March 27th, 2019
Mayor John D’Amico West Hollywood City Council 8300 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Dear Mayor D’Amico,
I am deeply disturbed by the planned screening of "1948: Creation and Catastrophe," at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers on April 16th, 2019. This event calls into question the City Council's commitment to truth and respect for minority communities.
The movie's central claim is that Israel committed a systematic ethnic cleansing against Palestinians in 1948. It goes even further, using imagery and themes to insinuate that Jews committed the same crimes against Palestinians that Nazi Germany had just committed against them in the Holocaust.
Benny Morris, the leading historian on the Palestinian refugee crisis, has repeatedly stated that Israelis did not engage in systematic ethnic cleansing during the 1948 War, and that responsibility is "split among [Israel], the Palestinians and the Arab countries – with enormous responsibility lying with the Palestinians who started the conflict.” Furthermore, according to the European Union, US State Department, leading organizations in the Jewish community, and many independent experts on the issue, comparing Israelis to Nazis is a form of anti-Semitism.
I fully support free speech and recognize that individuals and groups have a constitutional right to spread misinformation and bigotry in public. That said, I believe that the West Hollywood City Council has a duty to challenge such bigotry rather than giving it a platform or endorsing it.
As such, I call on you to condemn the anti-Semitic content and misinformation in the film, and host an event featuring viewpoints that challenge the claims it makes. I look forward to hearing from you about these important issues of truth and respect for minority communities in West Hollywood.