New Delhi, November 29
Ambassador of Israel Naor Gilon has sought to calm the social media storm that has erupted in India after an Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid criticised Vivek Agnihotri’s film “The Kashmir Files'' as “propaganda”.
“As a human being I feel ashamed and want to apologise to our hosts for the bad manner in which we repaid them for their generosity and friendship,” read an open letter to Lapid posted by Gilon who regretted that the filmmaker had walked away after making the comments leaving the diplomats to face hate mail.
While criticising Lapid, the ambassador also spoke against Indian social media users who in retaliation, have started doubting the holocaust. “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,” wrote the Israeli envoy.
“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.
“The friendship between the people and the states of India and Israel is very strong and will survive the damage you have inflicted,” he added.
In a rather controversial end to the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at Goa on Monday evening, jury head Lapid said, “We were disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, ‘The Kashmir Files’. To us, it felt like propaganda, a vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.”
Speaking in front of several Union ministers and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant at the closing ceremony, Lapid said he felt comfortable sharing his feelings on stage, saying that “the spirit of having a festival is to accept a critical discussion which is essential for art and life”.
The Ambassador said Lapid should have been more humble when India is consuming Israeli content such as the TV series ‘Fauda’.
“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,” he observed.
Accusing Lapid of being an inveterate contrarian, the Ambassador suggested that he could criticise Israel as much as he wanted but there was no need to reflect his “frustration” on other countries.
“I’m not sure that you have enough factual basis to make such comparisons. I know I don’t,” Gilon wrote.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
CBI books telecom infrastructure firm GTL for cheating, bank fraud in Rs 4,760 crore credit facilities
The agency has booked the company, unidentified directors, p...
US NGO based in Pakistan and receiving aid from American agency is associated with terror organisations, alleges Congressman
Congressman Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Foreign Af...
The pact was signed last week and seven male and five female...
The nasal vaccine—BBV154 -- had received DCGI approval in No...
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is the chief guest at...