Israel's Consul General Kobbi Shoshani on Tuesday called the IFFI jury head Nadav Lapid's controversial remarks on 'The Kashmir Files' as his private opinion and said that it is not an official view.
"Ambassador (Israeli envoy Naor Gilon) made it very clear. We said it in a very clear voice. It's his (Nadav Lapid) own private opinion. We don't accept it, it's not an official view. I think our aim right now is to strengthen the relations more than it is," Shoshani said.
This statement came after International Film Festival of India (IFFI) jury head Nadav Lapid called 'The Kashmir Files' as "vulgar" and "propaganda". His remarks made during the closing ceremony of the film festival, have since gone viral and have invited widespread criticism.
Earlier, Shoshani said that Lapid's controversial remarks on 'The Kashmir Files' as a "big mistake", and added that the comments made by the Israeli filmmaker don't reflect the country's position on the movie.
"Concerning Nadav, we don't accept it. I personally don't accept it. The Ambassador, who was there with me in Goa last night, doesn't accept it. It's his own private opinion. He can say that it's the opinion of the Jury which is alright. But it's nothing to do with Israel," Shoshani told ANI.
"I told him after the speech that he made a big mistake, that it wasn't appropriate. The Ambassador and I rolled out comments and tweets in a way that makes very clear what we think about using words like 'propaganda', we don't accept it. He is not representing the State of Israel," he added.
Speaking about his own experiences with the movie "The Kashmir Files", he said, tears came from his eyes when he saw the film. "It was not an easy film to see. I think it was shown in Israel too. We are Jews who suffered from horrible things and I think we've to share others' suffering."
"From my point of view, I can't force anyone to apologise. If you ask personally, yes I think he has to apologise because he entered a political dispute in India and it's not something which he has to do," he added.
After the remarks of Lapid on "Kashmir Files" set off a controversy, Israeli envoy Naor Gilon slammed the IFFI Jury Head and apologized for the conduct of his countryman at the 2022 IFFI in Goa.
"An open letter to #NadavLapid following his criticism of #KashmirFiles. It's not in Hebrew because I wanted our Indian brothers and sisters to be able to understand. It is also relatively long so I'll give you the bottom line first. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED," ambassador Gilon tweeted.
Gilon, in a series of tweets, rebuked Lapid and emphasized how the friendship between the people and the states of India and Israel is very strong and will survive the damage inflicted by him.
"The friendship between the people and the states of India and Israel is very strong and will survive the damage you have inflicted. As a human being I feel ashamed and want to apologize to our hosts for the bad manner in which we repaid them for their generosity and friendship," said Gilon. (ANI)