Israel seeks ban on film 'Jenin Jenin'
Middle East Monitor / October 28, 2020
An Israeli Knesset committee has called for banning a film documenting Israel’s siege on the occupied Palestinian West Bank city of Jenin in 2002 and the crimes carried out against its residents, Quds Press reported yesterday. The Foreign and Security Committee at the Israeli Knesset submitted a draft resolution that will be raised to the government’s Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, demanding a ban on the film ‘Jenin, Jenin’.
The film was produced by the Palestinian-Israeli producer Mohammad Bakeri. It documents the Israeli crimes during the invasion of the Palestinian city through accounts by eyewitnesses. The Knesset committee claimed that the film distorts the image of Israeli soldiers and stressed it should not be displayed.
The film has been beset with legal action since it was first aired 18 years ago. In 2003, Israel’s film ratings board claimed that it was a “distorted presentation of events in the guise of democratic truth which could mislead the public.” It judged the documentary to be a “one-sided propaganda film” and claimed that the public could be misled into thinking that Israeli soldiers had committed war crimes.
The director protested against these claims saying: “It is a real shame for me because it shows that democracy in Israel is not reserved for all of its citizens… This is a clear political game that the Likud doesn’t want people to see the movie.” However, the Israeli Supreme Court argued that the film rating board’s decision was an “exaggerated attack on freedom of expression” and ordered the ban be lifted.
According to Quds Press, during the Israeli incursion of the city, Israeli soldiers “executed” 58 Palestinians, wounded hundreds of others, demolished 1,200 homes, including 450 which were completely demolished. The Israeli occupation also arrested hundreds of Palestinians and several reportedly disappeared, while the Israeli occupation forces lost 23 soldiers during the siege.