London theater backs out of Jewish festival, citing Israeli gov’t funding


(JTA) — A London theater canceled plans to host a Jewish film festival this year, citing objections to the event’s Israeli government funding.

Managers at the Tricycle Theatre, which the Independent newspaper described as the UK Jewish Film Festival’s “main venue,” told the Independent that because the festival was partly funded by the Israeli Embassy, doing business with it would be “inappropriate, given the current conflict in Israel and Gaza.”

The festival had planned to screen 26 films and hold six gala events at the Tricycle, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported.

The embassy is a longtime sponsor of the festival, which the theater had hosted for the past eight years.

The festival includes Jewish-themed films from around the world.

Judy Ironside, the UK Jewish Film Festival’s executive director, said in a statement that the theater’s decision is “tremendously disappointing.”

“They have chosen a boycott over meaningful engagement — to the great detriment of this celebration of Jewish culture,” she said, according to the Jewish Chronicle.



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