The conflict between Israel and Hamas is increasingly featured in the acceptance speeches of cultural laureates. Applauded with fervor, vilified or raising a number of questions, these declarations are not without causing a stir. Jonathan Glazer, winner of the Oscar for best foreign film for The Zone of Interest, a chilling chronicle of the carefree life of a family of Nazis living in their villa adjoining the Auschwitz camp, paid the price.

When the Jewish British director received the prestigious award on Sunday March 10, he delivered, in a few words, the first political speech of the evening. “In this film, all the choices were made to confront us with the present. The film shows where dehumanization leads us. We are here as men who refute that Jewishness and the Holocaust are being hijacked by an occupation that has led to conflict for so many innocent people. The victims of October 7, the victims of the Gaza raids are victims of dehumanization,” he then declared, between tribute to all the victims of the conflict and advocacy against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

These comments were warmly received during the evening but did not fail to provoke a strong reaction from David Schaecter, president of the Holocaust Survivors’ Foundation USA, who immediately published an open letter eruptive on the site of the foundation. “I watched in anguish on Sunday night as I heard you use the platform at the Oscars to equate Hamas’ maniacal brutality against innocent Israelis with Israel’s difficult but necessary self-defense in the face of continued barbarity of Hamas”, writes in the preamble the former deportee of the Auschwitz and Buchenwald camps.

Before stating: “Your comments were factually inaccurate and morally indefensible. Worse yet, you chose to use the Holocaust to validate your personal opinion. It is shameful that you claim to speak for the six million Jews, including a million and a half children, who were murdered solely because of their Jewish identity. You should be ashamed of using Auschwitz to criticize Israel.” And he concluded: “If the creation, existence and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish state amounts to an “occupation” in your mind, then you have obviously learned nothing from your film.” .

On social networks, the American association Anti-Defamation League followed suit, The Guardian tells us. “Israel is not hijacking Judaism or the Holocaust by defending itself against genocidal terrorists. Glazer’s comments to

Conversely, the filmmaker’s speech received broad support from the Israeli veterans’ organization Breaking the Silence, underlines The Guardian. “Glazer did not “deny his Jewishness”, as some apparently have. misunderstood. He took an unequivocal position against the cynical use of Judaism and the Holocaust in the name of justifying the occupation. These “misunderstandings” are not new,” she said on the networks. “We refuse to accept the ease with which the blood and lives of civilians are used as justification for political ideologies or as bargaining chips. Empathy is not a zero-sum game,” she adds.

The Oscar-winning director is not the only artist to have made anti-war statements on stages attracting a large audience. Among them, the rapper Ghali at the San Remo festival last February. In front of millions of spectators, gathered for the 74th edition of the great Italian variety event, the Italian-Tunisian star launched the words “Stop the genocide” after his performance on stage, setting the web ablaze to the highest levels.

A few days later, the Berlin film festival also found itself at the center of a controversy, accused of having served as a platform for anti-Semitic statements by directors during the awards ceremony on February 24, in link with Israel’s war against Hamas. The controversy was fueled in particular by statements by filmmakers, during the awards ceremony, accusing Israel of genocide due to the bombings which left nearly 30,000 dead in Gaza, the majority civilians, according to Hamas’ count. Unlike Jonathan Glazer, these directors did not mention that the Israeli offensive was triggered by an unprecedented attack carried out in Israel on October 7 by Hamas, resulting in the death of more than 1,160 people, the majority of them civilians. This is particularly the case of American filmmaker Ben Russell, who took to the podium wearing a Palestinian scarf and accusing Israel of genocide.

Still on the stage of the Berlinale Palast, alongside his co-director Basel Adra, the Israeli Yuval Abraham – whose documentary focuses on the occupied West Bank – delivered a speech applauded by the assembly, before triggering controversy within the German political class and anger in Israel. Part of his speech was picked up by Israeli Channel 11, calling the director “anti-Semitic.” “Since then, I have received death threats. I stand by every word,” declared Yuval Abraham the next day on X.