In solidarity with Palestine: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Jr withdraws from Goethe Institute Film Fest

After author Mohammed Hanif withdrew his participation from the Goethe Institut conference over Palestinian activist Mohamed al-Kurd being uninvited, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto announced he, too, has taken back his film from participating in the aforementioned festival. 

Taking to Instagram, Bhutto Jr shared, “In solidarity with Mohammed El Kurd and the Palestinian people, I have withdrawn my film Heaven 58 from a film festival hosted by the Goethe Institut.” He added, “The Goethe Institute recently withdrew an invitation from El Kurd. This move clearly shows the institute’s anti-Palestinian and clearly pro-Zionist stance.”

The German state-run Goethe Institute, last month, uninvited a Palestinian poet and writer from speaking at the said conference due to his past comments on Israel, whereupon other participants pulled out in protest.

El-Kurd was to speak on a panel as part of the institute’s “Beyond the Lone Offender – Dynamics of the Global Right” summit, scheduled for June 23-26, in Hamburg. The gathering aims to examine “the impact of far-right movements and their global entanglements.”

The panel in question was to be hosted by artist Moshtari Hilal and essayist Sinthujan Varatharajah, both based in Berlin, who invited Al-Kurd as a speaker for a roundtable titled “Selling Fascism? Remembering the Unsold.” 

Last month, the institute posted a statement on Twitter saying it had cancelled Al-Kurd’s participation. “After some consideration, the Goethe-Institut decided that Mohammed El-Kurd was not an appropriate speaker for this forum: in previous posts on social media, he had made several comments about Israel in a way the Goethe-Institut does not find acceptable,” it said.

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