI ARABIA….as Arabs refused UN 181, and refused a second Arab Nation-State, and the Israelis didn’t, too bad. The Arabs of that section of the Levant had never been Sovereign, and had never ruled themselves above the level of “Mayor”….so you tell me who owes backrent!!!! Read your Quran, the Prophet himself tells you who is rightfully ruling that Land…and they don’t ethnically cleanse Arabs from Israel…how many Jewish Refugees from Muslim ruled Lands? About a million sounds about right…

    • Ruth says:

      Why is she brave? Suha Arraf is a well known Israeli writer and has done very well indeed in her career. She has achieved a great deal and fully deserves her success.

      As an Israeli I think that the Israel Film Fund is to blame for what happened. Surely recipients of grants sign contracts in which they guarantee to give credit for grants/donations received. This is common-place all over the world. However this has happened so many times before – Israeli Arabs and Palestinians applying and received funds for films made in Israel and then refusing to give credit for the grant. It annoys me as an Israeli tax-payer because whilst I fully support assisting such talented people, Ms. Arraf should give credit for all the assistance received. I can assure you that if she had received support from any other country, she would not have dared to behave in this way. I hope that the Israeli Film Fund will finally learn a lesson from this and make sure that every recipient understands the conditions by which he/she receives funds.

  8. Gay Snyder says:

    If the creator lists it as a “Palestinian” movie, she should not take money from Israel for it. Also, she should have been honest about her intentions from the beginning.

    It seems to me she does not consider herself Israeli. Let her renounce her Israeli citizenship.

  9. Santos Pasquale says:

    So exactly how does this work? The US taxpayer covers 25% of Israel’s annual defense budget. This frees Israel to spend money on the niceties like movie-making, public housing, and public health. An Israeli-Arab makes a movie, which he credits as a Palestinian film. Israel is upset that they were not created as the sponsor, and demands that the monies be returned. Meanwhile, back in Washington the congress is dreaming ways to cut food assistance at home while driving another absolutely do-or-die aid package toward Israel’s defense.

    • Ruth says:

      Check out the very LONG list of countries receiving assistance from the US before you bash only Israel. Most of those countries aren’t even pro-US or pro-west!

      • it might be a long list ruth but the fact remains tiny israel is the largest recipient if US funds and all the countries around it who get funds are required, like egypt, to bow down and protect israel. this is why egypt never got their end of the deal at camp david (a palestinian state/read the prelim). it’s ignored year after year after year.

  10. Dmitris says:

    well, the US aid is only 30% civilian dollars, the rest is purchases from the US military industry and rolls back to the US. The 30% (and these moneys also pay off to the US taxpayer. But even if not, this 1.2b is roughly about 0.4% of the israeli budget, so that lady director got about 16k from the US taxpayers.
    I am not sure you and your “hamulah” are paying taxes, based on your intelligent answers; I bet you eating up social security and welfare that I, an americal israeli jew, is paying every month.
    I also bet that you like ISIL more than uncle Sam.

    • ” I, an americal israeli jew, is paying every month.
      I also bet that you like ISIL more than uncle Sam.”

      I am not sure you and your “ignorant bigoted response” are paying taxes, based on your unintelligent answers; I bet you eating up social security and welfare that I, an american national (as opposed to a dual israeli (who always has their hand out for american funds to the tune of 3 billion plus a year) is paying every month. I also bet that you like jewish terrorist setters more than uncle Sam.

    • “well, the US aid is only 30% civilian dollars, the rest is purchases from the US military industry and rolls back to the US.” not really. israel takes the other 2/3 and is required to spend it buying arms from US companies. that doesn’t mean we get the money back. it means we (some american) works to get our money back. the US gov could just as easily fund health care for US citizens with that money and it would ‘roll back’, as you call it byway of providing jobs to US doctors and hosputals. one option takes the goods out of the country and kills palestinians with it, the other keeps the goods in the US for the benefit of US citizens. or for that matter, the US could just hand the money over to the weapons companies for free and demand israel pay for the products from their own taxpayers. but please do not pretend that 2/3 of the money is not a hand out paid for by the US citizen, because that is a lie.

