April 19, 2018 âÂ Over 500 Latin American artists haveÂ publicly endorsedÂ the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel. They pledged not to perform or exhibit in Israel Â and to decline Israeli funding, until Israel respects the comprehensive rights of the Palestinian people under international law.
The signatories include poets, painters, rappers, theater directors, filmmakers, actors, writers, and musicians from 17 Latin American countries.
Among the most prominent artists are Chilean writer Lina Meruane, Colombian photographer JesĂșs Abad Colorado, Argentine rapper Daniel Devita, Colombian band Doctor KrĂĄpula, Chilean writer Carlos LabbĂ©, Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, Colombian actor Ălvaro RodrĂguez, and Colombian theater director Patricia Ariza.
The signatories condemned Israelâs apartheid regime, which they describe as âthe system of segregation imposed on Palestinians by the Israeli government.â According to Peruvian poet Marlet Rios, âIsrael has mocked the international community and UN resolutions with complete impunity.â
The statement wasÂ welcomedÂ by the Palestinian Performing Arts Network (PPAN) as an effective act of solidarity with Palestinians. PPAN also noted the statement comes as âIsraeli army snipers are brutally implementing aÂ shoot-to-kill-or-maim policyÂ against unarmed Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip,â who are peacefully protesting âto assert the UN-sanctioned right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes from which they were ethnically cleansed during the 1948 Nakba.â
In a video message, Palestinian filmmaker May Odeh and Palestinian poet Remi Kanazi thanked their Latin American colleagues for supporting the ethical, rights-based movement for a cultural boycott of Israel.
Respuesta de artistas de Palestina a la carta que el 14 de abril del 2018 lanzaron mĂĄs de 500 artistas de toda latinoamĂ©rica. Emociona ver como los y las palestinas responden a este gesto que significa un avance significativo dentro de la campaĂ±a de Boicot Cultural. Puedes consultar la carta de AmĂ©rica Latina en este link: https://bdscolombia.org/boicot-cultural/carta500/Gracias May Odeh y Remi Kanazi!
Posted by BDS Colombia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018
This pledge is part of the growing, Â Palestinian-led global movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) for Palestinian rights. According to Isabel Rikkers, spokesperson for the Israel boycott initiative in Colombia, âBDS promotes the boycott of Israel as a non-violent way to pressure the state to respect Palestinian human rights.â
Israel uses culture to present itself to the world as a liberal democracy when, in reality, Israel, on top of being a system of military occupation and apartheid, violates Palestinian cultural rights through theÂ destruction of theaters, theÂ closure of cultural centers, and theÂ arrest of artists.
Thousands ofÂ cultural figuresÂ and artistsÂ across the worldÂ have heeded the Palestiniansâ call to refuse business-as-usual with Israel, including Naomi Klein, Mira Nair, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, the lateÂ Stephen Hawking, Lauryn Hill, Ken Loach, Danny Glover, Brian Eno and Chuck D.
TheÂ Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)Â was initiated in 2004 to contribute to the struggle for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality. PACBI advocates for the boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions, given their deep and persistent complicity in Israelâs denial of Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law. Visit PACBI atÂ https://bdsmovement.net/pacbiÂ and follow us on TwitterÂ @PACBI
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.