Leading Korean filmmakers Park Chan-wook and Ryoo Seung-wan have joined a group of 100 public figures in a petition against Israel’s attack on Gaza and “civilian massacre”.
The joint petition for “Peace to Palestine!” was announced by non-profit peace organization Nanum Munhwa: Culture of Sharing yesterday (Aug 3), to go to the Embassy of Israel in Seoul as well as the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Park Chan-wook, director of Oldboy and Stoker, and Ryoo Seung-wan, the filmmaker behind The Berlin File, are among those to sign. Park recently attended the Jerusalem FIlm Festival as the tensions started to escalate between Israel and Hamas; his masterclass at the festival was interrupted by an air-raid siren.
Headlining with “Israel’s attack and civilian massacre in Gaza, Palestine, must stop immediately”, the petition calls the attack “’unilateral massacre’ and an explicit ‘war crime’ by the world’s 10th biggest military power”.
It stated: “Israel’s attacks which began on July 8 have taken the lives of 1,500 Palestinians. More than 80% of them are civilians and 25% are minors. Israel bombed schools and playgrounds for students, a hospital, UN school which is a place of refuge for civilians, and resident buildings where families were sleeping.”
The petition also demands a stop to the US and European countries “supporting and overlooking Israel’s deeds” and the South Korean government’s silence and arms sales to Israel.
Some 100 public figures participated in the appeal including film producers Choi Jae-won (The Attorney) and Kang Hae-jung (The Berlin File), former minister of Unification Lee Jong-seok, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea Peter Kang U-il, president of the Reconciliation Committee of Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and monk Dobeop, singer Yoon Do Hyun, poet Park No-hae and other leaders in arts, entertainment, academia, religion and politics.
“There are many urgent issues in Korea too,” said the petition, but that in the era of global community, “where conscience, justice and children are massacred, that is the centre of the world.”