Hollywood stars including Jane Fonda and Danny Glover have been slammed by an Oscar-winning rabbi over their decision to boycott Canada's Toronto International Film Festival because of the event's focus on Israeli moviemaking.
This year's (09) festival features a programme entitled City to City, which will highlight 10 Israeli films to celebrate Tel Aviv's 100th anniversary.
The segment has caused controversy among a group of actors, including Fonda and Glover, who have decided to snub the festival, declaring that the city of Tel Aviv was built on "thousands of destroyed Palestinian villages".
According to TMZ.com, the stars have signed a letter to festival organisers, which goes on to claim City to City "ignores the suffering of thousands of former residents and descendants".
The boycott has prompted Rabbi Marvin Hier of New York's Simon Wiesenthal Center to speak out against the protest, accusing those who signed the letter of supporting "the complete destruction of Israel".
Hier, who has won two Oscars for his documentary work, states, "People who support letters like this are people who do not support a two-state solution. By calling into question the legitimacy of Tel Aviv, they are supporting a one-state solution, which means the destruction of the State of Israel.
"I applaud the organisers of the festival for celebrating on the 100th anniversary of Tel Aviv. If every city in the Middle East would be as culturally diverse, as open to freedom of expression as Tel Aviv is, then peace would long have come (sic) to the Middle East."