Sep 9, 2010

#BDS: Refusing to Normalize a Cruel Occupation: A PACBI Open Letter to American and British Artists Supporting the Cultural Boycott of Israeli Colonies

Occupied Ramallah, 9 September 2010 -- The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) warmly salutes the tens of American and British theater, film and TV artists for their recently published statement [1] supporting the spreading cultural boycott of Ariel and the rest of Israel's colonial settlements illegally built on occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) due to their violation of international law.[2]  We also express our gratitude to Jewish Voice for Peace for its crucial role in bringing this statement to the light.  We view your courageous collective condemnation of Israel's settlements and "ugly occupation," your expression of "hope for a just and lasting peace" [emphasis added] in our region, and your endorsement of the logic of boycott to end injustice as a groundbreaking, precedent-setting initiative that will significantly contribute to ending Israel's impunity and status as a state above the law of nations in the United States, the United Kingdom and far beyond.

PACBI hopes that your position, which reflects a growing sentiment in the Western mainstream, particularly among cultural figures, will be consistently upheld against all institutions in Israel and elsewhere that are in violation of international law or complicit in covering up and whitewashing this violation.  We sincerely hope that this step will usher in further, more effective and bolder steps leading to a comprehensive cultural boycott of Israel -- and its complicit institutions – similar to that imposed on apartheid South Africa.  As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid.”[3] 

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