Call to boycott the Doc Edge Film Festival – film as propaganda


The decision by Doc Edge to retain the Israeli embassy as a financial supporter of the Doc Edge Film Festival means Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa is calling on film makers and the general public to boycott the festival.

“It is untenable that this festival would side with the Israeli Embassy against calls for freedom from Palestinians”

“The festival is helping Israel to “art-wash” its crimes against the Palestinian people”

For 17 years Palestinians have been calling for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel to pressure it to end its military occupation, repeal its apartheid laws and allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. A festival boycott is in support of these aims.

Yesterday the festival issued a statement claiming to be “apolitical”.

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However being “apolitical” hasn’t stopped Doc Edge from standing in solidarity with Ukraine against a brutal Russian military occupation but it has stopped them standing with Palestinians who live under a brutal Israeli military occupation.

Perhaps it’s the eye-colour of the victims which makes the difference for Doc Edge.

“Dead Sea Guardians” – Film as propaganda

Israel has an international programme of propaganda to gain “legitimacy” and “normalise” its brutal oppression of Palestinians. Doc Edge has become part of this propaganda drive.

“Dead-Sea Guardians” – the film the Israeli Embassy is sponsoring – claims to centre on a swim across the Dead Sea “from Jordan to Israel” but in fact is a swim “from Jordan to the Occupied Palestinian Territories”. (Kalia Beach where the swim ends is in the Occupied West Bank – part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories)

Here is how Doc Edge is promoting the film:

The Occupied Palestinian Territories were to be part of a Palestinian state but Israel has prevented this by building hundreds of illegal Jewish-only settlements across the area and brought in 600,000 Israeli settlers. Now they claim it is part of Israel.

The Aotearoa New Zealand government, and the entire international community, do not support Israeli claims to the Occupied West Bank but Doc Edge, who say they selected the film for the festival, is happy to promote the crude propaganda lie that this area is part of Israel.

This is an added reason to boycott the festival.

PSNA is putting out a call for film producers to withdraw their films and the public to boycott the festival.



  1. ‘Sport and politics don’t mix’; ‘Religion and politics don’t mix’; ‘Art and politics don’t mix’. But we eventually saw through the fallacy of this assertion dressed up as moral paralysis in the case of South African separate development – on grounds it had already mixed there, the forced separation of sports and politics hid SA sport’s use as propaganda for a thoroughly mixed politics.
    Religious leaders spoke out about that apartheid because they too saw through the false separation: it was, they said, their role in society to speak out against unjust politics/laws (“when injustice became law, resistance becomes duty”), especially religions promoting love&justice for all. As long as they used reasoned principle & established the basis for the common values at risk by ‘not mixing’, silence, complicity and living by simplistic, self-serving cliches.
    So when it comes to art being apolitical, ‘art and politics not mixing’, the distinction is this: it has already been mixed, exploited, appropriated, and exploited for propaganda purposes by a politics who values include separate development and oppression. Therefore unmix, make the necessary distinction, wash hands from such contamination, not Pilate-like, from responsibility.
    Good enough for clear thinking Belgium, good enough for us. Good enough to support Ukraine’s desperate struggle to separate Church&State Russia’s attack on central values of sovereign state (rule-based international order), good enough for us.
    Eyes wide open, organisers: this is no ordinary sponsor but an embassy from a parish and rogue state in defiance of international law for more than 55 years – with growing impunity. Refuse them this loaded largesse.

    • That term ‘moral paralysis’ is really good and illustrative of much going on, or, perhaps not happening, now so thanks Steve.

  2. Israel is occupying and colonising Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes.
    To accept support from its embassy here in Aotearoa-NZ is not only a profound insult to local Palestinians but all who work in solidarity with them in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
    The recent reports by Amnesty International and B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories declare that
    Israeli government policies are a form of apartheid and as such a crime against humanity.
    The intentional insertion of Israeli Embassy support into the Doc Edge Film Festival, an otherwise valuable cultural event, is disgraceful, hypocritical and contrary to its stated kaupapa.

  3. C’mon to those who are intelligent and alert, they know that everything is political, and particularly now – everything is a sensutuve matter – you could say we are in a period of bioluminescence on land! There are virtual auras around some people and things, that can’t be wished away by decree.

  4. A complete crock, but of course the docedge film people probably have no idea that the swim comes to the Occupied Territories, great bit of propaganda from the Israelis.

  5. I am not so much concerned here about political influence by Israel thorough their Embassy. What bothers me most is to give credibility to an entity that does not respect International laws. Israel must be sanctioned and boycotted more than it has ever been. It does not deserve a positive international profile, being a rogue state

      • Gaby do you understand what a rogue state is? Heres a rogue state timeline so you can get the idea.

        1933 – Germany passes Aryaness Anti-semetic laws, rogue state
        1938 – Germany annexes the Sudetenland, rogue state
        1939 – Germany invades Poland, rogue state,
        1942 – Germany declares final solution, rogue state.
        1952 – South Africa creates apartheid laws, rogue state
        1964 – Rhodesia declares white minority rule, rogue state
        1967 – Israel annexes the west bank, rogue state
        1979 – USSR invades Aghanistan, rogue state,
        2001 – USA invades Afghanistan, rogue state
        2014 – Russia annexes Crimea, rogue state
        2018 – Israel passes the “Jewish nation-state law”, rogue state

        Israel has a semblance of democracy just like many arab states havea semblance of democracy. All the states in the list above had a semblance of democracy when they went rogue just like Israel has a semblance of democracy today. Democracy has nothing to do with it, The People, never get to vote on the question “Do you want to become a rogue state”.

