Cultural Boycott

Tamar-kali with her band and special guest Sonny Singh at "Palestine Calling"
Brooklyn vocalist and composer Tamar-kali with her band and special guest Sonny Singh at our "Palestine Calling" event on November 14th, 2015.

Web Action

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.

Press Coverage

Walla

Abstract: 

עשרות שחקני ויוצרי תיאטרון מהעולם קוראים להחרמת סיבוב ההופעות של תיאטרון גשר בארצות הברית המתקיים בימים אלה, בגלל ש"התיאטרון נתמך על ידי ממשלת ישראל, הפוגעת בזכויות הפלסטינים". אנשי תיאטרון גשר, אשר הופיעו בשבת בטורונטו שבקנדה, נמצאים כעת בניו יורק, ארצות הברית, לקראת הופעות בה, ועתידים להופיע גם בפיטסבורג עם שתי הצגות: הקלאסיקה "הדיבוק" בכיכובם של אפרת בן צור, ישראל (סשה) דמידוב ודורון תבורי, וההצגה "במנהרה" שבה שני חיילי צה"ל (אותם מגלמים עידו מוסרי ומיקי לאון) נתקלים במנהרה סמוכה לעזה בשני חמאסניקים (אותם מגלמים פיראס נסאר ויובל ינאי).

Press Coverage

The Jerusalem Post

Abstract: 

 An Israeli theater group is facing protests as it tours North America, including a call for its host theaters to cancel shows and demonstrators waiting outside with signs.

The Gesher Theater, based in Tel Aviv, is currently on a tour across North America, staging shows in Toronto, New York and Pittsburgh. Over the weekend it held two performances of its show The Dybbuk in Toronto, and was met outside by a very small group of protesters holding a sign protesting “Israeli apartheid.”

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, NY, October 2, 2018 – Palestinian arts and solidarity organizations, along with US Jewish and Israeli groups, have joined theater artists in signing a letter calling on Toronto, New York and Pittsburgh arts organizations not to host Israel’s Gesher Theatre or partner with the Israeli government, citing their involvement in violations of Palestinian rights. Award-winning actors Kathleen Chalfant and Miriam Margolyes, and playwrights Caryl Churchill, Betty Shamieh, Naomi Wallace, and Anne Washburn are among the artists who signed the letter.

Gesher Theatre says their Canadian and US performances were “made possible with the generous support of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” At their opening Toronto performance Saturday night hosted by the Ontario Heritage Trust, supporters of Palestinian rights handed out flyers calling for a boycott of Gesher Theatre, and held aloft a large sign saying “Your Event is Sponsored by the Israeli government. Its Military Killed 150 Unarmed Palestinian Protesters in Gaza This Summer.” In a statement, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid in Toronto said, "We protested Gesher Theatre’s opening night in Toronto to show the event for what it really is – an effort by the Israeli government to distract attention away from its violations of Palestinians' rights.”

Web Action

Harvey McCue, Board Chair, Ontario Heritage Trust
Maria Shclover, Board Chair, Cherry Orchard Festival, New York City
J. Kevin McMahon, President and CEO, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh
Scott Shiller, Festival Producer and Vice President of Artistic Planning, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh

Dear Mr. McCue, Ms. Shclover, Mr. McMahon, and Mr. Shiller,

We are supporters of the arts and social justice, writing to express serious concern about the fact that the Ontario Heritage Trust in Toronto (September 29, 30), the Cherry Orchard Festival in New York (October 3, 4, 6 and 7), and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust (October 11-13), will be hosting performances by the Gesher Theatre of Israel, performances that the Gesher Theatre and your own websites say are sponsored by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These performances support the Israeli government in implementing its systematic “Brand Israel” strategy of employing arts and culture to divert attention from the state’s decades of violent colonization, brutal military occupation, and denial of Palestinian refugees’ right of return.  In addition, Gesher Theatre itself has been complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights, as we describe in more detail below. Therefore we call on the Ontario Heritage Trust, the Cherry Orchard Festival and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust not to host the Gesher Theatre, or partner with the Israeli government.

Press Coverage

The Village Voice

Abstract: 

Outside the Joyce on the Eighth Avenue sidewalk earlier this week, two different protesting groups, contained behind police barriers, vied for public attention as the opening-night audience arrived; security guards carefully searched and grilled us. Batsheva, whose summer tour to the States is supported in part by the Israeli government, drew the ire of pro-Palestinian demonstrators, and supporters of Bibi Netanyahu’s policies hollered back.

Press Coverage

Jewish Currents

Abstract: 

Naharin, subject of the 2015 documentary film Mr. Gaga, is undoubtedly a compelling figure: at once a demanding, maybe even sociopathic, taskmaster to his dancers; a beloved creative genius; and an outspoken critic of the Israeli government and the occupation.

Press Coverage

The New York Times

Abstract: 

Human rights protesters were demonstrating outside the Joyce Theater on Tuesday night. The company appearing was from Israel — Batsheva’s junior troupe, the Young Ensemble. The topics of protest were Israel’s repression of the Palestinian people and Batsheva’s role, as an Israeli cultural ambassador, as a front for that repression.

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