David Siegel needed all his diplomatic skills to make lemonade out of the lemons handed to him by the Oscar-nominated documentaries ‘The Gatekeepers” and “5 Broken Cameras.”

The Israeli Consul General in Los Angeles acknowledged that both films criticize the government’s policies toward the Palestinians, but asserted that they underscore Israel’s diversity of opinion and freedom of expression.

“We can be proud of the open democratic political discourse we have in Israel,” Siegel said.

‘5 Broken Cameras’ tells the story of a West Bank village’s life under Israeli occupation. “The Gatekeepers” includes startling criticism of Israel’s policies by a string of highly placed security insiders.

Despite his effort to put a positive spin on the movies’ Oscars nods, Siegel did lash out at Guy Davidi, co-creator of “5 Broken Cameras” for backing an international boycott on Israel in order to force it to end the occupation.

Read more at the Forward.