American Samizdat

Thursday, December 21, 2006. *
Brian Eno, Arundhati Roy, Ahdaf Soueif, and John Berger are among the 94 artists from Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East who have joined a cultural boycott against Israel.

The Berger letter, signed by artists from across Europe, North and South America, as well as Palestinians and Israelis, reads:

"There is a fragile ceasefire in Lebanon, albeit daily violated by Israeli overflights. Meanwhile the day to day brutality of the Israeli army in Gaza and the West Bank continues. Ten Palestinians are killed for every Israeli death; more than 200, many of them children, have been killed since the summer. UN resolutions are flouted, human rights violated as Palestinian land is stolen, houses demolished and crops destroyed. For archbishop Desmond Tutu, as for the Jewish (former ANC military commander presently South African minister of security), Ronnie Kasrils, the situation of the Palestinians is worse than that of black South Africans under apartheid. Meantime Western governments refer to Israel's 'legitimate right' of self-defence, and continue to supply weaponry.

The challenge of apartheid was fought better. The non-violent international response to apartheid was a campaign of boycott, divestment, and, finally UN imposed sanctions which enabled the regime to change without terrible bloodshed. Today Palestinians teachers, writers, film-makers and non-governmental organisations have called for a comparable academic and cultural boycott of Israel as offering another path to a just peace. This call has been endorsed internationally by university teachers in many European countries, by film-makers and architects, and by some brave Israeli dissidents. It is now time for others to join the campaign ¡ as Primo Levi asked: If not now, when?

We call on creative writers and artists to support our Palestinian and Israeli colleagues by endorsing the boycott call. Read the Palestinian call (The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel).

Don't visit, exhibit or perform in Israel!"
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:32 AM
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