Switzerland-Israel Association’s Screening of Hamas Attack Images Sparks Debate Among Geneva Elected Officials

2023-11-30 21:01:58

The Switzerland-Israel association invites Geneva elected officials to view images of the Hamas attack. Organized at the Swiss Press Club on Friday, the screening of the film produced by the Israeli authorities has already been held in France and Belgium, in particular.

The images in the film, which lasts 45 minutes, are extremely violent, so much so that a medical cell is organized by the Switzerland-Israel association in the premises of the Swiss Press Club in Geneva.

Unlike other countries, the screening is private and only Geneva municipal, cantonal and federal elected officials as well as certain journalists are invited, on a voluntary basis. Very few of them confirmed their presence at RTS.

Many politicians, both on the left and right of the political spectrum, consider it pointless to watch the atrocities committed on October 7 by Hamas.

Israeli interference?

Some Geneva representatives also denounce interference by the Israeli authorities in the political microcosm of the canton. The Greens therefore declined the invitation en bloc.

The left and associations launched a petition with the aim of banning the screening, considered to be propaganda. The Swiss Press Club, for its part, came under strong criticism for allowing the event to take place without including analysis or context.

Fear over sources

Guest on the RTS show Forum on Thursday, City of Geneva municipal councilor Paule Mangeat indicates that she does not need to watch “atrocious images” to realize the events.

The socialist also regrets the lack of information linked to this projection, the sources of which have not been verified. “In no conflict, images are reality”, they only become so after the work of journalists and writers, she believes.

The elected official fears in particular that the videos shown were not filmed on October 7. Consequently, she declares that “we must maintain a critical, attentive, permanent spirit” and refuses to “participate, in one way or another, in war propaganda”.

“Fight against revisionism”

For her part, Joëlle Fiss, PLR deputy on the Geneva Grand Council, will attend this screening. “The day after the October 7 attack”, when “Israel had not yet entered Gaza”, the events were already called into question and qualified as “pure inventions”, “propaganda”, explains- she said.

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The politician therefore wishes to “fight against this revisionism” by “noting real facts”, she specifies in Forum.

According to her, the documentary sequences are sourced and come from videos filmed by Hamas members themselves, by paramedics, but also by surveillance cameras located in the attacked kibbutzim.

>> The reactions of Joëlle Fiss (PLR) and Paule Mangeat (PS) in Forum:

Geneva elected officials will be able to view images of the Hamas attack: debate between Paule Mangeat and Joëlle Fiss / Forum / 10 min. / yesterday at 6:00 p.m.

Holding a contested debate

Questioned by RTS, the director of the Swiss Press Club Isabelle Falconnier recognizes the existence of an information war. She says she wants to include a debate dimension to the event. However, according to the Switzerland-Israel association, no discussion is planned at the end of the screening.

According to the president of the organization Victor Gani, the aim of the film is to transform the traumatic event of October 7 into a memorial, while avoiding misinformation from decision-makers.

Subject and radio interview: Charlotte Frossard and Renaud Malik

Adaptation web: Mérande Gutfreund

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