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Reader’s – 14 settembre 2022. Rassegna web


I più anziani di noi ricorderanno i decenni in cui abbiamo a lungo atteso la fine dello scandaloso apartheid sudafricano ma oggi i più giovani tra noi assistono indifferenti o rassegnati alla normalizzazione, giorno dopo giorno, anno dopo anno, di un altro apartheid non meno scandaloso del primo. (nandocan).

How Israel’s film industry is trying to normalize apartheid

Noam Sheizaf is an independent journalist and editor. He was the founding executive director and editor-in-chief of +972 Magazine. Prior to joining +972, he worked for Tel Aviv’s Ha-ir local paper, Ynet, and the Maariv daily, where his last position was deputy editor of the weekend magazine. He is currently working on a number of documentary films.

In recent years, Israel’s effort to erase the Green Line and normalize its control over the occupied West Bank has gone into high gear. As part of its rebranding project, the north of the West Bank is being marketed as the Israeli Tuscany, full of micro-wineries and bed and breakfasts; school children are being taken on tours to the Cave of the Patriarchs and the Jewish settlement of Hebron; Habima, Israel’s national theater, is putting on performances in newly-built halls in settlements; and the University of Ariel, in the heart of the West Bank, has been accepted to the Israeli Committee of University Heads.

Last month, the Ministry of Education even forbade Tel Aviv Municipality from using school maps that show the border between “Judea and Samaria” (the biblical name used to describe the West Bank in modern Israeli discourse) and the rest of the state.

The ability to maintain a thriving society while ignoring millions of people

Naturally, these efforts are being directed at Israeli citizens, while excluding the Palestinian residents of the West Bank. It is as if the roads and freeways on which Israelis travel in the West Bank, which bypass Palestinian towns and villages, have become a metaphor for something bigger: the ability to maintain a thriving society while ignoring millions of people — subjects of a military regime — who are held without rights behind walls and fences in a prison-like reality. The civilian nature of this effort demonstrates how the cancer of the occupation has spread to every corner of society; no one is immune.

Some moments are especially grotesque. Several months ago, the heads of the Israeli film industry traveled to the West Bank for the first ever Samaria Film Festival. Israeli Culture Minister Hili Tropper, a former member of the Labor Party who switched his allegiance to Defense Minister Benny Gantz, announced on stage that the Jewish-only festival represented the pluralism of Israeli society. Meanwhile, Moshe Edri, one of the biggest names in the Israeli film industry, promised to bring the Ophir Awards — the Israeli Oscars — to the West Bank.

The star of the evening was the head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan. Dagan, a politician with excellent ties to the evangelical right in the United States, has spent the last years spearheading the occupation’s cultural and economic normalization. Three years ago, he convinced the Likud-led government to launch the Samaria Film Fund, which finances and promotes film productions in the West Bank. Palestinians living in the area are banned from applying to the fund, since nobody but Israeli citizens can receive funding from government coffers. During a Zoom meeting held by the Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum (of which I am a member), the fund was presented, among others, as a potential source of grants.

Following these developments, a group of filmmakers distributed a letter committing neither to take money from the Samaria Film Fund, nor to participate in events or activities directed at the normalization of the occupation. “The Samaria Fund [is] part and parcel of the mechanisms of apartheid,” the letter read. “In an ongoing reality of occupation, and a creeping process of annexation, we must draw a red line.”

The initial letter garnered 140 signatures, including from some of Israel’s most celebrated directors such as Ari Folman (Waltz With Bashir), Rachel Leah Jones (Advocate), Guy Davidi (Five Broken Cameras), Nadav Lapid (Ahed’s Knee), Keren Yedaya (Or), and Eran Kolirin (Band’s Visit). Since then, the number has grown to almost 400. You can read the full letter and the list of signatories here.

Dagan, who also serves as the head of the Samaria Film Fund, accused the signatories of racism against “half a million Israelis living in Judea and Samaria.” Several dozen film and TV industry members signed a counter-petition. Minister of Culture Tropper responded to the letter by protesting the mixing of politics and art. “The Samaria Film Fund operates according to state law,” Tropper said.

