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Seinfeld, Sacha Baron Cohen and Natalie Portman slam Toronto Film Festival protest
By Natasha Mozgovaya and Itamar Zohar
Tags: Israel boycott, Israel News 
Jewish actors sign letter in L.A. Times and Toronto Star against protest of festival over homage to Tel Aviv.

WASHINGTON - A number of Hollywood stars circulated a letter Tuesday protesting a petition calling for a protest over the Toronto International Film Festival for its Tel Aviv-themed event.

The letter, which appeared simultaneously in the Los Angeles Times and the Toronto Star was signed, among others, by Jerry Seinfeld, Sacha Baron Cohen, Natalie Portman, Jason Alexander and Lisa Kudrow.

The letter, which was paid for by Jewish organizations in Los Angeles and Toronto, said, "Anyone who has actually seen recent Israeli cinema, movies that are political and personal, comic and tragic, often critical, knows they are in no way a propaganda arm for any government policy."
Film festival protesters, which included culture critic Naomi Klein, and directors John Greyson and Richard Fung, said the Israeli films presented at the festival promote Israel's recent publicity campaign, which seeks to show Israel and Tel Aviv as enlightened, liberal places, without conducting a dialogue on their treatment of Palestinians.

The Toronto festival's management did not give in to pressure, and showed all 10 films in the City of City event, which spotlighted Tel Aviv. Among them were Ephraim Kishon's "Big Dig," Assi Dayan's "Life According to Agfa," and Keren Yedaya's "Bride of the Sea."

Meanwhile, Jane Fonda, who had initially opposed the spotlight on Tel Aviv at the festival, Tuesday released a statement that she had changed her mind.

"I 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," Fonda wrote on the She added that the suffering of both sides should be articulated.

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      1.   A girl is allowed to change her mind. 05:13  |  Jasper 16/09/09
      2.   Well done. We have to fight those who distort facts and dehumanis 05:18  |  LIliane 16/09/09
      3.   never heard Jane protest Farfour or Nabul! 05:29  |  Mark 16/09/09
      4.   Typical of the (D)s and Leftist Hanoi Jane 08:04  |  Binyamin Dissen 16/09/09
      5.   You can still sign the letter. It`s not a boycott 08:55  |  David Howard 16/09/09
      6.   Shame on you, Natalie Portman 14:12  |  Pablo Luis 16/09/09
      7.   Hollywood Jews support Israel 16:13  |  Ray Gordon 16/09/09
      8.   Good for them 16:49  |  Yariv 16/09/09
      9.   People got it all wrong 16:53  |  Claudia 16/09/09
      10.   # 1 Jasper, "Best she could do after learning that..boycott was 18:17  |  Canadian Observer 16/09/09
      11.   Jane Fond of 18:37  |  Akiva 16/09/09
      12.   Shame on you, Pablo Luis 19:29  |  Mary Witherspoon 16/09/09
      13.   Yea! Stars We CAN Boycott & Protest 08:38  |  Linda 18/09/09
      14.   sacha baron cohen tiff 22:28  |  john robertson 18/09/09
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