“No Other Land” co-director Yuval Abraham announced he is receiving death threats after calling for a ceasefire in Gaza onstage during the 2024 Berlinale closing ceremony.

Abraham, who co-directed documentary “No Other Land” alongside Basel Adra, Hamdan Ballal, and Rachel Szor, pointed to the different experiences between himself and Adra due to their ethnicities. While Abraham is Israeli, Adra is Palestinian and living under military occupation in the West Bank; according to Abraham, despite living only a half-hour from one another, their political rights vastly vary.

“We are standing in front of you. Now, we are the same age. I am Israeli, Basel is Palestinian. And in two days, we go back to a land where we are not equal,” Abraham said onstage at Berlinale while accepting the Best Documentary Award alongside Adra. “I am under civilian law; Basel is under military law. We live 30 minutes from one another but I have voting rights. Basel does not have voting rights. I am free to move where I want in this land. Basel, like millions of Palestinians, is locked in the occupied West Bank. This situation of apartheid between us, this inequality, has to end.”

Abraham later tweeted the Berlinale clip, writing, “Our film ‘No Other Land’ on occupied Masafer Yatta’s brutal expulsion won best documentary in Berlinale. Israel’s channel 11 aired this 30 second segment from my speech, insanely called it ‘anti semitic’ — and I’ve been receiving death threats since. I stand behind every word.”

“No Other Land” follows Palestinian activist Adra, who additionally co-directed, as he fights against the Israeli occupation of his town, Masafer Yatta. Co-director Abraham, also a subject of the documentary, is an Israeli journalist who joins Adra in documenting the destruction of Masafer Yatta’s Palestinian community as soldiers destroy civilian homes.

During the ceremony, Adra called the Israel-Palestine conflict a “massacre” (per Deadline) and called out German arms sales to Israel.

The Berlinale closing ceremony was rife with political discord, as “Direct Action” director Ben Russel wore a Palestinian keffiyeh, commonly a symbol of Palestinian nationalism, while onstage.

Filmmaker Eliza Hittman called for a ceasefire, saying (via Deadline), “As a Jewish filmmaker who won the Silver Bear in 2020, it is important for me to be here. There is no ‘just war,’ and the more people try to convince themselves there’s a just war, the more they commit a grotesque act of self-deception.”

The official Berlinale social media pages were hacked by “unknown persons” that shared posts “about the war in the Middle East,” according to an official festival statement. The infographics uploaded by the hackers included statements like “Genocide is Genocide. We are all complicit,” and that followers need to “shed the idea that German guilt absolves us of our country’s history or our current crimes” and call for an “immediate and permanent ceasefire” in Gaza.

A post shared, “From our unresolved Nazi past to our genocidal present — we have always been on the wrong side of history. But it’s not too late to change our future.”

Governing Mayor of Berlin Kai Wegner reacted to the hacked Berlinale page and tweeted that the city itself is “firmly on Israel’s side” of the conflict. Since Berlinale is a state-funded festival, Wegner stated that the “new management” of the festival should be responsible for no other “incidents” occurring.

“Antisemitism has no place in Berlin, and that also applies to the art scene,” Wegner wrote. “I expect the new management of the Berlinale to ensure that such incidents do not happen again.”

He continued, “Berlin has a clear stance when it comes to freedom. Berlin is firmly on Israel’s side. There is no doubt about that. Full responsibility for the deep suffering in Israel and the Gaza Strip lies with Hamas. It [Hamas] alone has the power to end this suffering by releasing all the hostages and laying down her weapons. There is no room for relativization here.”

As the Berlinale closing night was airing, the Film Independent Spirit Awards were simultaneously taking place in Santa Monica, California. During the ceremony, a pro-Palestine protest interrupted the broadcast. Spirit Awards host Aidy Bryant said onstage, “We’re at the beach and people are exercising their freedom of speech.”

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