These people have decided it was time to bring out the big guns and thwart any possibility Hany Abu-Assad's controversial movie gets an Oscar for best foreign movie in the upcoming Academy Awards, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
As a result, members of the American Academy for Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences who elect the winners were put under heavy pressure in recent days not to vote for a movie that depicts suicide bombers as humane, while powerful Israelis and Jews in the movie industry have exerted all their influence, albeit discretely, to hamper with the film's prospects of winning the prestigious award.
Meanwhile, sources at the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles have decided to take a different avenue and employ diplomacy in the affair.
Israeli officials, including Consul General Ehud Danoch and Consul for Media and Public Affairs Gilad Millo, have managed to extract a guarantee from the American Academy that Paradise Now will not be presented in the ceremony as representing the state of Palestine, despite the fact it is introduced as such in the Academy Awards' official website.
Consulate officials have asked Academy members to act with consideration and sensitivity, and abide by the fact the Palestinian Authority has yet to be announced a state.
However, sources at Israel's Foreign Ministry condemned attempts to hinder Paradise Now's chances in the Oscars, saying these efforts may tarnish Israel's international reputation as a state that advocates freedom of speech.