A group of Israel’s most prominent young filmmakers have publicly called upon the government of Israel to declare a ceasefire in its current conflict with Gaza, while Spike Jonze, who despite the conflict traveled as planned to the Jerusalem Film Festival, scrapped a scheduled masterclass meant to coincide with a screening of “Being John Malkovich.”
“Dear filmmakers and filmgoers, I apologize for not being there with you tonight. It felt like the wrong time for me to be talking about movies with everything going on,” Jonze said in a statement. “I hope you understand. I will come back and screen movies and talk film when the time is right. My heart is with you and everyone who is suffering right now.”
Meanwhile, the directors Efrat Corem, Shira Geffen, Ronit Elkabetz, Keren Yedaya, Tali Shlaom Ezer, Nadav Lapid, Shlomi Elkabetz and Bozi Gete held a news conference and together read a prepared statement calling for an immediate end to the hostilities.
The Jerusalem Film Festival, which despite flagging attendance and rocket fire on the city of Jerusalem, has continued almost entirely as planned since July 10. It closes July 20.
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Israel on Wednesday entered its ninth day of Operation Protective Edge, an intensive aerial bombing campaign of Gaza in a bid to bring an end to the endless barrage of Hamas rocket fire that has been targeting Israeli cities for several weeks. Since the operation was declared last week, more than 1,000 rockets have been launched at Israeli cities — many of which were intercepted by Israel’s anti-missile defense system — and more than 200 Palestinians have died when Israel returned fire.
Hopes for an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire were short-lived on Tuesday when Israel accepted the terms but Hamas refused. On Wednesday, Israel agreed to a five-hour ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to Gaza.