We, Palestinian cultural organizations, municipalities and human rights campaigns, call for the boycott ofÂ Meteor FestivalÂ in Israel, scheduled for September 6-8, 2018. We urge all participating artists to respect Palestiniansâ non-violent resistance and withdraw from this complicit festival as a meaningful contribution to our struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
Naranja, the Israeli organisers of Meteor Festival, bring international artists to Israel to serve later asÂ future ambassadorsÂ for the country. In 2009, just months after Israel killed over 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza, Naranja worked to âimprove Israel’s image in Scandinaviaâ. Naranja say they want Meteor Festival to create an âalternative realityâ. The reality for Palestinians is 70-year-old regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid.
Just last week,Â Israel effectively declared itself as an apartheid stateÂ by adopting the âJewish Nation-State Lawâ, which constitutionally denies Palestinian citizens equal rights and legalizes their exclusion.
The Meteor festival recommendsÂ accommodationÂ located in illegal Israeli settlements built in violation of international law in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Israelâs expanding illegal settlements steal the land and resources of millions of Palestinians living under military occupation. Israelâs bulldozersÂ demolishÂ Palestinian homes and villages, leaving families and entire communities homeless refugees in our own land.
Since 2004, Palestinian artists and cultural organizations haveÂ urgedÂ their international colleagues not to perform in Israel as long as it continues to violate Palestinian human rights with impunity. Artists played an important role in isolating Apartheid South Africa by refusing to play in Sun City. Today,Â thousands of artistsÂ across the world support the Palestinian boycott call or have respected our nonviolent picket line, including Lorde, Ms Lauryn Hill, Thurston Moore, Shakira, Wolf Alice, Chuck D, Portishead, Brian Eno and Young Fathers.
The Israeli government uses international performances as aÂ stamp of approvalÂ for its regime of oppression and ethnic cleansing and its violent attacks on Palestinian life and culture. Performing at an international music festival in Israel sends the message that Israelâs actions arenât so bad after all. As theÂ Washington Post remarkedÂ earlier this year, âFrom now on, if it weren’t the case already, merely scheduling a concert date in Israel will be considered a political act.â
Israel has confined two million Palestinians in Gaza under a cruel siege for over 10 years now. The UN hasÂ declared the Gaza Strip as âunlivable.â When tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza peacefully protested for their UN-stipulated rights in March, Israeli snipers implemented a âshoot-to-kill-or-maimâ and killed over 140 Palestinians and injured over 16,000, leaving many with life-changing injuries.Â Amnesty InternationalÂ andÂ Human Rights WatchÂ are among the rights organisations who have condemned Israelâs massacre in Gaza.
In the area surrounding the festival site are theÂ ruinsÂ of dozens of Palestinian cities, towns and villages violently destroyed during the establishment of Israel on the rubbles of Palestine. More than 500 Palestinian population centres were systematically destroyed in this way during the Nakba (âcatastropheâ). Many Palestinian communities within Israel are denied basic services, including electricity, water, schools and roads and suffer under a system of racial discrimination that is entrenched withÂ more than 60 racist laws.
Against this oppression and dispossession, as all oppressed peoples, we resist. An important part of our resistance is through culture,Â music,Â poetry,Â literature,Â cinema,Â danceÂ andÂ theatre. IsraelâsÂ responseÂ is to detain and arrest Palestinian artists at checkpoints, raid festivals, close Palestinian cinemas and ban Palestinian cultural events.
We appeal to artists who are scheduled to perform at Meteor to simply do no harm; to respect Palestiniansâ non-violent picket line and to not lend your name to art-washing Israelâs crimes against Palestinians. Stand for freedom, justice and equality. Cancel your participation at Meteor Festival.
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
Yabous Cultural Centre
Palestinian Performing Arts Network
The Palestinian National Theatre/ Al- Hakawati
Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Society
Society Community Development- KHOTWA
Baladi Center For Culture and Arts
Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
Jerusalem Arts Network âSHAFAQâ. The network includes:
Palestinian Performing Arts Network (PPAN). The network includes:
Nawa for Culture and Arts Association
Ohoud Association for Culture and Development
Naqsh Popular Art Center
Oushaq Art Centre
Asayel Dance Troupe
Ibdaâa Cultural Center
Ayyam Al Masrah
Human Interest 07/25/18Â Two Boys: Life and Death in Gaza
Christopher Carlson is a full-time student of Religious Studies at Mount Mercy University, USA. He has been with the IMEMC since 2013. (email@example.com)