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‘I am ashamed’, Israeli Ambassador to India apologises after Jewish filmmaker calls The Kashmir Files ‘vulgar propaganda’, read his open letter

"You will go back to Israel thinking that you are bold and “made a statement”. We, the representatives of Israel, would stay here. You should see our DM boxes following your “bravery” and what implications it may have on the team under my responsibility," Ambassador Gilon told Nadav Lapid

Israeli Ambassador to India, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, Naor Gilon on Tuesday called out the Left-wing Jewish filmmaker Nadav Lapid, who referred to the film based on Kashmiri Hindu genocide perpetrated by Pakistan-backed Islamist terrorists in the late 1980s, early 1990s, as ‘vulgar propaganda’.

In an open letter Ambassador Gilon shared on Twitter, he said that Lapid should be ashamed of himself.

The whole text of his open letter to Lapid is as follows:

In Indian culture they say that a guest is like God. You have abused in the worst way the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at @IFFIGoa as well as the trust, respect and warm hospitality they have bestowed on you. Our Indian friends brought @lioraz and @issacharoff from @FaudaOfficial in order to celebrate the love in #India towards #Fauda and #Israel. I suspect that this is maybe also one of the reasons they invited you as an Israeli and me as the ambassador of Israel.

I understand your need in retrospect to “justify” your behavior but I can’t understand why you told @ynetnews afterwards that the minister and I said on stage that there is similarity between our countries because “we fight a similar enemy and reside in a bad neighborhood”. We did speak about the similarities and closeness between our countries. The minister spoke about his visits to Israel, it being a Hi-Tech nation and the potential of combining this with the film industry. I spoke about the fact that we grew up watching Indian films.

I also said that we should be humble when India, with such a great film culture, is consuming Israeli content (Fauda and more).

I’m no film expert but I do know that it’s insensitive and presumptuous to speak about historic events before deeply studying them and which are an open wound in India because many of the involved are still around and still paying a price.

As a son of a holocaust survivor, I was extremely hurt to see reactions in India to you that are doubting Schindler’s List, the Holocaust and worse. I unequivocally condemn such statements. There is no justification. It does show the sensitivity of the Kashmir issue here. From your interview to Ynet the connection you make between your criticism of #KashmirFiles and your dislike to what is happening in Israeli politics was quite evident.

My suggestion. As you vocally did in the past, feel free to use the liberty to sound your criticism of what you dislike in Israel but no need to reflect your frustration on other countries. I’m not sure that you have enough factual basis to make such comparisons. I know I don’t.

You will go back to Israel thinking that you are bold and “made a statement”. We, the representatives of Israel, would stay here. You should see our DM boxes following your “bravery” and what implications it may have on the team under my responsibility. 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.

The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Jury Head Nadav Lapid on Monday, during the closing ceremony, called Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files ‘propaganda’ and ‘vulgar’. The film was released earlier this year and was based on the Kashmiri Hindu genocide perpetrated in the valley in the late 1980s, 1990s where Islamist terrorists backed by Pakistan unleashed terror upon Kashmiri Hindus leaving lakhs homeless and dead.

The film depicts incidents inspired by real-life where Kashmiri Hindus were targeted because of their religious identity and were brutally raped, murdered and driven out of their homes. You can read about the real-life incidents of brutality perpetrated on Hindus here.

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