Showing posts with label cultural boycott. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cultural boycott. Show all posts

Monday, March 31, 2014

Neil Young: Please Don't Play Israel

Canadian musician Neil Young is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv this upcoming July. As noted by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), Neil has been an "eager speaker in favor of the rights of the indigenous First Nations in Canada and has "vividly defended their right to resist oppression and exploitation."
PACBI and the broader BDS movement, representing the absolute majority of Palestinian civil society, appeal to you to respect our strategy of resistance and uphold the highest standard of respect for the human rights of the indigenous oppressed Palestinians people.  Brave decisions need to be taken in support of Palestinians exactly like you have supported the First Nations rights in Canada. Thus, the Palestinians call upon you to cancel your July 2014 performance in Tel Aviv
Take action below to send the message: Neil Young, Please Don't Play Israel!
  • Sign and share this petition from Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.
  • Click here to post this picture on your Facebook profile. Like "Neil Young, Tell Me Why You Would Play for Apartheid Israel."

  • On Twitter? Click on Tweet Now to automatically send a tweet that includes a link to more information about the campaign. You can also post messages on his Facebook page.
    • There's no Rockin' in the Free World for Palestinians @Neilyoung. Please cancel your concert in Israel (Tweet Now)
    • The Palestinian struggle is an indigenous struggle. Join them by cancelling your concert @Neilyoung (Tweet Now)
    • Have a heart of gold @Neilyoung. Stand with Palestinians by cancelling your concert #BDS (Tweet Now)
    • Students in Gaza to @Neilyoung: Stand on the right side of history. Stand with us. Don’t entertain apartheid Israel (Tweet Now)
    • More than 6,000 people are asking @Neilyoung to cancel Israel. Add your voice #BDS (Tweet Now)
    • #HonorTheBoycott @Neilyoung and cancel your concert entertaining occupation and apartheid #BDS (Tweet Now)
  • Watch and share Neil Young: Ohio-Palestine Mixtape from Independent Jewish Voices Canada. 

    Monday, June 24, 2013

    Keep the Pressure on Alicia Keys!

    Check out all the amazing actions activists and organizations have taken to convince Alicia Keys to cancel her show in Tel Aviv on July 4:

    You can help keep the pressure on Alicia Keys by tweeting often! Use #AKFAM and tweet to @aliciakeys, @IDTweeps, and @keepachildalive.

    Also help spread the petition urging her to cancel, which already has more than 15,000 signatures! Petition link:

    • Over 50 orgs ask @aliciakeys to boycott apartheid and cancel Israel cc @IDTweeps #BDS (Tweet Now
    • Going ahead with ur show @aliciakeys will be used by Israel to whitewash its oppression of Palestinians cc @IDTweeps (Tweet Now)
    • Due to Israeli oppression, vast majority of Palestinians will be unable to join u in Tel Aviv @aliciakeys @IDTweeps (Tweet Now)
    • Over 15,000 people are asking Alicia Keys to cancel her concert in Tel Aviv cc @IDTweeps @keepachildalive (Tweet Now)  
    • Since 2000 Israeli forces responsible for deaths of over 1,300 Palestinian children cc @aliciakeys @keepachildalive (Tweet Now)  
    • Some people want it all. Palestinians just want justice, freedom & equality. @aliciakeys @IDTweeps @keepachildalive (Tweet Now
    • Hey #AKFAM let @aliciakeys know she should boycott aprtheid cc @IDTweeps @keepachildalive (Tweet Now)
    • Be a Superwoman @aliciakeys & boycott #apartheid for all mothers fighting for better days to come cc @IDTweeps (Tweet Now)  
    • Hey Alicia Keys, Israel is accused of abusing Palestinian children- again cc @keepachildalive (Tweet Now
    • Dear @aliciakeys, help @keepachildalive by canceling that apartheid gig! UN report: Israel tortures Palestinian kids (Tweet Now
    • Learn about Boycott Divestment Sanctions #BDS movement for #Palestine rights & why Alicia Keys urged to cancel Israel (Tweet Now)
    • Why are activists asking Alicia Keys to cancel her concert in Israel? #AKFAM (Tweet Now)

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    Action Alert: Tell Alicia Keys to Cancel her Scheduled Concert!

    Alicia Keys is scheduled to perform to an audience of 11,000 in Tel Aviv on July 4, 2013. Following calls from Alice Walker, Roger Waters, Boycott from Within and many more, Alicia Keys has expressed that she is still planning to perform.

    We want to deliver a petition ( to her Brooklyn based charity with 11,000 signatures, one person who recognizes the injustice of her performance for each ticket-holder to her concert. On Friday activists will deliver the petition and information on the treatment of Palestinian children to Key’s charity “Keep A Child Alive.”

