After remarks of Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid on the movie Kashmir Files set off a controversy, Israeli envoy to India Naor Gilon on Tuesday slammed the IFFI Jury Head and apologized for the conduct of his countryman at the 2022 International Film Festival of India 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.
Gilon, in a series of tweets, rebuked Lapid and 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.
"My suggestion. As you vocally did in the past, feel free to use the liberty to sound your criticism of what you dislike in Israel but no need to reflect your frustration on other countries. I'm not sure that you have enough factual basis to make such comparisons. I know I don't," he added.
On Monday, IFFI Jury Head Nadav Lapid, at the closing ceremony of the film festival, called the film 'Kashmir Files' "propaganda, vulgar". His remarks which have since gone viral have invited widespread criticism.
The Israeli envoy said Nadav Lapid has abused the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at IFFI Goa, as well as, the trust bestowed on him.
"Our Indian friends brought @lioraz and @issacharoff from @FaudaOfficial in order to celebrate the love in #India towards #Fauda and #Israel. I suspect that this is maybe also one of the reasons they invited you as an Israeli and me as the ambassador of Israel," he said.
"I'm no film expert but I do know that it's insensitive and presumptuous to speak about historic events before deeply studying them and which are an open wound in India because many of the involved are still around and still paying a price," he added.
Speaking as the son of a holocaust survivor, Gilon said he was extremely hurt to see reactions in India to you that are doubting Schindler's List, the Holocaust and worse.
"I unequivocally condemn such statements. There is no justification. It does show the sensitivity of the Kashmir issue here," he said.
Referring to his recent interview with Israeli news website, the envoy said, "From your interview to Ynet the connection you make between your criticism of #KashmirFiles and your dislike to what is happening in Israeli politics was quite evident."
"You will go back to Israel thinking that you are bold and made a statement. We, the representatives of Israel, would stay here. You should see our DM boxes following your bravery and what implications it may have on the team under my responsibility," he added.
(with inputs from ANI)