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'YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED...' Israel envoy's scathing open letter to countryman who called 'Kashmir Files' vulgar

'The friendship between the people and the states of India and Israel is very strong and will survive the damage you have inflicted. As a human being, I feel ashamed and want to apologize to our hosts for the bad manner in which we repaid them for their generosity and friendship,' Israel Ambassador to India Naor Gilon has said.

YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED Israel envoy Naor Gilon scathing open letter to countryman who called 'Kashmir Files' vulgar
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First Published Nov 29, 2022, 10:13 AM IST

Israel Ambassador to India Naor Gilon has slammed countryman and filmmaker Nadav Lapid in a scathing 'open letter' for describing the movie 'The Kashmir Files' as vulgar and propaganda.

Also Read: Israeli filmmaker who called 'The Kashmir Files' a vulgar movie faces flak... from Israel

Rejecting Lapid's remarks that 'The Kashmir Files' was unfit for an artistic and competitive section of such a prestigious film festival, Gilon said: 'An open letter to Nadav Lapid following his criticism of 'The Kashmir Files'. It is not in Hebrew because I wanted our Indian brothers and sisters to be able to understand. It is also relatively long so I will give you the bottom line first. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED.'

Full Text of the Open Letter

'In Indian culture, they say that a guest is like God. You have abused in the worst way the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at the International Film Festival of India as well as the trust, respect and warm hospitality they have bestowed on you.'

'Our Indian friends brought (actor) Lior Raz and (writer-producer) Avi Issacharoff from 'Fauda' (TV series depicting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) in order to celebrate the love in India towards 'Fauda' and Israel. I suspect that this is maybe also one of the reasons they invited you as an Israeli and me as the ambassador of Israel.'

'I understand your need in retrospect to 'justify' your behaviour, but I cannot understand why you told Ynetnews afterwards that the minister and I said on stage that there is a similarity between our countries because 'we fight a similar enemy and reside in a bad neighbourhood'.'

'We did speak about the similarities and closeness between our countries. The minister spoke about his visits to Israel, it being a Hi-Tech nation and the potential of combining this with the film industry. I spoke about the fact that we grew up watching Indian films. I also said that we should be humble when India, with such a great film culture, is consuming Israeli content (Fauda and more).'

'I am no film expert but I do know that it is insensitive and presumptuous to speak about historical events before deeply studying them and which are an open wound in India because many of the involved are still around and still paying a price.'

'As a son of a holocaust survivor, I was extremely hurt to see reactions in India to you that are doubting Schindler's List, the Holocaust and worse. I unequivocally condemn such statements. There is no justification. It does show the sensitivity of the Kashmir issue here.'

'From your interview to Ynet, the connection you make between your criticism of The Kashmir Files and your dislike of what is happening in Israeli politics was quite evident.'

'As you vocally did in the past, feel free to use the liberty to sound your criticism of what you dislike in Israel but no need to reflect your frustration on other countries. I am not sure that you have enough factual basis for making such comparisons. I know I do not.'

'You will go back to Israel thinking that you are bold and 'made a statement'. We, the representatives of Israel, would stay here. You should see our DM boxes following your “bravery” and what implications it may have on the team under my responsibility.'

'The friendship between the people and the states of India and Israel is very strong and will survive the damage you have inflicted. As a human being, I feel ashamed and want to apologize to our hosts for the bad manner in which we repaid them for their generosity and friendship.'

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