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Over 700 artists launch cultural boycott of israel

14 February 2015 13:12

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More than 700 international artists have announced a cultural boycott of Israel over what they call the inhuman actions of Tel Aviv against the Palestinian people.

The artists made the announcement in an open letter published by The Guardian on Friday, decreeing that they would not engage in business-as-usual cultural relations with the Israeli regime.

“We will accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to” Israel, the letter read, adding, “We won’t play music, accept awards, attend exhibitions, festivals or conferences, run masterclasses or workshops, until Israel respects international law and ends its colonial oppression of the Palestinians.”
The signatories also said that since Tel Aviv’s latest war on the Gaza Strip last summer, “Palestinians have enjoyed no respite from Israel’s unrelenting attack on their land, their livelihood, their right to political existence.”

The letter cited a recent statement by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, which said 2014 was “one of the cruelest and deadliest in the history of the occupation” by Tel Aviv.

Furthermore, the signatories said the Israeli regime’s wars against the Palestinian people are fought on the cultural front too, saying the regime’s military “targets Palestinian cultural institutions for attack, and prevents the free movement of cultural workers.”

Some of the artists who signed the pledge also posted messages on the website http://artistsforpalestine.org.uk expressing their anger at Tel Aviv’s aggression against the Palestinian people.

“I am constantly shocked and dismayed at the world’s indifference to the continuing plight of the Palestinian people at the hands of the genocidal” regime in Tel Aviv, said actor Patrick Neville, adding, “I hope this statement shines some light on this gross injustice.”

Another supporter of the boycott, Deborah Fink, wrote, “When governments won’t act, the people have to apply pressure wherever, whenever and however they can. I will continue to speak out as an artist and as a Jew.”

During the recent Israel war against the Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, Israeli warplanes targeted a number of schools and hospitals in defiance of the Geneva conventions that ban such attacks.

More than 2,100 Palestinians, over 500 of them children, lost their lives during the Israeli offensive.

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