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British Director Cancels Israel Trip in Protest


Director Mike Leigh poses during a photo call for the film 'Another Year' - at the 63rd international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, 15 May 2010 (file photo)

Director Mike Leigh poses during a photo call for the film 'Another Year' - at the 63rd international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, 15 May 2010 (file photo)

British film director Mike Leigh has canceled a trip to Israel to protest against a proposed loyalty oath.

Israel's Cabinet last week passed a bill that would require non-Jewish immigrants to pledge loyalty to a "Jewish and democratic" state - language seen as discriminatory toward Israel's Arab minority.

Leigh, the award-winning director of Naked and Secrets & Lies, said he was no longer prepared to take part in the "great masters" program at the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem.

In a letter to school director Renen Schorr, Leigh, who is Jewish, said he opposed Israel's policies toward Palestinians and called the loyalty oath the "last straw."

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