From Israeli citizens to French Artists - Please Stand with the Palestinian People, Please Boycott Israeli Apartheid!
We are Israeli citizens, trying to bring an end to our government’s policies of military occupation, colonialism and apartheid, against millions of human beings - the Palestinian people. For almost seven decades, Israel, our country, has denied fundamental human rights to the Palestinian people. Israeli policies include land theft, illegal settlement construction, detention without trial, torture, the indiscriminate shooting of civilians (including children) and other crimes. These methods are used on a regular basis by Israel, while Western governments, especially the French one, support this. We are asking you, French artists, to join Palestinian civil society activists and artists all over the world, and others, including us, in a non-violent struggle to end these atrocities!
Furthermore, Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people includes violent attacks on Palestinian culture. (http://mondoweiss.net/2015/11/palestinian-theater-jerusalem/ )
In addition, while carrying out its violent policies, Israel attempts to promote Israeli cultural output all over the world, in a cynical propaganda campaign. This strategy, known as ‘Brand Israel’ (https://bdsmovement.net/tags/brand-israel), is similar to the one employed by the apartheid regime in South Africa decades ago. In that case, international artists responded with a BDS campaign. This response is required now with respect to Israel’s apartheid.
French artists who join the BDS campaign will not stand alone. For example, more than 1000 UK-based artists have pledged to boycott Israel’s apartheid (http://www.artistsagainstapartheid.org/ ). The list includes prominent artists, such as Brian Eno, Robert Wyatt, Jarvis Cocker, Roger Waters, Matthew Herbert and Una Baines, as well as poets Kate Tempest and Benjamin Zephaniah, directors Mike Leigh, Peter Kosminsky, Julien Temple, Ken Loach, Carol Morley and Leila Sansour, actors Maxine Peake, Prunella Scales, Miriam Margolyes and Rizwan Ahmed, comedians Alexei Sayle, Jeremy Hardy and Mark Thomas, writers John Berger, Victoria Brittain, Laurie Penny, Michael Rosen, Ahdaf Soueif and Bonnie Greer, artist Bob and Roberta Smith, and other cultural workers from all fields.
We ask you to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. We ask you to heed the call from Palestinian artists and cultural workers for a cultural boycott of Israel. More specifically, we ask you to reject professional invitations to Israel, and to reject funding from any institutions linked to the Israeli government, until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.
It is worth mentioning that as citizens of Israel we may be sued for publicly adopting this position, and there are other legal moves to prohibit the use of this protest. However, we see no other way of telling the world how catastrophic the human rights crisis in Israel/Palestine is. For you, as non-Israeli citizens, an expression of solidarity with the Palestinian cause should be easier, and it would be the right thing to do.
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within
(Israeli citizens for BDS)