Latest posts by Aussie Dave (see all)
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“After the hangings, my dad was cowering with his family in his flat in Liverpool while people were breaking windows and shouting: ‘Burn the Jews! Burn the Jews!’ I thought he was confused, but he wasn’t: these things were happening to him after the war when he was 16.
“So to discover that a country had been set up where this wouldn’t happen to you, where there wouldn’t have been a chance of you being carted off and put in gas ovens, moved him and my mother all the way through raising their children
So it hardly comes as a surprise that he would give the BDSholes the middle finger, which is what I believe he is pretty much doing in this exchange published by Ali “Abumination” Abunimah.
Harry Potter star Jason Isaacs says he doesn’t support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement but is very aware of Palestinian protests about his latest project, which is partly funded by the Israeli government.
Isaacs, who “frequently plays elegant villains,” is best known for his role as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films.
He is now playing an FBI agent in the NBC show Dig that is being filmed in eastern occupied Jerusalem and other parts of the occupied West Bank.
Isaacs made a number of comments about the controversy on the Dig set in an impromptu conversation with the Jerusalem resident known to readers of The Electronic Intifada as “Zalameh” (Zalameh posted the image of the set below on the photo-sharing site Instagram.)
Speaking to Jason Isaacs
Zalameh was able to enter the Dig set as the show was filming deep inside the so-called Solomon’s Cave, underneath the Old City of Jerusalem:
There Zalameh was able to speak directly to Isaacs and guest director SJ Clarkson. Zalameh told Isaacs why Palestinians objected to the show, including that the Israeli-funded series “is being used by Israel to whitewash its occupation” while “just meters from us Palestinians are targets of ethnic cleansing.”
The Israeli government and Jerusalem’s occupation municipality are providing the series a $6.3 million grant, as “part of an effort to brand Israel’s control of Jerusalem in a ‘positive light,’” according to the US Campaign.
The cast and crew recently met with Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett, leader of the extreme right-wing nationalist and pro-settler party Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home).
Isaacs also heard that “his role in the show is not innocent” and “he cannot absolve himself from personal responsibility.”
According to Zalameh, Isaacs “was very receptive to talk to me and he had an immediate smile.” Isaacs said he had read all of the letters about the issue very carefully and intended to issue a reply.
He also told Zalameh that he had been approached by Miriam Margolyes, the British actor who is a strong supporter of BDS.
But Isaacs also said, according to Zalameh, “I don’t support BDS” – an indication that the actor is nonetheless fully aware of the movement.
Zalameh learned that the series would be going on to film at several sites deep in the occupied West Bank, including Nabi Musa, near Jericho, indicating the extent of NBC’s complicity in the Israeli occupation.
Zalameh also said that Isaacs claimed that the series script was “balanced” and that he planned to “reach out to the other side.”
Such assurances are unlikely to assuage Palestinians and other campaigners deeply troubled by Dig’s role in helping Israel to dispossess Palestinians and remake Jerusalem as an exclusivist enclave where its indigenous population are not welcome.
Update: Here’s an interview Isaacs had with Israeli video a few years ago.