    Will you sign the petition & tweet Alicia Keys to cancel her trip to Israel?

    • Be a Superwoman @aliciakeys & boycott #apartheid for all the mothers fighting for better days to come (Tweet Now
    • Alicia, Keys are all that Palestinians have left from their stolen homes. Cancel Israel. #BDS (Tweet Now
    • Don't be Fallin for #Apartheid @aliciakeys. Cancel Israel. (Tweet Now)
    • Alicia Keys the concrete jungle of Israeli settlements destroys Palestinian dreams. Boycott #Israel (Tweet Now)   
    • Dear @aliciakeys: No one, no one, no one should whitewash #Apartheid #Israel's demolition of Palestinian homes (Tweet Now) 
    • Hey @aliciakeys, Palestinian children also deserve a future. Boycott #Israel. (Tweet Now
    • Some people want it all. Palestinians just want justice, freedom and equality. Cancel Israel. #BDS @aliciakeys (Tweet Now
    • Did u know @aliciakeys in past 10 years, #Israel has detained or arrested 7,000 Palestinian children? Cancel Tel Aviv (Tweet Now
    • From #Africa to #Palestine, ignoring oppression is a crime! @aliciakeys (Tweet Now)  
    • Alicia Keys you can help put the spotlight on the plight of Palestinian children. Boycott #apartheid Israel. (Tweet Now)

    Also check out our Tumblr for the pictures people submitted for our last Alicia Keys action.

    Thursday, May 30, 2013

    Take Action! Send Alicia Keys Your BDS Photos!

    Alicia Keys is set to perform in Tel Aviv on July 4 as part of her Set the World on Fire tour. Both Alice Walker and Roger Waters have written her open letters (here and here) urging her to heed the Palestinian BDS call and cancel her show. 

    You can do your part by taking the following actions! 

    1. Submit a photo. Alicia is running a competition for her fans to get featured in a video that will be shown while she is on tour. Fans are asked to submit a photo with the hope of being chosen. This is an opportunity for some culture jamming asking activists to submit pictures with messages urging her to not play in Israel. 

    To submit a photo: 
    • Go to her website:
    • Scroll down to the interactive map and click "Get Started."
    • Yellow pins show cities that are open for photo submissions. None of these cities are in the United States, but that is ok because it doesn't matter if you're really from the city you're submitting from.
    • Click on a city. Enter "Boycott Apartheid" in the box that asks for one word to describe the city, then your name and email.
    • Upload a photo then hit submit! Send in pictures/infographics of examples of Israeli occupation and apartheid (the wall, house demolitions, checkpoints, etc); Palestinian popular resistance; and/or of yourself holding signs of solidarity with Palestinians.
    • Share with us the pictures you upload via our Tumblr or email to 
    2. Watch and share this video via Facebook

    3. Tweet the following to Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys).
    • Hey @aliciakeys Come Together with Your Sisters. Boycott #Apartheid! #BDS (Tweet Now)
    • Alice Walker writes to @aliciakeys: Don't put yourself in soul danger by performing in an #apartheid state (Tweet Now)
    • Don't Be Fallin For #Apartheid @aliciakeys. Cancel #Israel! #BDS (Tweet Now)

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    Israel to Adorn Wall with Art for PR

    Israel's Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein has decided that the international media attention on the apartheid wall, from a public relations standpoint, has been a burden on Israel and it is time for the Israeli government to deal with this problem.  

    So what does he suggest to deal with this issue in order to help Israel's public diplomacy efforts? Not to dismantle the wall and actually end Israel's occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians. No, what Israel needs to do is "paint pictures on the wall displaying information on terrorist attacks that originated in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas and on attacks that were prevented due to the existence of the barrier." The ministry will be working with Israeli artists and schoolchildren to make this happen. 

    This is just the latest example of Israeli propaganda efforts and highlights the use of art to whitewash Israel's crimes. Check out how you can get involved with cultural boycott efforts through our member group the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

    Friday, October 26, 2012

    Protesters in NY Highlight Whitewashing of Israeli Apartheid

    Press release from our member group Adalah-NY. Check out photos from the action here

    New Yorkers, cultural workers speak out against Israel Philharmonic for whitewashing apartheid 

    October 25, 2012 - Over 60 New Yorkers
    protested the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s (IPO) performance at Carnegie Hall Thursday evening, using chants, songs and street theater to highlight the IPO’s role in whitewashing Israel’s apartheid policies against the Palestinian people.

