Guidelines for International Artists

Last Revised: 

August 05, 2013

The cultural boycott call targets Israeli cultural institutions, not individual Israeli cultural workers. In October of 2010, PACBI issued “consistent and coherent criteria and guidelines that specifically address the nuances and particularities of the field of culture [that are] intended to help guide cultural workers and organizers around the world in adhering to the Palestinian call for boycott.”

In their guidelines, PACBI stated:

[Cultural] institutions (mainly major state and public entities), all their products, and all the events they sponsor or support must be boycotted. By the same token, international artists and cultural workers are urged not to exhibit, present, or showcase their work (e.g. films, installations, literary works) or lecture at complicit Israeli cultural institutions or events, or to grant permission for the publication or exhibition of such work by such institutions. Events and projects involving individuals explicitly representing these complicit institutions should be boycotted, likewise (emphasis in the original).

PACBI outlined the following as boycottable:

  • All cultural products commissioned by an official Israeli body (e.g. government ministry, municipality, embassy, consulate, state or other public film fund, etc.) or an Israeli rebranding effort or organization, whether based in Israel or international.

  • All events or projects carried out under the sponsorship/aegis of or in affiliation with an official Israeli body or a complicit institution.

  • Cultural events and projects involving Palestinians and/or Arabs and Israelis that promote “balance” between the “two sides” in presenting their respective narratives, as if they are on par, or that are otherwise based on the false premise that the colonizers and the colonized, the oppressors and the oppressed, are equally responsible for the “conflict.”

Cultural products and events that fall outside these guidelines—i.e., that are not commissioned by an official Israeli body, are not carried out under the auspices of an Israeli body in an attempt to whitewash Israeli crimes, and do not attempt to create false symmetry between oppressed and oppressor—are, regardless of content, consequently not boycottable within PACBI guidelines. However, PACBI acknowledges that “an individual artist, filmmaker, writer, etc., Israeli or not, cannot be exempt from being subject to boycotts that conscientious citizens around the world (beyond the scope of the PACBI boycott criteria) may call for in response to what is widely perceived as a particularly offensive act or statement by the cultural worker in question.”

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