    • Abe says:

      Nice imaginations…pathetic

  11. franca condo says:

    Israel should sue her.

  12. franca condo says:

    Israel should grant funding under a contract stating the film is represented as an Israeli film.

    • Norman R says:

      She’s an “artist” and has no requirement to be bound by any legal or moral code other than that which serves herself, er, her art!

      • isaac says:

        This is why starving artist is the norm, you believe that bullshit. That’s now how our world works, either you accept the terms in the contract or go work at McDonald.

  13. mark says:

    An open and pluralistic society welcomes dissent and minority opinion. It is beyond debate that the civilians of palestine are a people within Israel that have a story, a human story waiting to be told. Ultimately it is the validation of people that moves humanity toward reconciliation. For those of you that are offended by a work of art that dares reveal a people as something more than the enemy should seriously consider what your values are, if your values portend to compassion and empathy.

    • Ruth says:

      The Israel Film Fund has funded many projects created by Israeli Arabs and Palestinians and is a credit to Israel’s free and democratic society. I have no problem with Ms. Arraf’s feelings and comments but I think that it is common practise for every financial donor to receive credit. She was happy to receive a very large amount of money from the IFF and other Israeli donors for her film and it isn’t honest on her part to disclaim this assistance and to refuse to give credit.

  14. Please GOOGLE “Miko Peled Geneva 2014 speech” and watch the video.
    In return I will watch a video of your choosing. You can post the link / title in the reply.

    FYI Miko is the son of a renowned Israeli General and Miko himself served in the Israeli Special Forces as a Red Beret. In the 1980s Miko’s niece was killed by a Palestinian terrorist attack. After the bombing he attended a Israeli/Palestinian community discussion group. His attendance at these meetings gave him exposure to another perspective which most of the world has not heard. Whether or not you agree with his perspective or not I am confident that if you are a reasonable person you will at the very least find his message very interesting. For the rest of the story please watch video. Thanks.

    • Kemal Izmirli says:

      Thomas; Where there is a will there is a way. I, an American of Turkish descent would not want to share a state with Arabs who are the breeding ground of ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram. Their life style is so much different then mine. My history has proved that even under the Kemalist rule that was taking its support from the strong military the ultra religious Cihadis won in Turkey. Can you imagine what wouyld happen in Palestine if your theory of 1 person 1 vote would do to the Palestinian Jews? Same thing that happened in 1993 at Sivas madimak hotel when Sunnis burned to death 39 Alevis. Same thing that is happening to the Yezidis and the Christians in Syria and Iraq.

    • Kemal Izmirli says:

      I watched the video. Here is the issue with it. Today there are two different nations with two very much different cultures living on the land called Palestine. Without going to the ancient history there is a recent history there with 7 million Jews and 1 Million Arabs + the Arabs in WB And Gaza. They have been fighting each other since (not 1947) 1919. Too much bloodshed. How can this be fixed? Looking at what ISIS, Boko Haram ietc. are doing it is obvious that Arabs/Muslims will not tolerate not only Jews but we can see that they can not even tolerate each other for small differences such as Sunni VS. Shia or Yezidi or Christians. Thus a two state solution is the only solution. And I am saying this as a 65 year old Turk. I am seeing what Ultra Islamists are doing to my country of birth. in 1993 39 Turks of Alevi sect were burned alive in Sivas madimak hotel bu Sunni Turks. I an easily understand the fears of the Jewish Israelis. I also fear for the secular and modernist Turks living in Turkey.

      • Gay Snyder says:

        Kemal, bravo. Well said.

