â€ś[BDS] campaigns around the world present the most promising way to overcome the failure of world governments to stand up to Israelâ€™s intransigence and lawless behaviorâ€ť.
—Â Stephane Hessel, Holocaust survivor and co-author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Despite theÂ growing number of cancellationsÂ facing Pop-Kultur Berlin festivalÂ due to the Israeli embassyâ€™s sponsorship, the festival directorÂ toldÂ the German media that the question of dropping this sponsorship “really does not arise”.
This arrogant dismissal of the repeated criticism fromÂ PalestiniansÂ andÂ progressive artistsÂ — that accepting this sponsorship constitutes an act of complicity in art-washing Israelâ€™sÂ regime of occupation and apartheidÂ — betrays apathy, and worse, to Palestinian human rights.
The Pop-Kultur festival insists it will “collaborate” with Israel despite its latest massacre in Gaza and whatÂ Amnesty InternationalÂ has condemned as its shoot-to-kill-or-maim policy. This indicates Pop-Kultur festivalâ€™s conscious collusion in the desperate attempts of Israelâ€™sÂ far-rightÂ regime to â€śrebrandâ€ť itself through art and culture.
The prominent composer and producerÂ Brian EnoÂ has called Pop-Kultur festivalâ€™s partnership with the Israeli embassy â€śa whitewashâ€ť.
The festival directorâ€™s shameless — andÂ evidently baselessÂ — attack on theÂ Nobel Peace Prize-nominatedÂ BDS movement for Palestinian rights as â€śstupidâ€ť and â€śanti-Semiticâ€ť inherently reduces Palestinians to lesser humans, by slandering our nonviolent struggle to achieve freedom, justice and equality.
It is a racist attack on the most popular Palestinian-led human rights movement that is endorsed by theÂ overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society, including trade unions, cultural networks and womenâ€™s associations.
ConflatingÂ opposition to Israeli policies — illegal settlements, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, etc. — with anti-Jewish bigotry is a form ofÂ anti-PalestinianÂ racism that is intended to silence critics of Israel. It also does a disservice to the ongoing struggles against real anti-Jewish racism, as progressive Jewish groups inÂ EuropeÂ and theÂ USÂ have often argued.
Anchored in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 2005 Palestinian civil society Call forÂ BDSÂ categoricallyÂ opposes all forms of racismÂ and discrimination. BDS calls for nonviolent pressure, similar to that exerted on apartheid South Africa, to end Israelâ€™s flagrant violations of international law and for safeguarding the human rights of the Palestinian people.
Adhering to theÂ UN definition of racial discrimination, the BDS movement does not tolerate any act or discourse which adopts or promotes, among others, anti-Black racism, anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism, xenophobia, or homophobia.
We reiterate our call for all progressive artists to withdraw from Pop-Kultur festival due to its partnership with the Israeli embassy and its now abundantly evidentÂ anti-Arab racism.
Human Interest 06/08/18Â Please Dad, Stay And Celebrate All My Birthdays
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.