        For Israelis their final response to the Holocaust shouldn’t be to become Nazis.

        • Ah, the old Nazi canard. When strong Jews defend themselves against terrorists, they are ‘Nazis’. If you want Rogues (and Nazis) , look no further than the Palestinians. They supported Hitler in WW2 and their Mufti gave the Fuhrer assurances they’d carry out his Holocaust in the ME, when the time came. Then he cosied up to Himmler and helped him form two Arab SS brigades, Kama and Handschar, to slaughter Jews in the Balkans. The Mufti was accordingly indicted at Nuremberg. The Charters of Hamas and the PA both call for genocide of the Jews. So there are your Rogues and your Nazis.

          • As I said, For Israelis their final response to the Holocaust shouldn’t be to become Nazis.

            Just watching from the other side of the world the annexation of the westbank, lebensraum settlements and creation of the gazza ghetto look like the actions of a rogue state.

            Peace In The Middle East.

            • Jews always had the right to settle Judea/Samaria under the Mandate, the LON, and the UNO. They took it from Jordan’s illegal occupation in 1967, in a defensive war, and the settlements are legal under International law despite claims to the contrary. Palestinians rejected Partition so have no claims to the land. The Gaza Strip is controlled by the proscribed terrorist group Hamas who are sworn to destroy Israel so Israel’s blockade is legal and supported by Egypt. Calling Israel ‘Nazi’ is obscene. Where are the 6 million dead Arabs? The death camps? Crematoria? You clearly have no knowledge of the conflict so resort to cheap name calling. A picture is worth thousands of your weasel words.

              • “We are the aggressors. The land is theirs [the Arabs]. They are living in it. We come and take it from them.” David Ben-Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel.

  6. So the Dead Sea Guardians swim is from Jordan to Palestine, Not Israel. (not unless they came out of the Dead Sea and continued to swim across land for another 20 Km or so. . .)

    And the Board of Doc Edge (Glenn Johnstone, Deborah Hart, Cameron McGregor, Helen Clarke & Judy Baily), with the Sponsorship of the Israeli Embassy, seem to be happy to support Wiping Palestine off the Map.

    This surprises me as Deborah Hart, the Chair of the NZ Holocaust Center, should be the first person to stand up for Human Rights and oppose wiping anyone or any country off the map.

    Will Deborah speak up against this?

    Or will she be just OK with the Misrepresentation because it is Palestine. . .

    One could ask her at this email address –

    • Can Israel Freely Kill American Journalists? Shireen Abu Akleh
      , Jun 2, 2022. This video breaks down the case of the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh and why Israel cannot be trusted to investigate itself, also debunking the disinformation campaign that was created to try and frame this as the fault of Palestinians.

      gaby has a Zionist pedigree in outrageous bullshit and compulsive dishonesty ,,,

      He’s probably celibrating his political affiliation being removed from the usa designated Terrorist list.

      ‘Advocates say US should include more far-right Israeli groups on ‘terrorism’ blacklist, not delist Kahane Chai.’ ,,,

      ,” Three years before its FTO designation in 1997, one of its supporters killed 29 Palestinian worshippers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron. ”

      “adherents who espouse its ideology are still operating both in the US and Israel.”

      Flags,,, Amer Zahr

  7. If you are being sponsored by a foreign state you cannot claim to be apolitical. Freedom of information is all very well, but the Documentary New Zealand Trust is not going to bite the hand that feeds it. The nations which sponsor DocEdge (the US, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, France and Israel) have in common the fact that they comprise part of the western military alliance. You would expect DocEdge to be an organ of propaganda for those states, and that is indeed the case. It is no more “impartial”, “unbiased” or “apolitical” than the rest of the New Zealand media apparatus. End of story.

  8. The DocEdge ‘team’ describe themselves on their website as, “A talented and passionate group who believe in the power of documentary.” Please note that they don’t ascribe to any sense of morality!

  9. Perhaps the collective invasion of Israel by Arab states in 1948 has something to do with all this? One wonders how things would have turned out had they left Israel in peace from the very start rather than hurling rockets at it for the ensuing 73 years.

      • John, Israel is a state, weather you like it or not. The Jewish peoples are indigenous to Israel and have lived there before Caesar came along thousands of years ago.

        I’ve always been concerned about the hatred of the Jewish people by the extreme left & right on the political spectrum.

        I remember saying that once some years ago & I was accused of being either a Jew or a Jew lover.

  10. This is simple pay to play.

    Glen Johnstone, Chair Doc Edge Festival, “Our commitment is to remain steadfast against any external pressure.”

    Film Producer: Please show my film at your film festival.
    Glen Johnstone: It was pretty hot in Belgium
    Film Producer: The Israeli embassy wants to financially support your festival.

    There is a simple test in regard to this. Pull the film and see if the dollars remain! But of course, Doc Edge Festival is now trapped by their pay to play decision. There is no way out, if they pull the film the money they would have received will be spent on branding their Festival as anti-semitic which is not very festive.

    Personally, I am happy to view the film as I think I can make up my own mind about the content of propaganda but the Festival should never have taken the money there is nothing influence free about it.

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