TEL AVIV – Predictably, advocates of the extremist, anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement are targeting the Academy Awards, demanding the removal of a ten-day first-class trip to Israel worth $55,000 provided in a swag bag for A-listers.
Omar Barghouti, a BDS leader, claimed in an open letter that “There are no Hunger Games in Gaza but there is real hunger, and it is induced by years of Israeli occupation and siege.”
Barghouti was referring to the trilogy novel and series of movies depicting twelve districts living in poverty and forced to compete in a death match.
“We hope Oscar nominees will take the moral path of rejecting this free propaganda gift from Capitol while its brutal troops and settlers burn and colonize our District 12,” continued Barghouti.
Barghouti failed to mention Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip in 2005, turning it over to Palestinian control with hopes of coexistence. Israel left in-tact high-tech greenhouses, worth several hundred million dollars, purchased by foreign donors in a $14 million deal meant to secure future employment and fuel Gaza’s economy.
According to reports, the greenhouses were looted by Palestinians following Israel’s withdrawal. Computer equipment, irrigation hoses, water pumps, plastic sheeting, and, in some cases, entire greenhouses were stolen.
In 2007, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip and has since used the territory as a staging base to launch attacks on Israel, provoking numerous wars and conflicts.
Still, Israel provides Gaza with about 62 percent of the Strip’s electricity and coordinates the daily transfer of food and supplies to the territory, even during times of war. Hamas has been accused of using some of those supplies, including concrete, to build its terrorist infrastructure, replete with a tunnel system to carry out attacks.
Nominees of the 2016 Academy Awards will walk away with a record $232,000 worth of swag, including a voucher for the $55,000 trip to Israel. The visit comes with two first-class tickets to Israel, a 10-day stay at a five-star hotel and a private security guard.
This year’s list of nominees includes top Hollywood names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jennifer Lawrence, Sylvester Stallone, Christian Bale and Kate Winslet.
“These are the most senior people in the film industry in Hollywood and leading opinion-formers who we are interested in hosting here in Israel so that they will experience the country first hand and not through the media,” stated Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.
“If they do indeed accept the invitation, their visit will have enormous resonance among millions of fans and followers, including social media. The very fact that they are considering visiting Israel places the option in the public discourse in the social and professional circles in which the stars move.”
The BDS campaign has focused heavily on the entertainment industry.
Lauryn Hill, Elvis Costello and Santana have recently caved in to the pressure, cancelling their gigs in Israel.
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, Jennifer Lopez is now facing pressure from anti-Israel activists over her plan to perform in Israel this summer, with pro-Palestinian activists demanding she cancel her concert.
Last week, Jason Derulo announced his debut performance in Israel this April.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.