BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL
While Israeli artists have the freedom to express themselves and
exhibit freely around the world, the artistic talent of Palestine
is wasted by illegal occupation and apartheid, curfew, imprisonment
and attack, in refugee camps and exile.Cultural life struggles for
survival and development under attack and siege.
The cultural boycott exists as a way to express people's growing
outrage over Israeli occupation and war crimes and the British government's
failure to act ethically. Its a peaceful means of putting international
pressure on the state of Israel. If politicians won't act people
call from Palestinian Artists
To the international community of artists, intellectuals and
We address you from the devastated heart of Palestine where the
Israeli army has laid waste to our towns, villages and refugee
camps. Claiming that it invaded our land in order to root out
terrorism, General Sharons army in effect systematically
tried to destroy everything about our society that made it function.
This was no ordinary colonial raid: it was an attempt, using the
ultimate in freely supplied American offensive technology, to
reduce Palestinian life to zero, the life of a dispossessed and
stateless people equipped neither with an army nor defenses against
tanks, attack helicopters, F-16 jets.
In this offensive thousands of homes were destroyed, as were
the electrical, water and telephone systems. Every major office
and civil installation was summarily entered, ransacked, pillaged,
and records removed, including the ministries of Education, Culture,
Health, and Civil Affairs. Archeological and cultural heritage
sites were callously destroyed. Cultural and Art centers barbarically
vandalized, musical instruments broken, paintings damaged, and
artists detained; the aim was to set back Palestinian life by
at least a generation, to make it unviable, to render Palestinian
national and cultural existence on Palestinian land untenable.
Hundreds were brutally killed; thousands led off to uncertain
futures in secret tribunals, torture and detention centers. Palestinians
were treated like dehumanized, lesser creatures. Refugees were
made refugees for the 2nd or 3rd time. Ambulances, and aid workers
were either shot at or prevented from reaching the wounded. Dozens
bled to death, corpses callously left to rot in the ruins created
by bulldozers and tanks.
And yet the Palestinian people has not been broken, its struggle
continues its resolve strengthned.
We call on members of the international community of artists,
academics and performers to show their moral disapproval for Israeli
violation of the laws of war and the Geneva Convention by not
coming to perform, attend conferences, or give lectures. Israel
can no longer claim to be an enlightened state when its armies
rampage across the land of a colonized and occupied people. To
pretend that business as usual is possible while Israel is still
actively involved in terrible aggression and destruction is to
give it support where only condemnation is warranted.
Boycott Israel so long as it violently denies Palestinian self
- determination and occupies Palestinian lands. Express your disapproval
as a constituency of conscience by refusing to lend your name
and presence in support of colonial practices and inhuman behavior.
The cause of justice and humanity requires your support:
Do not look the other way while evil is being done.
The Network of Palestinian Art Centers
Remember the boycott against South African racist apartheid, now
its time to boycott Israeli racist zionism.
"I've been very distressed in my visit to the Holy Land;
it reminded me so much of what happened to us blacks in South
Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints
and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers
prevented us from moving about ... If apartheid ended, so can
the occupation, but the moral force and international pressure
will have to be just as determined. The current divestment effort
is the first, though certainly not the only, necessary move in
"Apartheid in the Holy Land," Nobel Peace Prize winner
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Observe a cultural boycott until Israel ends the occupation and
its racist state terrorism. It happened with South Africa and it
will happen with Israel.
Below we will update details of forth comming cultural events featuring
israeli participation. Contact details, sample protest letters,
etc. will be provided - the rest is up to you.
Art Now - Ori Gersht:Afterglow
- 26 August 2002
Tate Britain, Millbank
London SW1P 4RG
Open every day 10.00 - 17.50
Details for Tate Britain
- Telephone: 020 7887 8008
(international +44 20 7887 8008)
Form (they say they will reply to you personally
within 2 weeks)
Tate Britain is currently hosting an exhibition by Israeli
artist Ori Gersht. We urge you to write letters of protest
to the Tate - a sample letter is provided below.
Background Information (from the programme guide):
"Ori Gersht will present a new series of photographs
and his first video work. In both he explores the landscape
and history of his birthplace, Israel....
Ori Gersht was born in Tel Aviv in 1967. Recent exhibitions
include White Noise, Noga Gallery of contemporary Art, Tel
Aviv, and Galerie Martin Kudlek, Cologne, 2001; and Pitch,
Chisenhale Gallery, 2000. In May 2002, his work will be
the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum
of Art, Israel. Gersht will be exhibiting his Mass Culture
series at the Andrew Mummery Gallery from 22 May - 22 June
2002, and later this year The Knowledge Factory series will
be exhibited in Reality Check, a touring exhibition organised
by The British Council and the Photographers' Gallery"
Dear Sir / Madam
I am appalled to see you hosting an exibition by an
Israeli artist (Ori Gersht - Afterglow) at a time when
Palestinian artists have no freedom, their artistic
talent being crushed under the brutal occupation.
It is totally unethical to carry on 'business as usual'
with Israel when the war crimes and human rights abuses
of their illegal military occupation are stains upon
the conscience of humanity.
Please don't collaborate with apartheid! Observe a
cultural boycott until Israel ends the occupation and
its racist state terrorism. It happened with South Africa
and it will happen with Israel: justice demands a boycott.
* We are grateful to the BIG
Campaign for their Alert on this event. Please visit to
read their correspondence with the Tate.