      • Kemal. Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful impressions! As a seeker of truth and justice I appreciate your candor and perspective. Your comment bears witness to the fact there are no easy solutions to this problem. And the historical precedents for its resolution certainly suggest that the ultimate solution will remain a work in progress for generations. With that said I do hold that despite the inevitable litany of problems inherent in a one-state solution, a one-state solution has the tone and precedent of a viable, just and democratic solution. Considering the Palestinian land loss since 1948 and the integration of the remaining land into the state Israel a two state solution simply seems unviable. Google “Palestinian land loss 1948-2010” to see what I mean. How can this be fixed you ask? Consider the unprecedented cultural clash which unfolded between the Native Americans and the European colonialists. Without going into the complex and often tragic history (and despite the reality of the unresolved injustices continuing examples of disparity), I believe that something can learned from the outcomes of those conflicts regarding the assimilation of peoples from different nations and despite legitimate grievances between the peoples. Consider the US Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 which decrees: “all non citizen Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States be, and are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States”. Consider that the same outcome for Canada, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Venezuela, South Africa, etc, etc. 1 man 1 vote!

    • mark says:

      It’s a great lecture and shows how desperately needed is a true understanding of how a perceived enemy has a perspective that should be underwood. The peace groups of Israel are truly doing god’s work.

      • Kemal Izmirli says:

        Unfortunately the Arab/Muslim side is ruining the Arab/Muslim reputation by having ISIS, Hamas Hezbollah, Boko Haram, Al Quaida etc Over 90 years ago Kemal Ataturk created a secular democracy from the ashes of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. It was for a while a good example to the Islamic world that Islam and secular democracy could co exist. Unfortunately even Turkey has succumbed to the ultra Islamist.

  15. The don’t use Israeli money

  16. qubin says:

    Absolutely true! This is also what I commented on! Israel feeding snakes in their sleeves. Such unappreciative beings there.

  17. sam says:

    QUOTE: “I am an Arab, a Palestinian and a citizen of the state of Israel. I have the right to emphasize my nationality as I present my film to the world…”
    You are an Arab…that is you race.
    You are a Palestinian…that is your demographic/geographic region from which you hail.
    You are a CITIZEN OF ISRAEL, so, your nationality is Israeli.
    Your intention to NOT use your nationality but to use one that doesn’t exist means only that you want to subvert the country that you are a citizen of (in favor of one that you wish to create).
    Your actions are ABSOLUTE HYPOCRISY. You use the state of Israel for security…for funding…for you LIVELIHOOD. And you turn around and “stab it in the back”…SHAMELESSLY!
    That is…shamelessly, you show your bigotry!

    • “You are a CITIZEN OF ISRAEL, so, your nationality is Israeli.”

      i hate to break it to you here sam, but according to the israeli supreme court, she is not an israeli national. google “Supreme Court rejects citizens’ request to change nationality from ‘Jewish’ to ‘Israeli'” basically, the state does not recognize an israeli nationality, only jewish or other. the only nationals, are jewish.

      Oct. 3, 2013:

      • sam says:

        BTW, annie fofani,
        I hope I was clear enough about this…but YOU are the one who made the mistake.
        QUOTE: ” “Supreme Court rejects citizens’ request to change nationality from ‘Jewish’ to ‘Israeli’””
        The article clearly states that the CITIZENS wanted to change their “ethnic identifier”…not their nationality.
        YOU opined that they wanted to change their nationality (from ‘Jewish’). There is no nationality of ‘Jewish’.
        YOU substituted YOUR OWN MISGUIDED OPINION (into this discussion) as fact.
        Substituting your own opinion in the place of facts…in the place of truth…is the hallmark of prejudice…ergo, the hallmark of bigotry. You are using your opinion instead of using the truth.
        The case is pretty simple if you take the time to truly comprehend it.
        Once again, the woman is an ISRAELI NATIONAL/CITIZEN.

