First Published: 2017-10-05

Arab filmmaker faces Israel probe over Lebanon comments
Israeli culture minister demands probe into prominent filmmaker Bakri after comments made in enemy country Lebanon about Israel’s ‘racist laws’.
Middle East Online

"I don't take her seriously," says Bakri on Regev

JERUSALEM - Israel's culture minister asked the attorney general Sunday to order the investigation of a prominent Arab Israeli filmmaker who spoke out against the Jewish state during a visit to Lebanon.

Mohammed Bakri, who is in Lebanon as part of the "Palestine Days" cultural festival, reportedly said over the weekend that "normalisation with the Zionist enemy is treason, and the debate surrounding it is disgraceful and totally unacceptable".

Bakri called his presence in Lebanon, which is officially in a state of war with Israel, "a victory over (Israel's) racist laws", in remarks carried by the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar.

On Sunday, Culture Minister Miri Regev asked state attorney Avichai Mandelblit to launch an investigation against Bakri upon his return over visiting an enemy country and "inciting" against the state.

"The absence of a firm response from law enforcement agencies would legitimise this type of unacceptable conduct," Regev wrote in a letter.

The justice ministry refused to comment on the issue.

Bakri told Israel's Channel 2 television that he didn't "believe a word" Regev said.

"I don't take her seriously," he said, stressing he was not afraid of being arrested.

Bakri enraged the Israeli establishment and Jewish public with his documentary film "Jenin, Jenin" about April 2002 clashes in which 52 Palestinians and 23 Israeli soldiers were killed.

The film was banned in Israel after a few screenings, but the supreme court later overturned the ban.

The outspoken Regev, a former military censor who belongs to what is seen as Israel's most right-wing government ever, has also repeatedly taken on the country's largely left-wing Jewish cultural elite.

In recent days, she lashed out against a new film, "Foxtrot", which won the grand jury prize at the Venice film festival as well as Israel's best film award, making it eligible for the Oscars.

Regev, who accused the film of "choosing to lie about the Israeli army", vowed to change how public funds are allocated to the cinema industry.

 

Senior Saudi prince blasts Trump's "opportunistic" Jerusalem move

Kuwait ruler’s son named defence minister

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel

Jordan referred to UN for failing to arrest Sudanese president

Turkey demands life for journalists in coup bid trial

Netanyahu expects EU to follow suit on Jerusalem

Putin orders withdrawal of ‘significant’ amount of troops from Syria

Putin to meet with Sisi in Cairo

GCC at a critical juncture

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS

Isolated US defiant at UN Security Council

Putin to visit Turkey for talks on Jerusalem, Syria

Protests sweep Muslim world over Jerusalem

US urges Saudi to show caution in regional disputes

Thousands march in Istanbul to protest US Jerusalem move

Bahrain Shiite leader undergoes surgery

Malaysians, Indonesians protest US move on Jerusalem

EU, Jordan voice backing for Palestinian state

Clashes in West Bank over US Jerusalem move

Macron appeals for calm over US Jerusalem embassy move

World leaders to 're-legitimise' Lebanon PM at Paris talks