A Spanish priest says his church cancelled the projection of an award-winning documentary on the plight of Palestinians in the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip due to threats and pressure from “powerful Jews” in the European country.
Spain’s El Pais newspaper ran an interview with Pastor Javier Baeza, in which the priest criticized “powerful Jews” for exerting pressure, issuing threats, and launching an intimidation campaign against his church over its plan to screen “Gaza, a look into the eyes of barbarism,” Israeli media reported Sunday.
He said, “There were pressures from the Jewish community” to cancel the screening of the film, which has won the “Best Documentary” category of Spain’s main national annual film festival, the Goya Awards.
The heart-rending film is about the Israeli atrocities and human rights violations against the downtrodden Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, which has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007.
The documentary was scheduled to be screened on Friday at the Pastoral Center of San Carlos Borrome in southeastern Madrid.
Carlos Osoro, the archbishop of Madrid, however, said the church was “obligated” to suspend the projection indefinitely due to security concerns “because of the threats we’ve received in the last few days.”
The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain said in a statement that the film was being promoted by organizations supporting the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which he said “seeks to delegitimize Israel and Israelis.”
The BDS movement is an international campaign launched more than a decade ago with the aim of ending Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.
It pursues equal rights for Palestinians by exerting pressure on the Israeli regime via economic and cultural boycotts.