London, May 19th, 2017 – The European Coalition for Israel (ECI) hosted a special screening of the Israeli film “Harmonia” at the Odeon Cinema Swiss Cottage in London on Tuesday night. The screening was part of The Israeli Film and TV Festival which is currently running in London, presenting new Israeli films to an international audience.
“The reason why ECI got involved in the Israeli film festival is twofold”, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell explained in London on Tuesday night.
“While some pockets of academia and the cultural community in Europe want to boycott Israel, we want to promote Israeli life and culture. Where would Europe be today if was not for the influence of good Israeli literature, starting with the Jewish Bible”, he asked. “Actively promoting and celebrating Israeli culture is the best possible antidote to BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and other forms of anti-Semitism”, he added.
By hosting the screening at The Israeli Film and TV Festival in London, ECI also was also expressing its commitment to Britain as an important ally for the European Coalition for Israel regardless of the Brexit vote. “Britain may have voted to leave the European Union, but it will remain an active member of the 47 member strong Council of Europe in Strasbourg. In addition to this, Britain is currently playing an important role in the reshaping of attitudes and policies in favour of Israel at the United Nations”, he commented.
Last year ECI hosted its first national conference in London and another conference is scheduled to be held there later this year.
The interest in the Israeli film was much greater than expected and the screening on Tuesday night was quickly sold out.
The film “Harmonia” tells the Biblical story of Sarah and Hagar in a modern Israeli setting and was well received by the invited audience. The screening began with a reception and brief presentations of the work of ECI by Tomas Sandell and the local organizer, ECI Young Adult Leaders Caroline Giraldo and Elena Zelibabkova. The screening was co-hosted by local Jewish community leader Elias Fattal who has been successfully reaching out to Christian communities in Britain for more than fifteen years.