Jerusalem, 18 October, 2021 (TPS) — The vast majority of films featured in Netflix’s new “Palestinian Stories” collection were directed by supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the pro-Israel watchdog organization Im Tirtzu has revealed.
Last week, Netflix announced the launch of a new collection of 32 Palestinian films aimed at highlighting Palestinian life. As of Monday, the streaming giant uploaded 28 of the 32 films to its collection.
A survey by Im Tirtzu revealed that of the 28 Palestinian films currently on Netflix’s platform, 25 of them (89%) were directed by BDS supporters. The 28 films were created by a total of 19 directors, 16 of whom, 84%, support boycotting Israel.
Im Tirtzu further discovered that 12 of the directors called to boycott Israel as recently as May 2021, signing an open letter titled “A Letter Against Apartheid.”
“Palestinians are being attacked and killed with impunity by Israeli soldiers and armed Israeli civilians who have been roaming the streets of Jerusalem, Lydda, Haifa, Jaffa and other cities chanting, ‘Death to Arabs,’” the letter claims.
The letter further accused the Israeli government of perpetrating a “massacre” in Gaza and of protecting and encouraging “murder, intimidation and violent dispossession.”
The letter concluded by calling to boycott Israel and “for an end to the support provided by global powers to Israel and its military…Israeli apartheid is sustained by international complicity, it is our collective responsibility to redress this harm.”
Critics of the new Netflix collection argue that the films portray a biased depiction of the conflict while glorifying terrorism and omitting the thousands of terror attacks perpetrated against Israeli civilians.
“It is unforgivable that Netflix has become an outlet for the spread of material written by propagandists who seek to boycott Israel and remove it from the map,” said investigative journalist David Collier.
“This at a time of rising global anti-Semitism,” Collier continued, “much of it disguised as anti-Israel activity. Instead of Netflix supporting moderate voices – it has acted with gross irresponsibility, and by promoting the voice of extremists – its actions can only do harm – both to Israelis and Palestinians.”
Emily Schrader, a journalist and a leading activist against BDS, said that “it is unfortunate that Netflix is giving a platform to directors who advocate division and bigotry in the arts of all places. Film and music are tools that bring people together, yet Netflix is elevating those who actively promote hatred and reject cooperation.”
Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu, stated Monday that it is “disgraceful that Netflix is featuring propaganda films directed by BDS supporters whose sole goal is to slander and delegitimize the only democracy in the Middle East.”
“If Netflix wants to tell the Palestinian story, it should start by contacting the thousands of bereaved Israeli families who are victims of Palestinian terrorism,” Peleg added.