Naor Gilon, Israel’s ambassador to India has apologised to every Indian. His apology, is in the form of an open letter addressed to another Israeli called Nadav Lapid. The Government of India had invited Nadav, a little known filmmaker from Israel, to IFFI. He was head of the jury at the festival. The International Film Festival of India 2022 has just concluded in Goa.
Nadav Lapid, with brazen disregard to facts and emotions of the host country, criticised the movie ‘The Kashmir Files’. He called the movie ‘vulgar’ and ‘propaganda’ at the closing ceremony of the festival yesterday.
Vivek Agnihotri-directed movie revolves around the painful exodus and killing of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley in 1990.
Nadav abused ‘Atithi devo Bhavah’
The envoy castigated Nadav, “In Indian culture they say that a guest is like God. You have abused in the worst way the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at @IFFIGoa as well as the trust, respect and warm hospitality they have bestowed on you.”
“The friendship between the people and the states of India and Israel is very strong. It will survive the damage you have inflicted. As a human being I feel ashamed and want to apologize to our hosts for the bad manner in which we repaid them for their generosity and friendship,” he said.
“I understand your need in retrospect to “justify” your behavior. But I can’t understand why you told @ynetnews afterwards that the minister and I said on stage that there is similarity between our countries because “we fight a similar enemy and reside in a bad neighborhood. We did speak about the similarities and closeness between our countries. The minister spoke about his visits to Israel, it being a Hi-Tech nation and the potential of combining this with the film industry. I spoke about the fact that we grew up watching Indian films, ” he reminded the controversial filmmaker.
Insensitive and presumptuous
He further tweeted in a thread, “I’m no film expert but I do know that it’s insensitive and presumptuous to speak about historic events before deeply studying them and which are an open wound in India because many of the involved are still around and still paying a price. As a son of a holocaust survivor, I was extremely hurt to see reactions in India to you that are doubting Schindler’s List, the Holocaust and worse. I unequivocally condemn such statements. There is no justification. It does show the sensitivity of the Kashmir issue here.”
“You will go back to Israel thinking that you are bold and “made a statement”. We, the representatives of Israel, would stay here. You should see our DM boxes following your “bravery” and what implications it may have on the team under my responsibility… YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED,” he added.