WIESENTHAL CENTER WELCOMES JANE FONDA’S STATEMENT ON HER ROLE IN TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL PROTEST

September 14, 2009

WIESENTHAL CENTER WELCOMES JANE FONDA’S STATEMENT ON HER ROLE IN TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL PROTEST

The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed today’s statement from Jane Fonda. She made the statement to clarify her participation in the “Toronto Declaration” a document signed by over 1,000 actors, directors, and writers and others protesting the Toronto Film Festival’s spotlight on Tel Aviv’s 100th anniversary saying that Israel’s cultural capital, “is built on destroyed Palestinian villages,” and that the “use of such an important international festival in staging a propaganda campaign on behalf of … an apartheid regime.”

In her statement, which appeared in The Huffington Post, Fonda said she signed the letter, “without reading it carefully enough, without asking myself if some of the wording wouldn't exacerbate the situation rather than bring about constructive dialogue.”

In the midst of the controversy, Fonda approached Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center, one of the most vocal critics of the “Toronto Declaration.”

“I’ve known Jane for a long time and I had a very good discussion on this issue with her when she visited me at my home last Thursday,” said Rabbi Hier. “She told me then that she had not thoroughly vetted the ‘Toronto Declaration’ as she should have and I think that she did the right thing by saying that and issuing this very much needed clarification to set the record straight” Hier continued. “The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomes her acknowledgment that the Declaration was one-sided, that the description of Tel Aviv was unfair and that only the Palestinian point of view was presented and that the Declaration completely ignored the thousands of Hamas rockets fired into Sderot which left Israel no alternative except to enter Gaza – something they did not want to do,” he concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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