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Urge Takoma Park’s Mayor and City Councilmembers and the Arts and Humanities Commissioners to Cancel the Film Screening of “Occupation of the American Mind”
action now and make sure your voice is heard!
Select this link to contact Takoma Park’s Mayor and City Councilmembers and the Arts and Humanities Commissioners to urge Takoma Park to cancel the showing of this film and withdraw the City’s sponsorship.
In June, the JCRC learned that the City of Takoma Park, under the auspices of its Arts and Humanities Commission’s ongoing cultural series, scheduled a screening of a film called “The Occupation of the American Mind.” The JCRC wrote to the Mayor and City of Takoma Park Council to express our concerns about the film screening, stating that “the description of the film…is tremendously biased against the American Jewish community by claiming that pro-Israel groups are engaged in a propaganda campaign and control the American media. This echoes centuries-old antisemitic tropes about the Jewish people controlling and manipulating media and the government.” To read the full letter please click here.
JCRC staff had discussions with Mayor Kate Stewart and the event on June 13 was postponed. The JCRC understood that city staff and members of the arts and humanities commission would engage in further conversations with the JCRC regarding strategies for presenting a more balanced approach to this difficult but important topic that would not involve this divisive, antisemitic, and misleading film.
The JCRC heard nothing further from Takoma Park city staff and was dismayed to learn on July 11 of a new plan to show the film on July 23. The JCRC was given less than two days to respond to an invitation asking us to sit on a discussion panel with two organizations explicitly opposed to the very existence of the State of Israel and the right of the Jewish people to self-determination. That is hardly the basis for a respectful and productive dialogue. We have since been informed neither of these organizations will be a part of the panel.
On July 11, we wrote to Mayor Stewart renewing our objections and protesting the manner in which City of Takoma Park officials, across the board, have handled this matter.
We urge the City to cancel this film screening as it does not fulfill the arts commission’s goals of promoting diversity, tolerance, and respect for others. It lacks any context of a complex situation and does not promote a legitimate public policy debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This is not a matter of censorship. This film is freely available online for anyone wishing to view it. This is a matter of taxpayer dollars and public resources being used to support the screening of a film that promotes hatred of Israel and of Jews, and presents a wildly distorted, one-sided, misleading narrative regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.