Israeli director Yuval Abraham (left) and Palestinian director Basel Adra speak on stage after receiving the Berlinale documentary award for ‘No Other Land’ during the awards ceremony of the 74th Berlinale International Film Festival, on February 24, 2024, in Berlin. — AFP

Israeli journalist and documentary filmmaker Yuval Abraham on Monday said that he stands “behind every word” of his condemnation of Israeli apartheid and Gaza genocide at the Berlinale International Film Festival.

Abraham took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to share that he has been receiving “death threats” since he condemned Israeli apartheid during his acceptance speech at the film festival after his documentary “No Other Land” won the best documentary award, Daily Sabah reported.

“Israel’s channel 11 aired this 30 second segment from my speech, insanely called it ‘anti-semitic’,” he wrote. “I stand behind every word.”

The documentary that Abraham co-directed with Palestinian lawyer and activist Basel Adra, Hamdan Ballal and Rachel Szor depicts the Israeli forces’ demolition of homes in the occupied West Bank and the eviction of people living there.

As he accepted the award on Sunday, Abraham, who stood alongside Adra, said: “Me and Basel are the same age. I am Israeli, Basel is Palestinian and in two days we will go back to a land where we are not equal.

“I am living under civilian law and Basel is under military law. We live 30 minutes from one another but I have voting rights and Basel is not having voting rights.

“I am free to move where I want in this land, Basel is like millions of Palestinians, locked in the occupied West Bank. This situation of apartheid between us, this inequality, it has to end.”

Meanwhile, Adra called on Germany to “respect the [United Nations] calls and stop sending weapons to Israel,” and noted that the support of Western countries has allowed nearly 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza to be “slaughtered and massacred” by Israel.

The Israeli public broadcaster, Kan, promptly labelled Abraham’s remarks an “antisemitic speech,” while Berlin Mayor Kai Wegner criticised the statement and those of several other Palestinian rights supporters at the awards ceremony.

Abraham’s statement, filmmaker Ben Russell’s decision to wear a traditional Palestinian keffiyeh, and filmmaker Eliza Hittman’s call for a ceasefire — supported by international human rights groups, the vast majority of member states at the UN General Assembly, and numerous UN agencies — were reduced to “an intolerable relativization,” according to Wegner.

The federal commissioner for culture and the media said Monday that the government will investigate the filmmakers’ statements.

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