Art And Culture

Over 700 Artists Announce “Cultural Boycott” of Israel

Over 700 Artists Announce “Cultural Boycott” of IsraelOver 700 Artists Announce “Cultural Boycott” of Israel

More than 100 artists from different parts of the world have written an open letter pledging a “cultural boycott” of Israel.

They include well known figures such as directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, musicians Brian Eno, Richard Ashcroft and Roger Waters, and poet Liz Lochhead.

According to news website, the artists said they were joining more than 600 other fellow artists, in “not engaging 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 recent unrest in Gaza contributed to their decision.

“2014,” says the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, was “one of the cruelest and deadliest in the history of the occupation.” The Palestinian catastrophe still goes on.

The group says that Israel’s wars “are fought on the cultural front too.” They are inspired by musicians who boycotted South Africa during apartheid. “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.”

In August, more than 170 Irish academics signed a petition calling for an academic boycott of Israel.