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July 27, 2006


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This is indeed the position which Zizek took at Birkbeck, audio recordings of which are now available here:


[Final session, somewhere near the middle]


Zizek's response, genuine or not, has not yet been posted at PACBI's website (where their open letter appealing to Zizek to boycott the film festival first appeared, here:http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article4853.shtml).

I've seen Forgiveness, the film Zizek is attending, and his sentiments, broadly speaking, are right - though there have been many other equally "powerful and important" films made about the tragedies in the region. I should also point out that the Zizek scripted, presented and narrated film The Pervert's Guide To Cinema is also being premiered at the film festival.

But Daniel is right: the letter, its irritating pseudo-sensitivity aside, does coincide with what Zizek stated in the last - 9th - of the recent Birkbeck lectures (listen to the audio here - final third: http://rabelais.socialtools.net/09.zizek.lacan.london.21-June-2006.wav), though he does displace his dilemma onto suggestions about organising (by whom exactly is left unspecified) a mass march/protest (200,000+ people) in Israel for the unification of Jerusalem ...

Nevertheless, I think Zizek has seemingly made a serious mistake here. (Would he, like Paul Simon, have visited South Africa in the 1980s during the Apartheid Regime while sanctions were operative, and the regime was bending over backwards to facilitate visits by white Westerners?)

(BTW, Jodi, Anti-semitism is much greater in America than in Europe, but its incidence anywhere is hardly a pretext, when, as Zizek well knows, the issue is anti-Zionism and not what the pro-Zionist media claim).


Update: Below is an extract from a video recording of Zizek's 1-hour address at the Jerusalem Film Festival two weeks ago, following the screening of Forgiveness:

From The Jerusalem Post 11-7-06

Israeli movie picked for Tokyo Film Fest:

After screening at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, Israeli director Udi Aloni's latest film, Forgiveness, has been chosen to participate in the Tokyo International Film Festival, one of the most prestigious in the world.

Forgiveness is the story of an Israeli-American who decides to return to Israel and is committed to a mental institution that stands on the allegedly haunted grounds of Deir Yassin, an Arab village attacked by a Jewish militia in April 1948. Although the movie won't be released commercially until September 21, it will be screened at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center on Thursday as part of the Jerusalem International Film Festival. On Friday, philosopher Slavoj Zizek will give a lecture on the film in Jerusalem. The film will also be screened at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on Sunday, with a lecture by Zizek to follow.- Aliza Appelbaum


Pervert's Guide:


Why be naive and imagine Zizek cares?... Given that he welcomed NATO's bombing in Kosovo, despite thousands of civilian and refugee casualties, despite the use of cluster bombs, despite Yougoslavia's infrastructure being destroyed etc., what matters to suffering people is far less significant to Zizek.

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