Celebrated French-Swiss moviemaker Jean-Luc Godard has dropped out of an annual student film festival in Tel Aviv, an event official said on Saturday.
The cult film director had been due to arrive on Sunday but said he would not be attending for "reasons beyond his control," Morane Tal said.
"We are very disappointed because he seems to have succumbed to pressure from pro-Palestinian groups who launched a campaign for people to boycott Israel," she added.
Godard, who was scheduled to hold a workshop for students at Tel Aviv University, was approached last week by the leaders of a Palestinian campaign calling for an academic and cultural boycott on Israel, who asked him to cancel his visit.
In an open letter released at the beginning of last week, they called on Godard to show his solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation.
"Palestinian artists were deeply disappointed to hear that you are about to visit Israel soon," the letter said, adding that "your visit, particularly these days when Israel's war crimes in Gaza have increased, may help Israel in its efforts to conceal the ongoing violations of the international humanitarian law.
"Participating in this festival is a vulgar politization of art, turning it into an accomplice to a crime."
The letter to Godard was titled "The little soldier dancing on Palestinians' graves," a hint towards the director's 1960 film “Le Petit Soldat” ("The Little Soldier"), which dealt with the war of independence in Algeria and was banned in France for years.
Although Godard did not define the cancellation as "political", he chose to say he was calling off his "tour of Palestine".