      • sam says:

        Thank you again for you reply, annie fofani.
        Unfortunately, you STILL contradict yourself.
        The citizenship of an individual is quite evident here. She is an Israeli citizen. She is an Israeli national.
        You waffle about “nationality” and “ethnicity” and that Israel is an “ethnic nation”, but that is all irrelevance…irrelevance that I humored you on…but still irrelevance.
        The basic fact that I pointed out, and which you have not countered, is that she is an Israeli national.
        She is not a Palestinian national as no such country exists.
        Another basic fact is that she shamelessly takes the benefits of her country (ISRAEL) as an Israeli citizen while claiming to be a “Palestinian” (national).
        Do you understand the conundrum of your stance now?
        Even if you want to claim that she is “ethnically Palestinian” *, it is irrelevant because she is an Israeli citizen…and Israeli national.
        Now, to the Israel’s nationality law…you must have COMPLETELY omitted portions that you don’t care for. Once again, you have shown that your ability to comprehend is limited by your prejudice (also known as bigotry).
        The Israeli Nationality Law provides for CITIZENSHIP of non-Jewish residents.
        I won’t go into details since it is unnecessary as it is easy enough to search and confirm.
        There are, after all, plenty of Arab citizens of Israel…just like this lady.
        (Don’t forget that there are plenty of Arab Israeli’s in the Knesset as well as an Arab Israeli on the Israeli Supreme Court!)
        THIS LADY IS A CITIZEN OF ISRAEL…ergo, she is an Israeli national.
        That is why she was able to avail of funds from the Israeli Film Fund to finance her film.
        FYI, a “national” is, by definition in any standard dictionary, “a citizen of a state”.
        * BTW, there is no ethnicity as “Palestinian”. You don’t need me to go into the details of that, now, do you. Ethnically, she is an Arab. I really don’t agree with the use of “Jewish” as an ethnic identifier, purely because of semantics, as I would consider that to be a religious identifier, but hey, it’s not my call, so my opinion is irrelevant. Arab Palestinians are not distinctly different from other Arabs in neighboring countries to warrant them as being called a separate and distinct ethnicity. They are, for all practical purposes and intents, Arabs.
        Thank you again, annie fofani.
        I look forward to your reply. :)

      • sam, for your edification, it’s my pleasure to assist in your understanding of israeli citizenship vs nationality. unlike the US which is a civic national state, israel is an ethnic national state wherein the “nation” is defined in terms of ethnicity (“jewish state”). iow, your counter argument regarding “US Supreme Court would reject my plea”, is a moot point because the US government and the courts do not register individuals thru ethnicity or religion for US citizenship or nationality, unlike israel. so no one would ever need to go to court to change something that doesn’t exist (look at your american passport if you do not believe me!) but you did get one sentence right: ” “American” is a national identifier…not an ethnic identifier.” Wheras, there are no Israeli nationals that are not jewish. (see Israel’s nationality law). while israeli citizens may equal rights as citizens, as nationals there are over 60 laws that determine privileges afforded only to jews based on the law of return.

        here’s an article on the supreme court case from the times of israel, i trust that’s not too left leaning for your taste. citing one of the judges “He wrote there was no place to unite the different ethnicities living in Israel under a new and inclusive ethnicity.” iow, to quite you again “American” is a national identifier…not an ethnic identifier.” whereas in israel there is no common national identifier as “israeli” only a common citizenship identifier (again see israel nationality law).

        and while you may think your capital letters are impressive, you should have learned the first time it doesn’t change fiction (or in your case ignorance) to fact.

      • sam says:

