Ashrawi urges NBC to halt drama series set in East Jerusalem
Published Tuesday 10/12/2013 (updated) 11/12/2013 11:13
Israeli riot police walk at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque during clashes
with Palestinian demonstrators on March 8, 2013. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PLO official Hanan Ashrawi on Tuesday called on US network NBC to halt production of a drama series due to be filmed in East Jerusalem.
The upcoming drama 'DIG' is an action-adventure series set to be filmed entirely in Jerusalem. It was developed by Keshet Media Group, an Israeli media company, and will consist of six episodes due to be aired in 2014.
"Such a production will legitimize the annexation of Jerusalem and the destruction of the authenticity and character of the occupied city," Ashrawi said.
"Any business or organization that deals with Israel in Occupied Palestine is in flagrant breach of international law, conventions, and consensus, respectively."
Most of the series will be filmed in the 'City of David National Park' in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, and the project has the full support of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who has promised to facilitate access to the Old City and other landmarks.
"It is evident that these efforts coincide with Israel's intensive and accelerated efforts to annex and ethnically cleanse Jerusalem. The choice to film the series in Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem is designed to endorse the occupation and the bitter reality experienced by Palestinian Jerusalemites," Ashrawi said.
The senior PLO official called on NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and chief content officer, Jeff Wachtel, to withdraw support for the production due to legal and ethical considerations, stressing that involvement in such projects amounts to "complicity" in Israel's illegal occupation and branding of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
"It is of the utmost importance that we act now to preserve Jerusalem’s Palestinian historical and cultural identity and heritage before it is too late," Ashrawi said.
East Jerusalem, including the historic Old City, was occupied by Israeli forces in 1967 and later annexed in a move not recognized by the international community.