AJC Welcomes German Condemnation of Turkish Film, “Valley of the Wolves: Palestine”

February 2, 2011 – Berlin – AJC’s Berlin Office has welcomed measures taken in Germany to restrict views of the Turkish-produced film, “Valley of the Wolves:  Palestine,” which was released worldwide on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The German ratings agency, FSK, has asked movie theaters to show the film on an adult-only basis.

“This is a first step toward restricting damage from a propaganda film whose sole purpose is to incite against Israel,” said Deidre Berger, director of AJC Berlin.

Berger expressed concern about the effectiveness of voluntary measures, given reports of underage film viewers being admitted to cinemas despite the film board’s ruling that viewers under the age of 18 not be admitted. She called on government authorities to consider more measures.

This action film follows a Turkish secret agent as he travels to Israel to seek revenge on an Israeli commander for boarding the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara, which carried armed Islamist activists and clashed with the Israeli Navy in May 2010. The film portrays a fictitious account of the events following the flotilla incident in the form of a docu-drama.

“A broad-based educational outreach to educators, parents and others is needed to counteract this anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli and anti-American film,” said Berger.  “With the film now showing in numerous cinemas, there is an urgent need for the government to work together with experts to produce study material.”  Berger added:  “Young people need to understand the combustible combination of half-truths, fiction, stereotypes, and violence portrayed in the film.”

Berger applauded the widespread public outcry in Germany  Leading members of parliament from all parties, including Philip Missfelder (CDU), Jerzy Montag (Alliance 90/Greens), Serkan Toren (FDP), Kerstin Griese (SPD) and Stefan Liebich (Die Linke), as well as a growing number of representatives in Germany’s Turkish community have denounced the film as anti-Semitic, expressing concern about further damage to the strained Turkish-Israeli relationship.

Berger also called on the German distribution company, the Cologne-based Pera, to retract anti-Israeli allegations in the film’s promotional material.

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