Toronto Declaration Ad Hoc Committee

September 14, 2009 09:46 ET

Press Conference: Toronto Declaration-No Celebration of Occupation

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2009) - Organizers of the Toronto Declaration will be holding a press conference today, Monday, September 14, 2009 at 5pm. Several of the key signatories, including filmmakers John Greyson and Elia Sulieman, will be available for interviews. Following the press conference, there will be a free public event: "Celebrating Solidarity- A Different Kind of Spotlight". The event will feature live statements from Greyson, Sulieman and his producer Joslyn Barnes, along with messages of solidarity from other signatories including Howard Zinn, Ken Loach, Joy Kogawa and Alice Walker. The press is also invited to attend this event.

The Toronto Declaration has continued to grow, with over 1500 international citizens courageously signing their names and adding their support despite escalating personal attacks on signatories and a deliberate campaign of misrepresentation about the content of the letter. To reiterate: the declaration is not a call to boycott TIFF nor is it a demand to boycott individual Israeli artists. It is a statement of principled opposition to the Toronto International Film Festival's decision to honor Tel Aviv with a special spotlight this year. The protest is against TIFF's frame, not the artists themselves.

It is always uncomfortable when culture is drawn into politics. But let us recall that it was TIFF that injected politics into the festival by choosing to honour the State of Israel with a celebratory spotlight, a decision seen by many Palestinians as taking Israel's side in the conflict.

On Sunday, September 13, 2009, Viggo Mortensen fired back at critics, stating: "Those who have attacked the statement...are simply spreading misinformation and, unfortunately, continuing the ongoing successful distraction from the issue at hand: the Israeli government's whitewashing of their illegal and inhumane actions inside and outside their legal national borders." Today, the respected US-based peace group Jewish Voice for Peace will send a strong statement of support for The Toronto Declaration to its nearly 90,000 supporters.

Press conference:
Monday, September 14, 2009. 5pm
Rogers Communication Centre - Ryerson University
80 Gould St. Room 205

Full text of the Toronto Declaration and information on the event:

Statement by Viggo Mortensen:

Read Jewish Voice For Peace defense of The Toronto Declaration:

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Toronto Declaration Ad Hoc Committee