Saheb Bibi (Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu)
(the figure on the left is Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India)
Let me cut short all detours and answer your burning question: no, calling Bollywood to not shoot their films in Israel is not an attack on freedom of speech and expression. I understand this sounds confusing, but what is at stake here? Calling for a boycott of Israeli institutions (and there’s a reason I’ve highlighted that word) is, in fact, standing up for the freedom of millions of Palestinians who either live in Israel occupied Palestine, live as second-class citizens of Israel, or who were forced to leave their homeland and are not allowed to return to it.
Sounds even more confusing? Let me unpack things a bit more. Israel is an apartheid state, and Arab Palestinians do not have the right to move freely in their own homeland, or have the security of living in their own homes — freedoms that we take for granted in other democracies. Which brings me to the question: is Israel even a democracy like India? The right to vote is only one of the fundamental rights assured to Indian citizens. Besides, all Indian citizens have the right to equality, the right to freedom, the right against exploitation, right to freedom of conscience and free profession, and the right of minorities to conserve their culture. Israel has given the native Palestinians, who are the indigenous inhabitants of the land that Israelis have occupied, only the right to vote. Israeli law (Israel does not have a constitution) mandates that the native Arabs must be treated as second class citizens. Palestinians who are Israeli citizens only have the choice to vote governments in power who can further their subjugation.