Israeli Director: My Film Doesn't Compare Occupation to Holocaust

Fund-raising document mentioned comparison of situation in Palestinian territories to Holocaust.

"There are people here who feel they are carrying national pride and the memory of the Holocaust on their backs," director and screenwriter Jonathan Segal told Haaretz Tuesday, in his first reaction to recent articles charging that his movie "Odem" compares the Israeli occupation to the Holocaust.

"But everyone here has his own Holocaust. I am the son of survivors and a proud Israeli. This doesn't mean I cannot say things that are unacceptable to someone else," he said. "What is beautiful about our country is that we can say different things and express different opinions."

Nonetheless, Segal wants to make clear that "many people are familiar with this movie, and it makes no comparison between the occupation and the Jewish Holocaust."

Segal, who is currently filming "Odem," did not respond to recent articles in Yedioth Aharonoth that revealed a document used to raise money for the film, which apparently included a sentence comparing the occupation in the territories to the Holocaust.

Journalist Yair Lapid attacked the Israel Film Fund's decision to invest in the movie.

"I had no knowledge of the content of the document, I did not send it, and I do not support it," Segal wrote in a letter to the film fund on Friday.

"As I explained at a meeting prior to the article's publication, the document was part of poor formulation by an English producer who was fired two years ago, and was mistakenly sent from the computer of one of our production people," the letter continued. "As is common with things taken out of context, it has resulted in a storm in a tea cup. This would have been avoided if Lapid, as an experienced journalist, would have bothered to find out the origin of this internal document, which was sent accidentally."