New Delhi: Israel’s ambassador to India Naor Gilon on Tuesday reaffirmed his country’s ties with India, as he again denounced controversial remarks made by Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid at the 2022 International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.”I think one private person with his own opinion shouldn’t change anything here. The relations are much stronger than one individual and I think they will continue regardless of another individual,” Ambassador of Israel to India, Naor Gilon told ANI.
On Monday, the IFFI jury head Nadav Lapid called ‘Kashmir Files’ “vulgar” and “propaganda”. His remarks, made during the closing ceremony of the film festival, have since gone viral and have invited widespread criticism. After Lapid’s remarks on “Kashmir Files” set off a controversy, the Israeli envoy slammed the IFFI Jury Head in an open letter posted on his Twitter account. He also apologized for the conduct of his countryman at the 2022 IFFI in Goa.
“An open letter to #NadavLapid following his criticism of #KashmirFiles. It’s not in Hebrew because I wanted our Indian brothers and sisters to be able to understand. It is also relatively long so I’ll give you the bottom line first. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED,” ambassador Gilon tweeted. While rebuking Lapid, Gilon emphasized how the friendship between the people and the states of India and Israel is very strong and will survive the damage inflicted by him. “The friendship between the people and the states of India and Israel is very strong and will survive the damage you have inflicted. As a human being I feel ashamed and want to apologize to our hosts for the bad manner in which we repaid them for their generosity and friendship,” said Gilon.
Israel’s Consul General Kobbi Shoshani described the IFFI jury head’s remarks as a “big mistake”, and added that the comments made by the Israeli filmmaker don’t reflect the country’s position on the movie. “Concerning Nadav, we don’t accept it. I personally don’t accept it. Ambassador, who was there with me in Goa last night, doesn’t accept it. It’s his own private opinion. He can say that it’s the opinion of the Jury which is alright. But it’s nothing to do with Israel,” Shoshani told ANI.
“I told him after the speech that he made a big mistake, that it wasn’t appropriate. Ambassador and I rolled out comments and tweets in a way that makes very clear what we think about using words like ‘propaganda’, we don’t accept it. He is not representing the State of Israel,” he added. Speaking about his own experiences with the movie “The Kashmir Files”, he said, tears came to his eyes when he saw the film.”It was not an easy film to see. I think it was shown in Israel too. We are Jews who suffered from horrible things and I think we’ve to share others’ suffering,” he said. (ANI)