SHAFAQNA – A group of over 700 British artists signed up to a pledge to culturally and professionally boycott Israel to pressure it to end its aggressive and discriminatory practices against the Palestinians.
The group, including actors, musicians, and writers, wrote their pledge in a letter published Saturday by Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
“We support the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. In response to the call from Palestinian artists and cultural workers for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge to accept neither professional invitations to Israel nor funding from any institutions linked to its government until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights,” the letter stated, PIC reported.
In their letter, the signatories says that Israel’s last war on the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014 and its ongoing attacks on Palestinian cultural institutions are some of the reasons that have prompted them to boycott Israel.
“Since the summer war on Gaza, Palestinians have enjoyed no respite from Israel’s unrelenting attack on their land, their livelihood, their right to political existence, the letter said, adding that 2014 was one of the cruelest and deadliest in the history of the occupation and that the Palestinian catastrophe goes on.
“Israel’s wars are fought on the cultural front too. Its army targets Palestinian cultural institutions for attack, and prevents the free movement of cultural workers. Its own theatre companies perform to settler audiences on the West Bank, and those same companies tour the globe as cultural diplomats, in support of ‘Brand Israel. “
“During South African apartheid, musicians announced they were not going to ‘play Sun City.’ Now we are saying, in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Ashkelon or Ariel, we will not 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,” they further emphasized.
The group ‘Artists for Palestine’ which launched the cultural boycott campaign said the invitation remains open for more British luminaries to join.