WEST HOLLYWOOD, Ca. — April 15, 2019 — Dr. Judea Pearl, president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, Chancellor’s professor, University of California, Los Angeles, and father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl has declined to appear on a panel set to promote a highly controversial anti-Israel movie shown in the city of West Hollywood, April 16.
As part of its Human Rights Speakers and Film Series, the City of West Hollywood will be showing a movie claiming to be documentary (relying, inter alia, on Holocaust Deniers and anti-Israel “experts”) regarding the establishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948.
The movie producers and promoters are BDS activists playing the role of victims and attempting to dehumanize the people of Israel as a means to delegitimize their state.
The City Council, after listening to more than 60 speakers and reviewing more than 600 written correspondences, decided 3/2 to allow the movie screening claiming freedom of speech trumps historical inaccuracies, agenda-driven propaganda and hateful assault on the identity of many city residents.
Thus, the City of West Hollywood, despite having an anti-BDS resolution and an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with Israel, is sponsoring an anti-Israel propaganda movie.
As an eyewitness to the creation of Israel in 1948 and the genocidal Arab assault on the emerging state, Prof. Pearl was asked whether he would be willing to join the panel set to discuss the movie after the screening. But he declined categorically.
“After examining the composition of the panel, my answer is ‘absolutely not!’ I will not sit on the same panel with promoters of a racist movement called BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction Israel) who, posing as historians, attempt to bestow credibility onto an a-historic movie while, at the same time, advocate the destruction of a people's homeland. I cannot confer moral symmetry onto "scholars" who commit six and a half million human beings, refugees and descendants of refugees, to eternal statelessness at the hands of genocidal neighbors,” Pearl added.
Prof. Pearl offered to provide a separate eyewitness testimony to residents of West Hollywood and neighboring cities, “and convey to them an accurate personal account of what the foiled Arab genocide of 1948 meant to us, its human targets, and what scars it has left on my generation, survivors of the Arab assault of 1947-1948.”
Pearl said airing the movie in West Hollywood is not a free speech issue. “It is a public deception issue. As a president of an organization dedicated to interfaith dialogue and cross-cultural understanding, I do not question for a moment the right of the producers to air their product in a place of their choice.”
Prof. Pearl said what he does question is the appropriateness of selecting a propaganda film as part of West Hollywood's Human Rights Speakers Series, “despite its glaring distortions and omissions pointed out by many members of the community, and despite the obvious agenda of the movie promoters to delegitimize Israel's birth so as to undermine her existence at the present.”
Pearl went on to say that the destruction of Israel is a human-rights issue, for Israel protects the life and dignity of eight million human beings, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Bahai, Druze and numerous other minorities, straight and gay, women and men. “Deniers of those rights need be shunned, not welcome by any city that has written human rights on its banner.”
The City of West Hollywood is the first government entity at any level to sponsor this movie, thus encouraging hostilities against Jews and other supporters of co-existence in the Middle East.
Efforts by a local coalition including the Jewish, Christian, Persian, Russian, Israeli and Gay communities failed to dissuade the City from proceeding with the showing.
Students Supporting Israel is planning a 250-strong demonstration outside the Council Chambers in West Hollywood where the screening is slated to take place.