        Thank you for your reply, Annie.
        I remember reading this (way back when), and now I realize why this didn’t come to mind when I wrote my comment. Simply put, it is because IT DOES NOT APPLY.
        Re-read your own link (which, BTW, is hardly an unbiased source (Haaretz, really?), yet even they couldn’t “spin” this topic for the Arab Palestinians!)
        QUOTE: “…group of Israelis to declare that they were members of the Israeli people and to allow them to change the ethnic registration on their identity cards from “Jewish” to “Israeli.” ..”
        Do you see that the very beginning states UNEQUIVOCALLY that the case was brought by a group of ISRAELI’S?
        Their nationality is already established…they are Israeli. The Israeli Supreme Court has already accepted them as being Israeli.
        What they wanted was to change their ETHNICITY (on their ISRAELI identity cards).
        Ethnicity is not the same as nationality…capische?
        The case does seem a little silly, though, when you actually take the time to THINK (about it). As an American, if I wanted my US identity card to list my ethnicity as “American”…I’m sure the US Supreme Court would reject my plea too. “American” is a national identifier…not an ethnic identifier.
        Simple, isn’t it?
        Still, that is not the entirety of our discussion.
        The REAL issue here is that you read and comprehended only that which you wanted to* (unless, of course, you are obtuse and just plain incompetent with simple English). Either way, it does not bode well for you, does it? Either you are stupid or you are bigoted. Which is it? Or would it be both?
        So, in conclusion, “I hate to break it to you” annie, but yes she is considered an ISRAELI (according to the Israeli Supreme Court). She is considered an Israeli according to Israel. Even she considers herself an Israel…when it suits her…id est, when she shamelessly and hypocritically accepts the benefits of her country, including, but not limited to, the funding she got for her film.
        BUT, she in other regards, she considers herself a “Palestinian” of a non-existent Palestinian country.
        * BTW, I’ve read several of your other recent comments, and I was tempted to respond to grave errors in those too. I refrained myself from doing so, but since you took the time to respond to my comment, I thought it was only proper (and courteous) to do the same for you.
        If you would like me to correct your errors in those comments too, by all means let me know. I will be happy to assist you.
        Thank you once again for your response, Annie.

  18. julia dreyfus says:

    Israel wants its money back???? Oh, brother. Maybe they can take the money out of the millions they are already holding back from the Palestinians. They disgust me.

  19. Kemal Izmirli says:

    I am a Turkish American. Palestine was under the Turkish Ottoman Empire for 400 years. I know the history of Palestine very well. Before WW I there were Arabs, Jews and Christians (some of them Armenian) living in what Romans called Palestine. The old Ottoman records indicate that most land belonged to the empire. Some land that was privately owned but mostly by Christians, Armenians and Jews. Arabs did not own a lot of land. They were mostly Bedouins who moved around. Jews bought the land from Christians and even Muslims until 1947. In 1947, Israel did not send any if her Arab/Muslim population to exile therefore today 20% of teh Israeli population is Arab. However Jordan kicked out all her Jewish population stealing their properties and wealth. Over 5000 Jews lived in Jerusalem, they were all expelled and starting 1948 there were no Jews left in Jordan. If there is a people called PALESTINIAN they must be all people who made Palestine their home since it was named Palestine and they are Arabs, Jews, Christians, Armenians, Bedouins, Duze. There is no other ethnicity as Palestinian

  20. Kemal Izmirli says:

    In Israel over 1 Million Arabs live as Israeli citizens, receive government funding to make movies, get the best education the Middle East can offer, have the best health care and highest life expectancy and standard of living in the Middle East, can be elected to the Israeli Parliament, are free to raise their voice even when it is against Israel (the country that is offering all these things) while in the neighboring Syria, Iraq Arabs/Muslims are killing each other (ISIS have murdered over 170 thousand innocent civilians in less than 2 years). And yet These Arabs are against Israel. Do they realize that if Israel comes to an end they will have the same fate as Syrians and Iraqis?

    • You are no Turk. You are a Israeli Zionist who is probably with Hasbara.

      • ploome says:


        so now the truth is called hasbara?

        Where are the more than one million Jews from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon Syria, Egypt and Morocco?

        Where did they go?

      • Kemal Izmirli says:

        Ibrahim. Yes I am a Turk. I have never visited Israel in my over 60 years life. I mentioned a few Books in my prior posts about Turkey. read them and learn some history. I am not sure weather you are an Arab or Pakistani from your name, both can have similar names. However I can say that if you are an Arab: 400 years you lived under Muslim Ottoman empire peacefully and yet in WW I you took side with the British, back stabbed the Muslim Ottoman Empire. In Turkish we say something: KENDI DUSEN AGLAMAZ – He who fells on his own fault should not cry.

