Cultural Boycott of Israel
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Edinburgh Film Festival Returns Israeli Money
Greece Withdraws from Israel Film Festival
Palestinian Filmmakers, Artists and Cultural Workers Call for a Cultural Boycott of Israel
August 4, 2006
Dear Filmmakers & Artists,
During the past few weeks we have borne witness to the escalation of Israeli
aggression into open war on both Palestine and Lebanon.
With Israel’s invasion of Gaza on June 27th, 2006, ministries and educational institutions have been destroyed, as has the plant that supplies nearly 50 percent of Gaza's electricity. Bridges, roads, dozens of homes, and hundreds of dunams of agricultural land have also been destroyed. Sixty-four elected Palestinian legislators, cabinet ministers and officials have been detained without charge.
On July 12th, Israel brought its campaign of collective punishment and military violence to Lebanon, with "Operation Just Reward". A complete assault, via land, sea, and air, of the Lebanese population and infrastructure has led to total destruction. In just 3 weeks, almost 1 million Lebanese civilians have been displaced and the death toll has reached 900 Lebanese and 160 Palestinians, with a UN count saying one-third of the dead are children.
Additionally, in violation of international law, Israel continues to occupy Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and Syria’s Golan Heights. In violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel continues to hold 9,600 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails and detention centers without due process, among them 130 Palestinian women and 388 children, many of them taken from their homes in the middle of the night.
We, the undersigned Palestinian filmmakers and artists, appeal to all artists and filmmakers of good conscience around the world to cancel all exhibitions and other cultural events that are scheduled to occur in Israel, to mobilize immediately and not allow the continuation of the Israeli offensive to breed complacency. Like the boycott of South African art institutions during apartheid, cultural workers must speak out against the current Israeli war crimes and atrocities.
We call upon the International community to join us in the boycott of Israeli film festivals, Israeli public venues, and Israeli institutions supported by the government, and to end all cooperation with these cultural and artistic institutions that to date have refused to take a stand against the Occupation, the root cause for this colonial conflict.
We call upon you to take a stand in order to appeal to the Israeli people to give up their silence, to abandon their apathy, and to face up to their responsibility in the destruction and killing their elected government is wreaking. To the Lebanese and Palestinians terrorized by this Army's planes, bombs and missiles, this silence, apathy and lack of action from Israelis, are regarded as complicit in the ongoing war crimes, as for those Israeli artists, academics and intellectuals who continue to serve in the Israeli army they are directly implicated in these crimes.
We call upon you to give way to action that would replace words spoken too often and forgotten too quickly. We call upon you to make your voices heard in calling for an end to this bloodshed and an end to this oppression that has lasted too long.
To endorse or answer this call for a cultural boycott of Israel please send an email with your name, position and country to email@example.com