Israeli film-maker opens ceremony at prestigious international film festival gets fired over Holocaust joke in Games event. Yes, it’s true that an opening ceremony coordinator for the Cannes film festival was fired today for a” Holocaust joke.” But why? Did he make a joke about the holocaust during the opening ceremony for the prestigious international film festival to promote the film? Or was he fired because of some other alleged offense? We’ve been reading all day about how the opening ceremony was canceled due to security reasons after a bomb scare near the stadium.
But why did the opening ceremony get canceled? Was it security related? Did the organizers of the event hurt the fragile peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians? No matter what is the reason, the question of why the opening ceremony was canceled has everyone in a frenzy over the event. And it makes sense too. Israel has recently made some controversial statements and their relationship with the United States and the United Nations is at an all time low.
In fact, the U.S. State Department and even the UN are calling for harsher actions against Israel for its settlements in the occupied West Bank. So it’s natural for people like me and others to be concerned about this type of situation and how free speech and public opinion can be hijacked by those who wish to have a strong state. And yes, the movie industry is one of those sectors of society where people can openly and loudly express themselves with no consequences. So it’s no wonder why the Cannes opening ceremony got canceled.
Now then, I suppose you can say that the opening ceremony was never intended to promote one country over another. However, given the history of the film industry and the impact that it has on society generally, one can understand if it was included as a marketing strategy. And in that case, cancellation of the event would be totally understandable. After all, in the world of entertainment and media, one does not really throw away good money just to have an open microphone moment in front of the cameras.
But then, the entire point of the event was to celebrate a very special and meaningful partnership between two countries. If the opening ceremony was offensive to the Jews, then there is no point in having the Opening Ceremony. And if the director knew ahead of time that he was going to offend the Jewish community, then he should have had the courage to re-direct the proceedings. Instead he chose to go ahead with the opening ceremony anyway and to include a tasteless joke about the holocaust. And now we see the resulting backlash.