Inminds human rights group will protest the London opening gala of the Israeli government sponsored Seret 2018 International Israeli Film & TV Festival on Thursday 10th May 2018 outside the Ham Yard Hotel in Piccadilly.
The festival is part of Israel's "brand Israel" propaganda project, whereby culture is used to whitewash an apartheid state founded on the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and occupation of their land. Former deputy director general of the Israeli foreign ministry, Nissim Ben-Sheetrit, explained it, upon launching the million dollar Brand Israel campaign in 2005: “We are seeing culture as a hasbara [propaganda] tool of the first rank, and I do not differentiate between hasbara and culture.”. Along with the Israeli government, through its London Embassy and Ministry of Economy and Industry, the festival is sponsored by racist quasi-government agencies, including the the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, both of which are central to Israel's Jewish-only illegal settlement project, and by Leumi Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, both of which finance Israel’s illegal settlement expansion.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "We have protested this propaganda fest since 2013. After several years of protests outside their gala opening at the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) the prestigious BAFTA finally dropped Seret last year and now the opening gala is being held in a back street hotel.. Our campaign continues.. We will not let our city be used to launch propaganda projects for an apartheid rogue state which today is slaughtering women and children in Gaza as they try to return to their homes. Our message is clear - culture cannot whitewash war crimes. Respect the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of apartheid Israel."
The protest will also demand freedom for Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour who was convicted last week for her poetry, having been in custody since 2015. The writer's association PEN condemned the verdict as "an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression.. a poem is not a crime". The group's international president, Jennifer Clement said "Dareen Tatour has been convicted for doing what writers do every day - we use our words to peacefully challenge injustice".
Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "Not only does Israel use art and culture as propaganda tools to whitewash its war crimes, but at the same time Israel suppresses Palestinian culture and art, targets Palestinian artists, and imprisons them for their art. We will not let Dareen Tatour be silenced, we will read aloud her poem 'Resist, My People, Resist Them' so that the so-called VIP's, like Israel's chief propagandist and now Ambassador Mark Regev, entering the gala cannot evade her words."
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Inminds Human Rights Group