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Hagana massacre libel resurfaces at film festival
: Hagana massacre libel resurfaces at film festivalBy
: Abigail Radoszkowicz Published in
: Jerusalem PostDate of issue
16 July 2003Topic(s) addressed
: Timeline event(s) mentioned in this item:
Commentary (by JB) Abstract
Radoszkowicz, writing in the right-wing Jerusalem Post (which is owned by Conrad Black), tries hard to discredit Teddy Katz. Another Zionist smear of those Israeli historians who are trying to tell the truth about the Nakbah.
This article refers to the following film: Islands on the Shore.
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A discredited master's thesis which "exposed" the massacre of Arab prisoners of war by Hagana troops during the War of Independence has found new life as one of the seven films competing for this year's Wolgin Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
The emcee at Monday night's premiere screening read a disclaimer, but the film is clearly based on the notorious thesis by Teddy Katz. Katz's 1998 paper, suggesting a massacre perpetrated by members of the Alexandroni Brigade at the seaside village of Tantura near Haifa, initially received a grade of 97 at the University of Haifa.
In the film, Islands on the Shore, three generations of an Israeli family get together one day at their moshav homestead by the sea. The handsome, blind historian son and his beautiful Arab assistant present the latter's graduate thesis exposing a massacre of Arab prisoners during the 1948 war that took place at the Arab village on whose ruins the moshav stands.
Although director Yeud Levanon officially denies that his film was inspired by the Katz affair, he supplied his publicist with quotes from Katz's thesis and out-of-context quotes from Ha'aretz concerning the Katz case. The publicist now faces a law suit.
The seaside setting is compelling proof of the Katz connection, and the film's closing credits thank Kibbutz Nahsholim, the seaside kibbutz located at the Tantura site, for allowing it to film there.
Teddy Katz says that he wasn't consulted during the film's production, and first heard about it recently from his lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, in connection with its publicist's legal problems. "I'm looking forward to seeing the film this Sunday. I understand the director built a plot based on my thesis, which is freely available on the Internet."