Report: BDS supporter Ken Loach profiting from Israel 'every year'
According to a report in the Guardian, vocal BDS supporter, preacher and British director Ken Loach has been earning money from the distribution and screening of his films in Israel since 1993; Loach's Israel distributor: 'I can’t tell you how absurd this is. We’ve been showing his movies for years. I have been paying him money every year.'
Nearly all of Loach's most recent films have been screened in Israel even though the director told Yedioth Ahronoth in the past that he would "prefer his films not be distributed in Israel." It would appear he does not make much of an effort to stop them from being screened.
The distributors of his films in Israel, led by Guy Shani, CEO of Shani Films and Lev Cinemas Ltd, say if Loach were really interested in his films not being screened nor distributed in Israel, he would be able to easily ensure this with the distribution company.
However, in an opinion piece on Loach's hypocrisy published by British newspaper the Guardian, sources close to the director said screenings in Israel "were a mistake" and that films sold for distribution in Israel were hastily decided upon at Cannes by junior employees "in the heat of the moment."
According to the report, Guy Shani remarked on Loach's claims and those of his producers, saying, "I can’t tell you how absurd this is. We’ve been showing his movies for years. I have been paying him money every year.
"Since 1993, when we bought Raining Stones, we bought every film apart from two. We never faced any trouble buying and the audience at the Lev Cinemas is very open-minded and believes in free speech. So he’s punishing the wrong people or trying to."
Loach has made headlines for repeatedly attacking Radiohead in various publications, claiming the band is "supporting Apartheid." Thom Yorke, the band's lead singer, responded to Loach on Twitter blasting the director's attacks on Radiohead.
"Music, art and academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression. I hope that makes it clear Ken."
Loach is a vocal activist against Israel and has threatened to pull out of international film festivals in the past if Israeli films are allowed to take part.