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For Immediate Release: March 4th, 2015

Human Rights Activists Renew Protests as NBC Action Series ‘Dig’ Premieres on USA Network

Contact Ramah Kudaimi, membership@endtheoccupation.org

Washington, DC- On the eve of the premiere of NBC's new action series ‘Dig’ on USA Network, human rights activists are again protesting the network for its complicity in whitewashing Israel's military occupation and illegal colonization of East Jerusalem.

Protests against the show began in November 2013 when it was announced that ‘Dig’ would be set and shot in occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem. More than 20 Palestinian civil society organizations and national institutions immediately called on NBC to terminate the project. In February 2014, it was revealed that the Israeli government and Jerusalem municipality were providing NBC a $6.2 million grant for the series, part of an effort to brand Israel and its occupation of Jerusalem in a "positive light."

“It is without irony that this show, which disregards stated US policy on the status of Jerusalem and opposition to settlements, premieres just two days after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered an insulting speech to a joint session of Congress,” said Andrew Kadi, co-chair of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. “Israel's attempts at cultural branding are clearly designed to detract from its aggressive and illegal apartheid policies and actions. NBC and other companies should not be complicit in their efforts.”

In May 2014, human rights activists delivered a petition to NBC that was signed by more than 5,000 people, echoing the Palestinian call to end its involvement in the show. In April, Palestinian artists sent a letter to the show's star, Jason Isaacs, asking him to pull out. While NBC claimed that there were no plans to do any filming in Silwan, a neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem where Palestinians have been evicted from their homes in order to make room for extremist Jewish settlers, DIG production trailers were spotted there in June. That same month, a protest against the show took place outside of NBC's ‘Today Show’ and Israeli activists disrupted filming in Jaffa.

At the time, the Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, Sarah Leah Whitson, warned: “Israel has misused archaeology projects in occupied East Jerusalem to strengthen settlements, evict Palestinians, and damage their homes.”

The campaign to hold ‘Dig’ accountable for its human rights violations is being organized by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Adalah NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Palestinian BDS National Committee.