AJC Reiterates Concerns Over UN Showing 'Miral'

Mar 14, 2011, 17:44 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC Executive Director David Harris issued the following statement on the showing of "Miral" at the UN General Assembly tonight. This is a follow-up to AJC's letter to UN General Assembly President Joseph Diess, and responds to comments made by the film's producer and director.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100816/AJCLOGO)

"No one is challenging the right of viewers to see 'Miral' in theaters or anywhere else they like. The only question here is whether the UN General Assembly Hall is an appropriate place to premiere this particular film and no other, and whether the President of the General Assembly should be sponsoring the showing.

"Harvey Weinstein, producer of 'Miral,' comes across as the master of the straw-man argument. Invoking his children and the First Amendment makes absolutely no sense and has zero relevance to this issue.

"Julian Schnabel, the film's director, claims that showing the film at the UN will promote dialogue, but how can it when the Israeli Mission to the UN was not even given the minimal courtesy of being consulted on the event, though Israel is central to the film's plot line?

"Let's be clear. There's no First Amendment issue involved in the unprecedented decision of a UN figure to show such a highly politicized, one-sided film in an institution devoted, according to its Charter, to peaceful conflict resolution and mutual understanding.

"And no dialogue will result when one side, Israel, is ignored in this discussion and its concerns blithely dismissed. Is Harvey Weinstein's professed concern for Israel meant to trump Israel's concern for Israel and fair treatment at the UN?"

SOURCE American Jewish Committee