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BOYCOTT ISRAEL CAMPAIGN

 

CULTURAL BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL

 

While Israeli artists have the freedom to express themselves and exhibit freely around the world, the artistic talent of Palestine is wasted by illegal occupation and apartheid, curfew, imprisonment and attack, in refugee camps and exile.Cultural life struggles for survival and development under attack and siege.

The cultural boycott exists as a way to express people's growing outrage over Israeli occupation and war crimes and the British government's failure to act ethically. Its a peaceful means of putting international pressure on the state of Israel. If politicians won't act people must!


A call from Palestinian Artists

To the international community of artists, intellectuals and academics

We address you from the devastated heart of Palestine where the Israeli army has laid waste to our towns, villages and refugee camps. Claiming that it invaded our land in order to root out terrorism, General Sharon’s army in effect systematically tried to destroy everything about our society that made it function. This was no ordinary colonial raid: it was an attempt, using the ultimate in freely supplied American offensive technology, to reduce Palestinian life to zero, the life of a dispossessed and stateless people equipped neither with an army nor defenses against tanks, attack helicopters, F-16 jets.

In this offensive thousands of homes were destroyed, as were the electrical, water and telephone systems. Every major office and civil installation was summarily entered, ransacked, pillaged, and records removed, including the ministries of Education, Culture, Health, and Civil Affairs. Archeological and cultural heritage sites were callously destroyed. Cultural and Art centers barbarically vandalized, musical instruments broken, paintings damaged, and artists detained; the aim was to set back Palestinian life by at least a generation, to make it unviable, to render Palestinian national and cultural existence on Palestinian land untenable.

Hundreds were brutally killed; thousands led off to uncertain futures in secret tribunals, torture and detention centers. Palestinians were treated like dehumanized, lesser creatures. Refugees were made refugees for the 2nd or 3rd time. Ambulances, and aid workers were either shot at or prevented from reaching the wounded. Dozens bled to death, corpses callously left to rot in the ruins created by bulldozers and tanks.

And yet the Palestinian people has not been broken, its struggle continues its resolve strengthned.

We call on members of the international community of artists, academics and performers to show their moral disapproval for Israeli violation of the laws of war and the Geneva Convention by not coming to perform, attend conferences, or give lectures. Israel can no longer claim to be an enlightened state when its armies rampage across the land of a colonized and occupied people. To pretend that business as usual is possible while Israel is still actively involved in terrible aggression and destruction is to give it support where only condemnation is warranted.

Boycott Israel so long as it violently denies Palestinian self - determination and occupies Palestinian lands. Express your disapproval as a constituency of conscience by refusing to lend your name and presence in support of colonial practices and inhuman behavior. The cause of justice and humanity requires your support:

Do not look the other way while evil is being done.

The Network of Palestinian Art Centers

 

Remember the boycott against South African racist apartheid, now its time to boycott Israeli racist zionism.

"I've been very distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us blacks in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about ... If apartheid ended, so can the occupation, but the moral force and international pressure will have to be just as determined. The current divestment effort is the first, though certainly not the only, necessary move in that direction."

"Apartheid in the Holy Land," Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Observe a cultural boycott until Israel ends the occupation and its racist state terrorism. It happened with South Africa and it will happen with Israel.

 

 

Below we will update details of forth comming cultural events featuring israeli participation. Contact details, sample protest letters, etc. will be provided - the rest is up to you.

 

Art Exhibition:
Art Now - Ori Gersht:Afterglow

25 May - 26 August 2002
Tate Britain, Millbank
London SW1P 4RG
Level 2
Open every day 10.00 - 17.50
Admission free

Contact Details for Tate Britain

  • Telephone: 020 7887 8008
    (international +44 20 7887 8008)
  • Website Visitors Book (all visitors to the website can read your comments):
  • Feedback Form (they say they will reply to you personally within 2 weeks)

 

Tate Britain is currently hosting an exhibition by Israeli artist Ori Gersht. We urge you to write letters of protest to the Tate - a sample letter is provided below.


Background Information (from the programme guide):

"Ori Gersht will present a new series of photographs and his first video work. In both he explores the landscape and history of his birthplace, Israel....

Ori Gersht was born in Tel Aviv in 1967. Recent exhibitions include White Noise, Noga Gallery of contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, and Galerie Martin Kudlek, Cologne, 2001; and Pitch, Chisenhale Gallery, 2000. In May 2002, his work will be the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel. Gersht will be exhibiting his Mass Culture series at the Andrew Mummery Gallery from 22 May - 22 June 2002, and later this year The Knowledge Factory series will be exhibited in Reality Check, a touring exhibition organised by The British Council and the Photographers' Gallery"

 

Sample Letter:

Dear Sir / Madam

I am appalled to see you hosting an exibition by an Israeli artist (Ori Gersht - Afterglow) at a time when Palestinian artists have no freedom, their artistic talent being crushed under the brutal occupation.

It is totally unethical to carry on 'business as usual' with Israel when the war crimes and human rights abuses of their illegal military occupation are stains upon the conscience of humanity.

Please don't collaborate with apartheid! Observe a cultural boycott until Israel ends the occupation and its racist state terrorism. It happened with South Africa and it will happen with Israel: justice demands a boycott.

Yours

 

The Jewish Chronicle have picked up the story:
Israel boycott targets Tate exhibit

 

* We are grateful to the BIG Campaign for their Alert on this event. Please visit to read their correspondence with the Tate.

www.boycottisrael.org
www.stopthewall.org
www.bigcampaign.org   
www.boycottisraeligoods.org 
www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-israel.html


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