LONDON: Acclaimed film-maker Mira Nair has rejected the Israeli invitation to attend the Haifa International Film Festival in protest against what she calls Israeli `apartheid’ against Palestinians in occupied territories.
“I will not be going to Israel at this time … I will go to Israel when occupation is gone,’’ Nair says.
“I will go to Israel when the state does not privilege one religion over another. I will go to Israel when apartheid is over.”
The Haifa festival, which is into its 30th year, had invited Mira Nair with her film The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
But the Indian-origin filmmaker, who has directed acclaimed films such as Monsoon Wedding, Salaam Bombay, Mississippi Masala, Kama Sutra, Vanity Fair and Namesake, said she supports the Palestinian cultural boycott of Israel and won’t visit the Jewish state only “when the walls come down”.
Nair, who is married to Ugandan-born Prof Mahmood Mamdani, lives in New York where she is an adjunct professor at the School of Arts at Columbia University.
Her critics accuse her of pro-Muslim bias.