Israeli Consul General Kobbi Shoshani called IFFI jury chairman Nadav Lapid’s controversial statements on “The Kashmir Files” a “huge error” on Tuesday and said that they don’t represent the country’s opinion of the film.
“Concerning Nadav, we don’t accept it. I personally don’t accept it. The 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 okay. But it’s nothing to do with Israel,” Shoshani said. “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 from 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.”
“From my point of view, I can’t force anyone to apologise. If you ask personally, yes I think he has to apologise because he entered a political dispute in India and it’s not something which he has to do,” he added.
The president of the International Film Festival (IFFI) jury, Nadav Lapid, criticised “Kashmir Files” on Monday, calling it “propaganda” and “vulgar.” His comments, which he delivered during the festival’s closing ceremony, have drawn a lot of backlash since going viral.
The Israeli ambassador, Naor Gilon, blasted the IFFI jury head and apologised for his countryman’s behaviour at the 2022 IFFI in Goa after Lapid’s comments on “Kashmir Files” sparked a stir.
“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 chastised Lapid in a series of tweets and stressed the strength of the friendship between the people and states of India and Israel, saying it will endure any harm he may cause.
“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.
The Israeli representative added that Nadav Lapid had abused the trust placed in him as well as the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at IFFI Goa.
Daniel Carmon, a former representative of Israel in India, added that Lapid ought to apologise for his insensitive personal remarks about historical facts.
“He definitely should apologise for his revolting personal remarks on historical facts without any sensitivity, not really knowing what he was talking about. I strongly urge our many friends in India not to be drawn by one person’s remarks to doubting the facts about the #Holocaust,” Carmon tweeted.
“An unfortunate comment which reflects his own and only his own views and total lack of basic sensitivity or knowledge of what he talked about,” he added.