Israeli citizens against the “Days of Jerusalem” propaganda Festival in Prague
We are Israeli citizens, including Jerusalemites, who are active against our government’s policies of occupation, colonialism and apartheid. We have been promoting human rights and peace for many
years within our society.
This month, we are marking 49 years of a brutal Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and West bank, including East Jerusalem. We are also marking 68 years since the beginning of the Nakba, Israel's ethnic
cleansing of the Palestinian people. this is an ongoing process, and current Israeli actions to displace Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem are proof.
We are appalled by the decision to host the official Israeli propaganda event "Days of Jerusalem" in Prague. If the festival was given its appropriate name – Days of apartheid in Prague – it would make perfect sense. The upcoming festival is an act of propaganda carried out by means of celebrating the so-called “United City of Jerusalem” , which is in reality one of the most divided and explicitly racist cities in the world today.
The State of Israel, via the Jerusalem Municipality, refuses to acknowledge East Jerusalem as an occupied Palestinian territory even though the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had no difficulty in establishing this simple fact . At the same time, Israel and the Jerusalem Municipality carry out an explicitly racist policy which includes the ethnic cleansing of the city’s Palestinian population, and the denial of residency rights . Israel, including the Jerusalem Municipality, imposes racist zoning and planning policies, practices discrimination in access to infrastructure and services, or carries out incursions and nightly arrests of residents, including many child arrests.
The State of Israel has erected a tall concrete barrier/wall, which literally cuts through East Jerusalem neighborhoods separating families from each other, children from their schools or the sick from adequate medical care.
Those of us who live in Jerusalem witness the state-sponsored violence and discrimination which are routine practice against the city’s Palestinian population.
-On the so-called “Jerusalem Day”, thousands of Israelis are escorted by Israeli police as they march in occupied East Jerusalem while chanting “Death to the Arabs” and local Palestinians are forced to take shelter in their homes   during the march. This year the Jerusalem Municipality has tripled the budget for this provocative event .
-Tens of thousands of Palestinians in occupied east Jerusalem are being denied access to water .
-The Israeli police regularly snatch children as young as 9 from their beds in the middle of the night, arrest and abuse them .
-Such children who are imprisoned by Israel may undergo abuse, which is often carried out at a notorious detention center in the Jerusalem area .
-The municipality of Jerusalem and the Israeli government are constantly demolishing houses in occupied East Jerusalem . These houses are built by Palestinian families on their own land, but the authorities rarely grant them the needed permits for construction, deeming virtually all Palestinian construction illegal and hence due for demolition. It has been shown that this practice serves the purpose of driving away many Palestinians out of the city and into the rest of the West Bank .
The aforementioned human rights violations are taking place in the occupied and “united” city of Jerusalem on a daily basis, but they are only one element in many forms of apartheid policies which are carried out by Israel against the Palestinian people – those in the occupied Palestinian territories, those inside Israel, and those who are in forced exile due to the Nakba.
In order to counter such criminal policies and blatant human rights violations, we urge the Czech partners of the festival – mainly the City of Prague, the Czech Ministry of Culture, the Czech Republic State Fund of Culture, as well as Prague 7 City District, to immediately cease its complicity in these crimes and join the global campaign for equality, freedom, and justice for the Palestinian people.
We also call on all Czech citizens of conscience to join the BDS campaign in holding Israel accountable for its actions. More specifically, we call on you to stand up to any Czech government which is morally and politically complicit in the violations of human rights and international law committed by the Israeli government.
Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to the Czech activists who advocate a boycott of the “Days of Jerusalem in Prague” propaganda event. We hope that our letter can shed some light on the true nature of this festival. We would like to stress that Israeli artists are welcome to perform their art but they should not be welcome to act as apartheid ambassadors, collaborating with the Israeli government and Jerusalem Municipality.
On behalf of
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (aka Boycott