British director Ken Loach, whose Palme d'Or-winning feature The Wind That Shakes the Barley has been criticized by some on the right as a "poisonously anti-British corruption of the history of the war of Irish independence", is ruffling political feathers again with his refusal to take part in the Haifa Film Festival. In response to the ongoing violence in Gaza and Lebanon, Loach "joined a Palestinian boycott of Israeli cultural institutions" and turned down an invitation extended by the Haifa event (though his film will be released in Israel as planned).

The director has a long history of political activism, most recently in the shape of his involvement with Britain's RESPECT, a political party driven by its opposition to the Gulf War. In his statement regarding the Haifa Festival, Loach "called on others to follow his example and also blasted the 'terrorist activities of the British and U.S. governments.'" So yeah, you could say he's a little upset about things in the Middle East.