Cultural Boycott

i24 News


A petition protesting partial Israeli government financing of a Sunday panel event of the Brooklyn Book Festival, attended by prominent Israeli novelist Assaf Gavron, attracted hundreds of signatories, including notable authors such as Pulitzer Prize-winner Juno Diaz ("This Is How You Lose Her"), Elif Batuman ("The Possessed"), Brooklyn Book Festival participants and famous music critic of New Yorker magazine, Sasha Frere-Jones.



In response to the Israeli consulate’s sponsorship of a panel discussion at the Brooklyn Book Festival, Adalah-NY has released an open letter and petition denouncing the funding as a violation of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Released earlier this afternoon, the petition has gathered around 300 signatories as of press time, among them 18 past and present Brooklyn Book Festival participants, including editors at Verso and Haymarket Books, and authors includ

The Comics Reporter


You can read the petition here. I think it's pretty straight forward. At issue is the sponsorship of a panel by Israel's Office of Cultural Affairs in New York. That's an embassy-hosted effort that does a lot of presenting art from Israel in a variety of settings. A sponsored book panel seems just the kind of thing they'd be interested in doing. The objection by those signing the petition is described at length and is based on Israeli policy in Palestine.

Tell the Brooklyn Book Festival to no longer accept partnerships with the Israeli government or complicit institutions.

To the Brooklyn Book Festival Inc. and the Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council:

We, the undersigned, including participants and exhibitors at the Brooklyn Book Festival, recently noticed that the festival has chosen to accept support from Israel's Office of Cultural Affairs in New York for one of its panels.

It is deeply regrettable that the Festival has chosen to accept funding from the Israeli government just weeks after Israel's bloody 50-day assault on the Gaza Strip, which left over 2100 Palestinians – including 500 children – dead, displaced a fourth of the population, destroyed homes, schools, and hospitals, and involved numerous potential war crimes. Sustaining a partnership with the Israeli Consulate at this time amounts to a tacit endorsement of Israel's many violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.



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.”


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.”