The Jerusalem Post ePaper

Christian group helps break BDS film boycott

• Jerusalem Post staff

On Saturday evening, July 2, a group of pro-Israel Pentecostal Christians helped thwart BDS efforts to prevent the screening of an Israeli film at the Doc Edge Festival held in New Zealand. The film in question was the Israeli documentary, “Dead Sea Guardians,” that tells the story of three environmental activists – an Israeli, a Palestinian and a Jordanian – who gathered swimmers from around the world for a swim in the Dead Sea to raise awareness of its alarming environmental situation and to appeal for immediate action on the matter.

In recent months, there have been calls by BDS activists to cancel the film’s screening and boycott the festival. Festival directors Dan Shanan and Alex Lee spoke with the Israeli ambassador and stated that Doc Edge is an apolitical organization that believes in dialogue and would therefore allow the right of expression on all issues.

Israeli Ambassador Ran Yaakoby spoke with Pastor Nigel Woodley, the Senior Pastor at the pro-Israel Flaxmere Christian Fellowship. The group decided to come to the screening with a 50-person bus, and hold a demonstration in support of Israel, complete with signs and t-shirts supporting Israel.

On the day of the screening of the film in Wellington, Woodley and his congregation arrived after a six-hour drive to support Israel, and no anti-Israel activists were in sight.

The group honored Israel with the singing of Hatikvah through megaphones. “Thanks to” the BDS campaign, the 150-seat theater was filled to capacity with people who heard about the film and wanted to show support for Israel.

Ambassador Ran Yaakoby said: “The Israeli Embassy in New Zealand encourages cooperation with the Israeli film and television industry, which is an accessible medium that serves as an intercultural bridge, especially in a remote place such as New Zealand, Israel’s most distant embassy in the world. We are proud of our friends who are willing to come from afar to support Israeli creativity and its presentation here.”





Jerusalem Post