U.K. Director Ken Loach to Palestinians: If You Are Divided, You Will Fail

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

British film director Ken Loach warned the Palestinians during a visit to the West Bank, that they must not be divided amongst themselves or they will fail in their quest for independence, AFP reported on Wednesday.

The veteran social activist arrived in the Ramallah as the guest of honor at the screening of his award-winning drama "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" which depicts the Irish struggle for independence against the British.

Film director Ken LoachCredit: AP

The film-maker drew a comparison to the situation in the Palestinian Authority to the internal struggles within Ireland during the civil war, AFP reported.

Tensions between Hamas, the leading party in the Gaza Strip, and Fatah, have simmered since the Hamas took over power in Gaza in a bloody military coup in 2007, splitting the Palestinian territories into two.

AFP reported that the audience applauded as Loach took the stage and said that "the experience from Ireland is: if you are divided, you will fail."

Loach also called the current attempts at Middle East peace talks as "phoney" and "fraudulent" and said they were unlikely to lead anywhere, AFP reported.

Loach has long been an outspoken critic of Israel and its actions in Gaza and Lebanon.

In 2009, Loach announced that he withdrew his film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival to protest Israeli funding of another film participating in the festival.

Earlier the same year, the Edinburgh Film Festival returned a 300 pound grant from the Israeli embassy due to pressure from the renowned director.