News Release

Emmy-Winning Actor Takes Pro-BDS Stand in Hollywood

Actor David Clennon smiles while wearing a blue shirtDAVID CLENNON, djjc123 at earthlink.net

Clennon has been an actor in the U.S. film and television industry for more than 40 years. Recently he was invited to audition for a television series. He declined and wrote an op-ed for Truthout explaining his decision: “I Said No to a Netflix Series Audition Because I Support Palestinian Rights.”

He writes: “I decided to do a little research in the Hollywood trade papers, and discovered that ‘Sycamore’ had to be the new working title of a series announced in 2018 as ‘Hit and Run.’ It was further revealed that ‘Sycamore/Hit and Run’ will be a co-production of U.S. and Israeli companies. Two of the creative executive producers of the new series, Avi Issacharoff and Lior Raz, are also the creator-producers of the Israeli Netflix series ‘Fauda,’ an action-adventure drama set in Israel and the Occupied Territories. I was aware that the show had been criticized for its portrayal of Palestinians and for its tendency to justify Israel’s human rights abuses.

“Mitchell Abidor reviewed the series in Jewish Currents.  He wrote, ‘Fauda, in its second season, is clearly not, as its creators have pretended, a humanizing portrayal of Palestinians, but rather is quite clearly aimed at solidifying an Israeli image of them as cowardly beasts who must be dealt with by any means necessary.’ …

“‘Sycamore/Hit and Run’ may or may not be as offensive as ‘Fauda,’ but there is an equally important issue here: Israeli production companies like those of Issacharoff and Raz stand to benefit enormously from their alliances with their American partners and Netflix. In addition to substantial revenue for the companies and the Israeli economy, the Israeli government will benefit from the prestige of creative partnerships with Hollywood. These show business relationships matter, politically. The Israeli Foreign Ministry runs the ‘Brand Israel’ campaign to use culture, entertainment and technology to counter Israel’s negative image in the world as a racist state that systematically violates human rights. …

“I have supported the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel since the 2014 Israeli War on Gaza. (That astonishing display of high- and low-tech cruelty, I believe, opened the eyes of many Americans.) The Academic and Cultural Boycott is part of a larger movement on behalf of the human rights and self-determination of the Palestinian people. The overall campaign is known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and originated within Palestinian civil society.

“I’ve come to think of Israel as a European settler-colonial state, which practices apartheid in order to control the indigenous population it has conquered militarily.  In this respect, Israel is similar to the previously apartheid state of South Africa, where white European colonists had conquered the indigenous Black African population and occupied their land.

“In the same way that human rights activists boycotted the South African regime to abolish apartheid, many now are boycotting Israel to pressure its government to  end its own practice of apartheid and its other constant, daily, gross violations of the human rights of the people of Palestine. …

“I decided on a small act of resistance. I take some comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. And I’m optimistic that others in our industry will seriously consider withholding their talent and their moral support from a regime that abuses the dispossessed, impoverished — but still resistant — people under its control.”