Tropper is right. In Israel, the occupation is “normal,” “non-political,” and has to do with “the rights of half a million Jews.” Meanwhile, any opposition to it is deemed at best political and at worst racist (or, when directed from abroad, antisemitic).

Fighting this twisted framing is one of the most urgent tasks in Israel. The filmmakers’ letter registered a brief success when suddenly Israel’s cultural world was forced to discuss the occupation.

Culture is politics, and has always been. In a reality of permanent military control over millions of people, Israelis (along with everyone else engaging with Israeli society) need to confront the ways in which each and every one of us is complicit in the occupation — as well as the many opportunities our privileged position allows us to resist it. My hope is that the filmmakers’ letter is more of a beginning of something new than an end.

Noam Sheizaf is a member of the group behind the drafting of the filmmakers’ letter. His new documentary, “H2: The Occupation Lab,” premiered at the 2022 Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival.


Presunzione di razza

Un difetto, quello di cui scrive l’amico e collega Roberto Seghetti, che non riguarda solo noi italiani, ma in varia misura, un po’ tutti gli europei, per non parlare dei nordamericani. Forse perché di multiculturalismo si parla più volentieri nei convegni di intellettuali che nelle scuole o in famiglia. E a proposito di libri, devo gran parte della mia formazione ad Ernesto Balducci, autore nel 1985 di un grande libro, l’Uomo planetario. Chissà se lo trovi ancora in libreria. (nandocan)

di Roberto Seghetti (Facebook)

Ogni volta che passo per Torre Argentina non manco mai di fare una capatina da Feltrinelli. Scartabello, leggiucchio, compro qualcosa. E’ un piacere. Ma lì, come in tante altre grandi librerie che frequento, mi capita anche, e sempre, sempre di restare stupito dal nostro etnocentrismo, dalla nostra mancanza di umiltà. Parlo di noi, europei e nordamericani: riempiamo i nostri giornali di studi e prospettive di confronto per contenere l’espansione cinese. Eppure, pochi cercano di capire come pensa quella gente. 

Al punto che nelle librerie releghiamo i pensatori che hanno gettato le fondamenta profonde dell’universo mentale cinese in una specie di angolo del folklore, accanto ai manuali di mindfulness. Tanto per dire, in un tanta vastità di offerta libraria, centinaia, migliaia di testi in mostra, trovo quasi sempre, si e no, un paio di dialoghi di Confucio, uno o due testi dei padri del taoismo, qualcosa di più sul buddismo e si e no un testo dell’I Ching (considerato alla stregua di un Barbanera, invece dello straordinario studio psicologico e antropologico che rappresenta il Libro dei Mutamenti). 

Eppure, quelle robine lì sono le basi minime per capire i cinesi, anche quelli di oggi, anche i comunisti, quelli che l’Occidente vorrebbe contenere. Senza quelle cose non capisci la disciplina, il rispetto per l’autorità, lo studio, ma anche la capacità di sopravvivere nel caos, di adeguarsi al cambiamento o di imparare facendo, la passione unita al distacco, la pazienza e la tenacia sui tempi lunghi…Insomma, ogni volta mi viene in mente che molti nostri errori nascano alla fin fine dalla nostra mancanza di umiltà.


Movida

di Massimo Marnetto 

Bucati notturni, lavastoviglie differite e lasagne all’alba: con le restrizioni diurne, arriverà la movida domestica. Ore piccole in cucina per risparmi grandi sulle bollette, capaci (forse) di attenuare i rincari. 

Dopo il tramonto, ci sarà nelle case l’effetto miniera, con tutta la famiglia che usa la lucetta sulla fronte per evitare di accendere quella centrale. 

I movimenti saranno inutilmente accelerati al solo scopo di battere il freddo, con corse in corridoio senza senso e il frenetico svolgimento di attività domestiche solo per sviluppare calore. 

I panni non andranno più stirati, ma ”covati” sededocisi sopra dopo averli ben piegati. Per la doccia (fredda), studi esquimesi consigliano di cantare sotto il getto il repertorio napoletano, che scalda purché eseguito ad altissimo volume. 

Per asciugarsi i capelli va bene l’alito del cane, ma di almeno sette chili. Ce la faremo


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