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.

Press Coverage

Forward

Abstract: 

A forthcoming Lincoln Center production of Man Booker Prize-winning novelist David Grossman’s “To The End Of The Land” has become a surprising target for protest. As reported by The New York Times,, the theatrical adaptation of Grossman’s anti-war novel, which is produced by the Cameri Theater of Israel and the Ha’Bima National Theater of Israel and will be presented at Lincoln Center in New York from July 24 to July 27, is drawing fire for the Israel’s Office of Cultural Affairs in North America’s support of it.

Press Release

Love Culture, Hate ApartheidNew York, NY, July 5, 2017 - In a letter made public today, over sixty theater artists have called on Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, a leading US arts institution located in Manhattan, to cancel Israeli government-sponsored performances by two Israeli theater companies scheduled for July 24 – 27. The signers of the letter have won numerous awards for their work in theater, including four Pulitzer Prizes, three Tony Awards, and nine Obie Awards. The letter signed by the artists asserts that the performances by Israel’s Ha’bima National Theatre and the Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv will help “the Israeli government to implement 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 basic rights to the Palestinian people."

Lincoln Center is advertising the performances by the Israeli theater companies as presented “With support of Israel’s Office of Cultural Affairs in North America.” The artists’ letter says that the performances are part of the Israeli government’s “Brand Israel” public relations strategy which, according to an Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs official, sends “well-known novelists and writers overseas, theater companies, exhibits…This way you show Israel’s prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war.” The artists also criticize Ha’bima and Cameri theaters because, despite past opposition from artists, they have repeatedly performed in and legitimized Israel’s illegal settlements built on Israeli-occupied Palestinian land. The letter calls on Lincoln Center “to respect the Palestinian civil society call for a boycott of those Israeli cultural institutions that are complicit in the denial of Palestinian rights.”

Press Coverage

New York Times

Abstract: 

More than 60 artists, including four Pulitzer Prize winners and other prominent writers, actors, directors and playwrights, have signed an open letter calling on Lincoln Center to cancel performances of a play co-produced by two Israeli theater companies and backed by the Israeli government.

Document

June 27 email from Lincoln Center’s President to Adalah-NY

Thank you for your thoughtful note regarding the performances by Ha’bima National Theater and the Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv. “To the End of the Land” is going to be one part of the larger Lincoln Center Festival this summer, and we are looking forward to bringing many different performances from all over the world as part of the series.

Web Action

Katherine Farley, Chairman of the Board, Lincoln Center
Debora L. Spar, President, Lincoln Center

Dear Ms. Farley and Ms. Spar,

As supporters of the arts and human rights, we are writing you to express our grave concern that Lincoln Center will be hosting Israel’s Ha’bima National Theatre and the Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv from July 24 – 27 for performances of the play “To the End of the Land.”  Lincoln Center’s website notes that these performances will occur “With support of Israel’s Office of Cultural Affairs in North America.”  It is deeply troubling that Lincoln Center, one of the world’s leading cultural institutions, is helping the Israeli government to implement 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 basic rights to the Palestinian people. We call on Lincoln Center to avoid complicity with Brand Israel by cancelling these performances by Ha’bima and Cameri.

In 2006 Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) launched its “Brand Israel” public relations strategy which aimed to “rebrand” Israel by representing the country as “relevant and modern,” while “avoiding any discussion of the conflict with the Palestinians.”  An important component of “Brand Israel” involves promoting the country as a progressive center of the arts and culture.  This was articulated by a MoFA official who, following one of Israel’s periodic military assaults on the Gaza Strip, told the New York Times, “We will send well-known novelists and writers overseas, theater companies, exhibits …This way you show Israel’s prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war.”  The advertised support by “Israel’s Office of Cultural Affairs in North America” for Ha’bima and Cameri’s performance at Lincoln Center fits precisely within that Israeli government strategy.

Press Coverage

Mondoweiss

Abstract: 

In this connection, I'd point out again that the PEN America World Voices fest just came off without its traditional sponsorship from Israel. Dropping Israel as a sponsor was, I believe, intentional; though PEN's director Suzanne Nossel was careful not to cop to that. What is undeniable is that PEN came under considerable pressure from Adalah-NY's steady campaign over the sponsorship; and Nossel was receptive to Adalah.

Press Coverage

Mondoweiss

Abstract: 

The Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Saba’aneh kicked off his book tour in New York last night in an appearance at which he said he had no choice but to become a political artist.

Here is the schedule of Saba’aneh’s book tour in the U.S.: You can catch him Friday night in Brooklyn, Saturday night in Clifton, New Jersey, and Monday in Long Island.

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