Prominent artists commit to cultural boycott of Israel
Adalah New York released a new video for its New York Boycott of Israel campaign to make it clear that “Brand Israel” is not welcome in the city.
The video features T.V. on the Radio’s David “Kyp” Joel Malone, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, actress Kathleen Chalfant, artist Molly Crabapple, musician and actor Babatunde Omoroga “Tunde” Adebimpe, rapper Kool A.D., New York artist Swoon and rock-singer Tamar-Kali.
“As part of the thoughtful, hopeful, and principled Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and out of respect for Palestinian self-determination, we affirm that “Brand Israel” is not welcome in New York and we commit to upholding the cultural boycott however we can. We will not participate in events sponsored by the Israeli government or complicit Israeli institutions in New York, Israel, or anywhere else. As a community of New York-based artists and cultural workers, we call on other artists and cultural workers to join this global movement until Israeli occupation, colonization, and apartheid have ended, the New York Adalah website says.
New York is one of the centers of the “Brand Israel” initiative, through which the Israeli government “shows Israel’s prettier face, so we [Israel] are not thought of purely in the context of war.” The video is a part of a campaign to get artists and cultural workers in New York City to commit to Palestinian rights by refusing Israel’s use of the arts to whitewash its violations of international law and by upholding the Palestinian call for cultural boycott in accordance with Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel’s (PACBI) guidelines.
The call for the cultural and academic boycott came from the Palestinian civil society in 2004 “based on the fact that these institutions are complicit in the Israeli system of oppression that has denied Palestinians their basic rights guaranteed by international law, or has hampered their exercise of these rights, including freedom of movement and freedom of expression.”
In the video, the artists lay powerful examples of brutal and racist Israeli policies that they hope will inspire others to join them in their effort to boycott the Apartheid state.
“Dozens of [United Nation’s] resolutions remain unenforced. We must act where governments have failed,” Kool A.D. and “Tunde” say in the video.