The Stockholm International Film Festival in Sweden has denied allegations that it disinvited an America-Israeli filmmaker and actress from attending an in-person event taking place this month, saying there had been a “misunderstanding.”
Aleeza Chanowitz was invited to attend the event for a special presentation of her television show Chanshi on Thursday at the film festival, which runs from Nov. 8-19.
In the show, Chanowitz stars as a young Jewish Orthodox woman from Brooklyn, named Chanshi, who runs away from her engagement and moves to Israel to find freedom, fun, and live out her sexual fantasy of being with an Israeli soldier. Jewish actor Henry Winkler plays her father. The show screened at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in January.
Chanowitz and the show’s Israeli broadcaster Hot said in statements over the weekend that her invitation to the Stockholm International Film Festival was allegedly withdrawn following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war that began on Oct. 7, when Hamas terrorists rampaged across southern Israel murdering over 1,200 people and taking more than 200 as hostages. Chanowitz said that in a series of emails, the film festival’s hospitality department listed reasons as to why it was better if she did not come in person, including travel concerns, while the screening of Chanshi would proceed as scheduled.
Organizers of the Stockholm Film Festival explained in a statement on Monday that the confusion about Chanowitz’s attendance had nothing to do with “political viewpoints” surrounding the war in Gaza, the Palestinian enclave controlled by Hamas.
“This is not correct at all,” organizers said. “From the bottom of our hearts, we at the Stockholm International Film Festival are deeply sorry and take responsibility for the misunderstanding that was communicated to Aleeza Chanowitz and the team behind Chanshi.”
“After the October 7th attacks we offered to arrange a digital Q&A instead,” they added. “The Stockholm International Film Festival always stands behind its films and filmmakers and would never refuse a participating director’s visit, nor cancel the screening of their work for political reasons. We are incredibly sorry about this bad communication that has caused pain for the team, for Israel, and for the wider Jewish community. The screening of Chanshi will go on as planned on November 16th.”
Chanowitz told Deadline that she had received a new email from the film festival on Monday in which organizers apologized and reiterated the misunderstanding. They said they would “love” for her to come to the festival in person and offered to cover her accommodation expenses, if she paid for her flight. She told Deadline, “The festival’s excuse as to why they don’t want me to attend has changed three times, which makes me feel that they aren’t being honest with me. I don’t think I’ll be going because I don’t feel very welcome anymore.”
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Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta
i24 News – A protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.
A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.
JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.
The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.
The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a… pic.twitter.com/B8nUQAj2nU
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023
“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.
Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”
“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”
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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed
Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.
Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.
“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”
Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.
A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.
Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.
More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.
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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist
i24 News – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.
According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.
During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.
ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.
הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו. pic.twitter.com/mEaJs58hpE
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023
The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.
It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.
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