    • qubin says:

      Indeed! Yes, they will have the same fate. Unfortunately, they are brainwashed from young age against Israel and Jews over all. What they do not realize though that with out Israel, they are nothing. Israel is the only democracy in the middle east. However, since they are brainwashed, they want all Jews dead. I bet if they manage to do so, they will want destruction to the whole world. What I do not understand is, why can’t they live like every sane person and be happy about precious life itself. Guess can’t teach brainwashed anything new.

  21. Raj says:

    Thats a typical muslim way to say thank you, nothing to do with arab.

  22. qubin says:

    This reminds me of putting honey in some one’s mouth and in turn they bite you! Such an unappreciative person she is. She eats, sleeps, works, have a roof over head head, on the top of that gets the funding from Israel, and yet, claims it does not exist?! Israel must get the funds back, kick her out of country ASAP. She has no place in land she claims does not exist. Wake up lady and smell the coffee. Your place is in GAZA, Jordan or wherever with your own people live so to speak. You have no place in Israel, let alone cheat use the funds and be insulting to the hand that feeds you. SHAME ON YOU in a big way.

  23. Jane says:

    This is a very sensitive subject. A few opinions. This film maker should have never accepted the funds from Israel and claim it was made from a country that does not exist. That is crossing the line. I can guarantee that she will never get funding again from The Israel Film Fund.

  24. Bob says:

    Israel here is a solution: Stop funding films with taxpayer money, let the producers raise money the hard way, or put up their own money. That way you don’t have to get your panties in a bunch over who gets credit.

    • Norman R says:

      This is the solution to so many issues in so many places. Stop asking the citizenry to fund your pet projects, your healthcare, your education, etc. Give the taxes back to the people and let them choose whomever or whatever they wish to fund with the money.

      Ever hear of crowd sourcing / crowd funding?

  25. Shuli says:

    All they do is use Israel and lie!

  26. len says:

    She is wrong about only one thing she cannot be a Palestinian since Palestinians do not exist. there is no place on earth called Palestine since the roman empire, she is an Arab Israeli filmmaker.

    • Mara Cohen says:

      What is most amusing is that she took the money from Israeli sources, then chooses to label herself from”Palestine”. Well, if she is not Israeli Arab, then she is not a Citizen. The Grants are for Citizens. I’m sure that Hamas will be glad to fund her, or Abu Mazen. She should go to them for both funding, and repayment of the Grant monies she fraudulently received. Both are hugely wealthy in their own rights (the skim has been even better than it was in Arafat’s Day) and certainly wouldn’t mind funding such a fine young Arab Palestinian Film Maker…By the words of Arafat himself, he invented the “Palestinian” people, but only after his Great Uncle, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem had butchered his way through the Jewish Palestinian Community in the 1920’s, and of course after the Jewish Nakhba in the new Arab Nation States, including the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Samaria, Judea, the Gaza and East Jerusalem by the Jordanians and the Egyptians. Certainly happened to my Family, who were Mizrahi/Sefardi from Hebron, and had been there always…so when this young artist takes money under false pretenses that she is an “Israeli”, but clearly declares herself to be “Palestinian” sounds like she needs to repay some Grant money, and to quit lying to get money.

    • Here is a factual note from history. In November 1917, the United Kingdom issued the Balfour Declaration in which a “home land” for the jews of the Diaspora was to be made in Palestine. It is in clear print. It was later ratified by the League of Nations (1922). Also read in the “Great Game” of the European Empires how they schemed to divide the area known as Palestine. Please do not obfuscate the matters here.

    • len says:

      yes Palestinians do not exist , Arabs from Jordan do and that’s were your from originally. get an education and stop cussing at people for speaking the truth.

