Far-right commentator Katie Hopkins announced Tuesday night she had found an Israeli venue to screen her anti-Muslim documentary, after three venues had canceled planned screenings.
The Beit Uri Zvi cultural center tweeted Tuesday night that it had agreed to host the screening of Hopkins’ film “Homelands” at the request of Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum. “We believe in open political dialogue with true freedom of speech, and that means listening to everyone,” the center's tweet said.
“Nice try leftists,” Hopkins tweeted, “we will prevail.” In the video accompanying the tweet, Hopkins said she was in downtown Jerusalem on Jaffa Street and that the screening of “Homelands” would take place in an unspecified “Jerusalem municipality building.” She thanked the city for hosting her event.
The screening was going forward, she said, “despite the best efforts of the small-minded left, particularly the Jews in the UK” and the Israeli media. Encouraging her followers to see her documentary, she said it is a film that “quite clearly, the left don’t want you to see.”
Hopkins had originally planned to screen “Homelands,” which she describes as documenting the “silent retreat of Christians and Jews from Western Europe,” on Monday in premises belonging to Ra’anana Municipality.
However, that sold-out screening was canceled over the weekend by “mutual agreement” when the municipality became aware of the nature of the film.
A spokesperson for the municipality told Haaretz Monday that “given the sensitive topic, it was mutually decided that the screening would take place elsewhere.” The spokesperson stressed that the film’s backers had merely rented their facility and that the film had “no connection to the city of Ra’anana.”
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On Monday afternoon, Hopkins posted a video on Twitter announcing that the film would instead be screened in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening.
However, two venues that were subsequently booked to show the film canceled screenings after becoming aware of the film’s subject matter.
Israeli fans of Hopkins blamed political pressure for the cancellation of the first two Jerusalem screenings.
“Katie Hopkins has risked her life for the good of Israel and the Jew, coming to Israel for two days only in order to screen her film about the silent Holocaust of Jewish Europe at the hands of the Muslims. The extreme left, led by an Israeli news editor, brought about the cancellation of two screenings!” a Hopkins supporter, Dalit Souter, tweeted early Tuesday.
Sources told Haaretz that the first Jerusalem screening had been set to take place at Mishkenot Sha'ananim, the prestigious international cultural center founded by the Jerusalem Foundation.
A Mishkenot Sha'ananim spokesperson refused to comment on speculation over whether the venue had initially been hired to host the screening or if a screening was indeed canceled.
Later on Tuesday, Souter posted that an alternative venue had been found for the screening: The Menachem Begin Heritage Center, the official state memorial commemorating Israel’s sixth prime minister.
However, just a few hours after the screening was announced and shortly before it was scheduled to take place, a spokeswoman for the Begin Center told Haaretz that when they originally agreed to rent out their auditorium for the screening, “We had insufficient information” on the film’s content.
After they were fully informed of the nature of the event, she said, “The screening of the film at the Begin Center was canceled.”
“Homelands” paints a picture of a “Muslim-dominated” Europe that “looks at Christian and Jewish communities being forced from their Homelands and asks where will they go.”
The film reflects Hopkins’ belief in conspiracy theories involving “white genocide” — that groups are actively working toward turning white people into a minority in Europe through immigration from Africa and Asia.
“Homelands” was produced by Janice Atkinson, an outgoing member of the European Parliament. The independent MEP (she was kicked out of the far-right UKIP in 2015) joined Marine Le Pen’s Europe of Nations and Freedom — the smallest and most far-right grouping in the parliament.
Atkinson had been scheduled to appear at the film’s Israeli screening.
Hopkins is well known in Britain for her anti-Islamic views. In the past, she has said the religion “disgusts” her. She has also called its adherents “cockroaches” and referred to London Mayor Sadiq Khan as the “Muslim mayor of Londonistan.”
Parts of “Homelands” were shot in Israel, where Hopkins interviewed British and French immigrants who she claims have been driven out of their countries by Muslims.
During filming, Hopkins mused that while Jews had Israel as “a place to call home,” non-Jewish white Britons like herself had no such homeland.
In February, Jewish Agency Communications Director Yigal Palmor had agreed to discuss British and French immigration to Israel on film for Hopkins — only realizing that his decision appeared to be giving her views an official stamp of approval when she tweeted out a photo of the event.
Palmor later published a mea culpa in the London Jewish Chronicle, saying he agreed to participate in the film because he thought he “could handle another controversial interviewer, and make sure they get the facts right, from an authoritative source,” but realized later this was a mistake.
He apologized “to have caused such an outrage by simply wanting to [tackle] controversy head on and give it a fair fight. Talk about a bad call: Those earlier statements of hers — no need to reprint them here — clearly should have made her unwelcome in our offices.”
This article was updated on Tuesday June 11 at 16:55 to reflect new information about the canceled Jerusalem screenings of “Homelands.”