Biopic about Israeli attorney for accused Palestinian terrorists shortlisted for Oscar


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli film about an Israeli attorney who is well known for representing Palestinians accused of terrorist acts has been shortlisted for an Academy Award.

“Advocate,” which has proven popular abroad and sparked controversy at home, was tapped in the best documentary feature category, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday evening.

The attorney, Lea Tsemel, has represented the alleged rapist and murderer of Jewish-Israeli teenager Ori Ansbacher, who was found dead in the Jerusalem Forest in February, The Times of Israel reported.

The biopic portrays Tsemel’s involvement in two recent cases in which her clients were convicted of terrorist offenses.

“Advocate” has won multiple awards in Israel and abroad, but has been badly received by many on the Israeli right. Sport and Culture Minister Miri Regev pushed to cancel showings.

Regev described Tsemel as “a lawyer who represents, supports and speaks in the name of many who undermine the State of Israel’s existence [and] use terrorism against its soldiers and people.”

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