Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, on Thursday, attended Shalom Bollywood, a gala event in Mumbai where he spoke highly about the Indian film industry.
Attended by the biggies of Bollywood, Shalom Bollywood, was an initiative by the Israeli government. Netanyahu said Israel is in love with Bollywood just like the rest of the world, and people of Israeli would love to have Bollywood in their country. He also insisted upon taking a selfie with the Bollywood stars like the recent picture by Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars, that went viral.
Amitabh Bachchan, who attended the event with his son Abhishek Bachchan and daughter-in-law, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, said that he wishes that the ties between India and Israel be strengthened by cinema. Promoting Israel as a dream destination for film shoots, Israeli ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said that the country offers Indian film industry numerous opportunities in the form of its culture, history, landscapes, and diversity.
Khan’s Skip the Shalom Bollywood Event
The important thing to note here was that the very famous Khans of Bollywood, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, and Shah Rukh Khan, were not to be seen at the event. While all the famous stars of the film industry showed up and praised the initiative taken by the Israeli government, the three Khans decided to give it a miss.
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On the other hand for the first time since their controversial break-up, actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and actor Vivek Oberoi were seen together in a single frame, all thanks to Benjamin Netanyahu and his demand for the Oscar-like selfie. Tagging the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Big B, Jr B, and a few others, including Netanyahu himself, tweeted the picture asking followers if the Shalom Bollywood image would beat the Oscar selfie taken by Ellen.
Shalom Bollywood – A Commercial Bargain
While many of the big names from the Indian film industry supported the Bollywood event, there were others who protested against Netanyahu’s presence in India. Among the protesters were film critic Anna MM Vetticad and filmmaker Anand Patwardhan who spoke about Israel and its occupation of Palestine and Gaza. Patwardhan went on to add that the real India will continue to befriend and support the real Palestinians irrespective of their religion.