Over 100 artists launch ‘cultural boycott’ of Israel

Artists cite deadly 2014 Gaza war and Israel’s ‘colonial oppression of Palestinians’

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Artists in their hundreds say they will boycott Israel, in a bid to pressure the country to end what they described as the “colonial oppression of Palestinians.”

“Along with more than 600 other fellow artists, we are announcing today that we will not engage in business-as-usual cultural relations with Israel. We will accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to its government,” the group of artists said in a letter in the British Guardian newspaper.

The group includes the likes of Brian Eno, Alexei Sayle, Richard Ashcroft, Riz Ahmed, Miriam Margolyes and Ken Loach.

The group cited the 2014 war between Israel and the Gaza Strip in which an estimated 2,100 people were killed as well as allegations that the Israeli government was attacking Palestinian cultural institutions as reasons for the boycott.

“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,” the group said.

“Its own theatre companies perform to settler audiences on the [occupied] West Bank – and those same companies tour the globe as cultural diplomats, in support of ‘Brand Israel.’”

“During South African apartheid, musicians announced they weren’t going to ‘play Sun City.’ Now we are saying, in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Ashkelon or Ariel, we won’t play music, accept awards, attend exhibitions, festivals or conferences, run master classes or workshops, until Israel respects international law and ends its colonial oppression of the Palestinians,” the artists said.

To see the full list of supporters, go to artistsforpalestine.org.uk

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