The city of Takoma Park postponed last week’s screening of the controversial film “The Occupation of the American Mind” while it arranges a post-film discussion.
But the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, which criticized the film as “extremely one-sided and does not present an accurate picture of the overall Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” is hoping ensure the film isn’t screened in the city at all.
The movie was to be shown as part of Takoma Park’s arts and culture series “We are Takoma.”
“We’re hoping we can sit down and talk to the people in the arts and culture commission,” said Meredith Weisel, the JCRC’s director of Maryland government and community relations said. “We want to find a better way of addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the film being shown. The hope is to get the arts and humanities commission to see why the film is problematic.”
“The Occupation of the American Mind” argues that Israel propaganda controls the American media’s depiction of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The film is narrated by musician Roger Waters, an outspoken critic of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians and vocal proponent of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.
In a statement, the JCRC called the film “extremely one-sided” and anti-Semitic, saying that the film’s presentation of the conflict “echoes sinister, age-old anti=Semitic tropes about Jews that of late are resurfacing with alarming regularity.”
Also condemning the film’s showing were the Zionist Organization of America and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
Donna Wright, communication specialist for Takoma Park, said in an email that an after-film discussion will focus on “the points the film makes in a way that allows for people to express their thoughts and perspectives and explore what has changed since the film was made, given the current politics in Israel and the United States.”
She did not respond to calls for further comment.