Judge blocks protest against Israeli Film Festival in Australia

A pro-Palestinian protest planned for last week’s opening of the Israeli Film Festival in Sydney, Australia, was blocked.

New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Peter Hidden ruled Aug. 20 in favor of the police, who had applied to the court to block the planned protest the next night because it would disrupt inner-city traffic during a peak hour.

Supporters of the Palestine Action Group, which had organized the protest, said they would not be silenced, despite the “setback for civil liberties.”

“Cultural events like the Israeli Film Festival are designed to whitewash Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians,” Damian Ridgwell, one of the group’s members, said in a statement. “We intend to publicly counter this vile propaganda.”

Albert Dadon, the founder of the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange, organizer of the festival, rejected Ridgwell’s claims.“We don’t hear Ridgwell denouncing crimes against humanity that Hamas commits against its own population,” he said.

The festival, in its 11th year, has among its sponsors the Israeli Embassy. — jta