‘Hitler was great’: Israeli ambassador receives online hate after ‘Kashmir Files row’

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Israel’s ambassador to India Naor Gilon on Saturday posted a screenshot of a message he received on Twitter, justifying the holocaust and praising Hitler, days after he slammed Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid for calling The Kashmir Files, a “propaganda” and “vulgar movie” at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.

Gilon, on Saturday, shared a screenshot of a comment that he received on Twitter. The message in the tweet read, “Hitler was great when he burned down scums like you. Immediately and f**k off from India. Hitler was a great person.”

The Israeli convoy wrote he was withholding the identity of the person who sent him the message to protect him.

“Just wanted to share one of a few DMs I got in this direction. According to his profile, the guy has a PhD. Even though he doesn’t deserve my protection, I decided to delete his identifying information.”

In his speech at the closing ceremony of IFFI 2022 on November 29, Lapid, who was heading the festival jury, had said that he was “disturbed and shocked” to see the film being screened at the film festival.

‘The Kashmir Files’, directed by Vivek Agnihotri, revolves around the exodus and killing of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley in 1990.

It has been mired in controversy since its March 2022 release, with sceptics calling it a poignant depiction of a tragic period, and alleging it lacks in facts and solid research.

In the open letter/a Twitter thread on Tuesday, Gilon apologised to India and said that as a son of a holocaust survivor, he was extremely hurt. He said Lapid should be “ashamed” and that he had abused the Indian invitation to the judges’ panel in the “worst way”.

“In Indian culture, they say that a guest is like God. You have abused in the worst way the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at @IFFIGoa as well as the trust, respect, and warm hospitality they have bestowed on you,” he added.

Soon after posting the message, he received unlimited support from the Indians. In a follow-up tweet, Gilon said he was “touched” by the support he received upon posting the message. He reflected on India and Israel’s close relationship, as is evident particularly in the strategic and defence sectors.

Nadav Lapid had said the jurors at the film festival were “disturbed and shocked” by ‘The Kashmir Files’. Two days later, he offered a “total apology” if his remarks had been misinterpreted and said his aim was not to insult the Kashmiri Pandit community or those who had suffered.

“But at the same time, whatever I said, and I said clearly that for me and my fellow jury members, it was, and it is a vulgar propaganda movie that didn’t have a place and was inappropriate for such a prestigious competitive section. I can repeat it again and again,” said Lapid. (PTI)

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