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A group of celebrities have issued their own letter defending Israel’s inclusion in the TIFF’s city spotlight. As the Jerusalem Post reports:

Natalie Portman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Lisa Kudrow and Jerry Seinfeld were among dozens of film professionals who issued a statement this week defending the Toronto Film Festival’s decision to spotlight Tel Aviv.

My gut reaction was to be happy about this, but then I thought for a second and realized: why should I be? It just exposes a severe underlying issue: why should I, or anyone else for that matter, care that a director, a comedian, or an actor supports Israel or doesn’t support Israel? Why does Danny Glover’s opinion carry weight in international affairs? And let’s be perfectly honest, it does. If the original protest letter did not include celebrities, then it would have made no headlines and had no influence, but since Jane Fonda’s name is on it all of a sudden TIFF has some explaining to do and is put on the defensive. And who comes to the rescue, to lift up Israel from the pits of condemnation? Who is it that has the power sway public opinion back to supporting TIFF? None other than Middle East expert Lisa Kudrow!

There’s something wrong with this picture. (No pun intended. Really!)

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