  27. ploome says:

    you want to know who the ‘palestinians’ are? From 1911 Britannica

    There are two classes into which the population of Palestine can be divided – the nomadic and the sedentary. The former is especially characteristic of Eastern Palestine, though Western Palestine also contains its full share. The pure Arab origin of the Bedouins is recognized in common conversation in the country, the word ” Arab ” being almost restricted to denote these wanderers, and seldom applied to the dwellers in towns and villages. It should be mentioned that there is another, entirely independent, nomad race, .the despised Nowar, who correspond to the gipsies or tinkers of European countries. These people live under the poorest conditions, by doing smith’s work; they speak among themselves a Romani dialect, much contaminated with Arabic in its vocabulary.

    they are gypsies.that is what all the arab countries don;t want them

  28. Israelis are the ones who need to go back to Europe where they came from.

  29. sam says:

    Unfortunately, you are sadly mistaken, Ibrahim.
    Over 65% of the Jewish in Israel are from or are the descendants of those from MUSLIM AND ARAB COUNTRIES.
    How convenient, isn’t it, to forget that virtually all the Jewish in the Muslim world were persecuted and FORCED out of their ancestral homes? These people, over 1 million (more than the number of displaced Arab Palestinians), found refuge in Israel.
    Now they and their descendants are a super-majority among the Jewish in Israel.
    So, your comment “Israeli’s are the ones who need to go back to Europe…” only shows that you speak from a bigoted stance…that you do NOT comment based on truth and reality but rather on your prejudice or on lies (that you have believed).
    BTW, DNA studies shows that the Jewish who came from Europe are, genetically, from the Middle East.
    So, your implication of “European” is all the more…utterly meaningless!

  30. Rachel says:

    I would call this a pure theft and commuting a crime in the movie industry. He should be arrested and disqualified from making any movies.

  31. Rachel says:

    Russell, — Jordan does not want the west bank at all… do you know why? because they don’t want the so-called Palestinians they don’t like them. Just like Egypt that does not want the Arabs from Gaza to spill into the Sinai. Jerusalem, all of it, is the Capital of the Jewish State Israel for ever, in case you have not figure this out yet. As you can see Jordan, Egypt, S. Arabia, UE and many civilized countries are sick and tired from “so-called Palestinians” a non-existing people. They are all Arabs and need to return to where they came from. Arabs=Arabia. If you see much despair in Israel, I don’t know what you’ll call the Arabs killing Arabs and Christians in Arab countries: Hamas killing Fatah, and Gazans civilians used as human shield by Arab terrorists Hamas/ISIS, etc.. i would call it a huge despair among extremists Arabs present and future for maybe a century. Time for you to pack.

  32. Kemal Izmirli says:

    Russel; I am an American of Turkish background and over 60 years old. I studied the history of Ottoman Empire extensively that covers also the land called Palestine. I recommend that you should also read a little history. I suggest that you start with Lord Kinross; ‘The rise and the Fall of the Ottoman Empire – Ottoman Times’ and his biography of Kemal Ataturk. Also Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret McMillan. Jews did not grab anyone’s land. If there was a land grab it was done by Arabs. Jordan stole Jerusalem expelling over 5000 Jews from Jerusalem and more from the neighboring towns, Egypt expelled over 30 thousand Jews from Alexandria and more from the rest of the country, Iraq and Yemen expelled over 100 thousand Jews each. Today neither Jordan nor Egypt would like to take back the WB and Gaza. They know what kind of problem that would be especially seeing what ISIS is doing in Syria and Iraq.

  33. Kuku Kuku says:

    Arabs from Jordan started the war in 1967. They have been asked not to get involved, but they did it anyway. They took a chance, they lost. End of story. Deal with it. Nothing but sorry losers. No one ever got more land by losing wars, that they started in the first place. Meantime, Israel one of most prosperous countries on earth, so you are pretty crappy prophet.

  34. russel, why are you speaking for Jordan? as a matter of fact they have no claim neither to WB nor to Jerusalem which they had controlled for the whole of 19 years.

  35. Well then, the Arabs from Jordan want their land back….All of it!…Everything that was Jordan in 1967 is now the Arabs fro Jordan’s land. This includes all of Jerusalem..Almost all countries in the world condemn Israel for this to the victor go the spoils argument.The only nation of any significance that supports this land grab is the USA.They can not prop Israel up forever.There is an old saying that says what goes around comes around..I see much despair in Israel’s future.

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