Cultural Boycott

OVERVIEW

Cultural boycott is one element of the international boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign (BDS) called for by Palestinians and supported by individuals and organizations around the world. BDS aims to place pressure on Israel and sends the message that there will be no business as usual until it ends its occupation, colonization, and apartheid policies.  Recognizing that Israeli cultural institutions have failed to respond to their government’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights, and that many institutions are active in whitewashing Israel’s crimes, Palestinians launched the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

In July 2004, PACBI issued a call to international artists to refrain from participating in cultural events in Israel and to international civil society to boycott Israeli-sponsored cultural events around the world.

Variety

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Before hostilities ended, those weighing in on social media on the side of Israel included Bill Maher, Howard Stern and Roseanne Barr. And Creative Community for Peace, a pro-Israel activist org, released a petition with 200 names in support of Israel. Sylvester Stallone, Seth Rogen, Minnie Driver and Arnold Schwarzenegger were among the signatories, as were several top studio execs.

Adalah-NY, the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, accuses CCFP of being in bed with Israeli right-wing political interests.

New York, NY, September 2, 2014 - On August 23, the Los Angeles group Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) released a widely reported on statement in Billboard Magazine - “200 Hollywood Heavyweights Support Israel.” What was not reported is that CCFP is a “creative” front group for the right-wing, pro Israeli settler nonprofit StandWithUs, that has a close relationship with the Israeli government. Though CCFP carefully avoids explaining this on their website and materials, CCFP is the same legally-registered nonprofit as StandWithUs (SWU), and, as of October 2013, operated from within SWU’s LA office.

Felice Gelman from Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel commented, “We wonder if CCFP explained to the Hollywood luminaries who signed its statement, like Ziggy Marley and Sarah Silverman, that its apolitical message of ‘art building bridges for peace’ is actually a sanitizing front for the right-wing, pro-settler organization StandWithUs, that has deep ties to the Israeli government? We are also concerned that US media covering the statement did not report on who CCFP really is.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, NY, June 18, 2014 – Twenty New York human rights advocates protested this morning at NBC’s Today Show and NBC’s headquarters at Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan, chanting and holding signs calling on NBC to stop filming its new archeological drama DIG in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem with support and funding from the Israeli government. The crowd, crew and security at NBC’s Today Show turned to look at the colorful signs and Palestinian flags, and to listen to the chants as the protesters circled the plaza.

NBC received a $6.2 million grant from the Israeli government to film DIG as part of an Israeli government initiative to “brand Jerusalem and the State of Israel in a positive light.” NBC is filming DIG now in East Jerusalem despite letters of protest from Hanan Ashrawi of the PLO, and from Palestinian and US human rights groups. A Jerusalem-based human rights advocate recently walked onto the DIG set in a tunnel in East Jerusalem and spoke with the show’s star, Jason Isaacs, explaining to Isaacs that, “just meters from us Palestinians are targets of ethnic cleansing.”

New York Times

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In its official biography, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is described as the country’s premier cultural ambassador. The ensemble’s international tours are also good-will missions. Its current 14-city American tour brought the orchestra to Carnegie Hall on Thursday night for a concert presented by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

New York Times

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Like most seasoned conductors, Zubin Mehta has built his reputation on interpretations of a core repertory, in his case the music of Romantic-era giants like Bruckner, Tchaikovsky and Mahler. But on tour with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, an ensemble that named him music director for life in 1981, he is increasingly in demand for his exegesis of a long-winded drama fueled by high passions of a different kind: Middle East politics.

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