Ajami became the third Israeli entry in consecutive years to be nominated as top foreign-language film for the 2010 Academy Awards.
Ajami paints an unsparing picture of Arab-Jewish and intra-Arab tensions in a mixed quarter of Jaffa. Its co-directors are two young Israelis, Scandar Copti, a Christian Arab, and Yaron Shani, who is Jewish.
Another foreign language nomination went to the German entry The White Ribbon. The story revolves around a seemingly placid German village in 1914, but whose rigid class structure and authoritarianism holds the seed of the Nazi era to come.
Inglourious Basterds, a Jewish revenge fantasy in which a squad of Jewish GIs wipes out the Nazi leadership, won nominations for best picture, directing and writing for Quentin Tarantino, best supporting actor for Christoph Waltz and best cinematography for Robert Richardson.
The two other Jewish-themed pictures that received best picture nominations – An Education, from Britain, and A Serious Man have won critical acclaim for their artistry but also a few lemons for perceived gratuitous anti-Semitism. Brothers Joel and Ethan Coen also won writing nominations for A Serious Man.
Canadian filmmaker Jason Reitman received a directing nomination for the popular hit Up in the Air.
The Oscar winners will be announced March 7 in Los Angeles.