    Accompanied by the marching band Rude Mechanical Orchestra, protesters chanted, “Oboe, trumpet, or bassoon / Apartheid is out of tune!” and “IPO gets no ovation / Ambassador for occupation!” In a twice-repeated skit, New York actor and playwright Una Osato - sporting a tie that read, “Drown out the Truth” - conducted the “Israel Whitewashing Orchestra.” Passers-by stopped to watch the “musicians” as they fiddled over the sounds of Palestinian cultural workers’ testimonies about the effects of Israeli occupation on their lives. 

    Concert-goers lingered at the Carnegie Hall entrance across the street, listening to the band lead protesters in a version of “Which Side Are You On?” Daniel Strum from Adalah-NY explained, “Tonight we are telling the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, and the Israeli government that its ‘Brand Israel’ campaign cannot cover up the injustice that Palestinians face.” The IPO will also be met with protests on its tour dates in Las Vegas and Los Angeles later this month. 

    Earlier this week, Adalah-NY made public a letter asking Carnegie Hall not to host the IPO, signed by over 50 artists, including author Alice Walker and musician Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. At the beginning of October, Adalah-NY sent a similar letter to Carnegie Hall administrators and trustees urging them to reconsider the IPO’s appearance, with no response from Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson or any other recipient. 

    By serving as cultural ambassadors for Israel, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is supporting the Israeli government's “Brand Israel” initiative, a campaign by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to divert public attention from Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people and “
    show Israel’s prettier face, so we [Israel] are not thought of purely in the context of war.” The IPO has done nothing to distance itself from the Brand Israel campaign, nor has it ever made a public statement against the oppression of the Palestinian people. On the contrary, the orchestra proudly touts its special concerts for Israeli soldiers, and American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra calls it "Israel’s finest cultural emissary.” 

    corporate sponsor of the IPO is Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, whose companies continue to build illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and have been involved in human rights abuses in the diamond industry in Southern Africa. Leviev's companies have been shunned by UNICEF, CARE, Oxfam, the British and Norwegian government, Hollywood stars, and international investment firms because of these activities. 

    The protests by US activists and international cultural figures respond to
    the call from Palestinian civil society to boycott institutions that work to normalize Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and the oppression of Palestinians in Israel, in the occupied territories, and in exile. The growing global movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel has gained momentum in recent years, with performers such as Carlos Santana, Cassandra Wilson, The Pixies, and Pete Seeger supporting the Palestinian call for cultural boycott. The Palestinian BDS movement is a nonviolent campaign for Palestinian rights inspired in part by the international boycott campaign that helped abolish apartheid in South Africa.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    US Campaign Thanks Cassandra Wilson for Supporting Cultural Boycott

    In late February, US jazz singer Cassandra Wilson canceled a schedule performance at the Holon International Women's Festival in Israel. Wilson, a world-renowned vocalist, canceled her performance after appeals from boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists encouraging her to respect the Palestinian call for BDS. According to an article at Electronic Intifada citing the Hebrew Israeli daily Ynet, the Grammy award winning Wilson announced, "as a human rights activist, I identify with the cultural boycott of Israel." The article also reports that concert promoters are considering legal action her. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation released the following letter of thanks and appreciation to Wilson.

    Dear Cassandra Wilson,

    We are a diverse coalition of more than 380 organizations across the United States working to change U.S. policy and end U.S. support for Israeli occupation and apartheid. We are writing to applaud you for your courageous decision not to play for the Holon International Women's Festival. Thank you for your statement in support of the cultural boycott of Israel as called for by Palestinian civil society. 

    Although the government-funded Holon festival claimed to empower women, since Palestinian women were excluded, this was selective empowerment. Your brave decision to refrain from performing in Israel showed respect and deep compassion for Palestinian women and your action is an inspiration for other women to stand up against injustice. We thank you for enduring the intense pressure to perform for the Holon festival. You showed great strength by seeking information about the BDS campaign and deciding to cancel so close to your scheduled performance. 

    It is not uncommon for an artist who takes such a stand to be on the receiving end of false accusations, threats, and unfounded criticism by apologists for the Israeli crimes. In solidarity, we hope that you remain strong in the face of such pressure and recognise there is enormous support for you and respect for your decision among those who embrace justice, human rights and freedom. You have joined a growing list of artists of conscience who have refused to play in today’s Sun City and we all express our gratitude to you.


    US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    Rock musician Cat Power cancels Israel show, citing Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    By Associated Press
    Friday, February 10, 7:04 AM

    JERUSALEM — American musician Cat Power has canceled her show in Israel, joining a list of artists shunning the country over its conflict with the Palestinians.

    Charlyn Marie Marshall, better known by her stage name Cat Power, was to perform in Tel Aviv on Sunday.

    But she tweeted on Friday that due to “much confusion” she felt she could not play for her Israeli fans and that she felt “sick in her spirit.”

    She had faced calls to boycott the Jewish state.

    Elvis Costello and The Pixies have canceled their appearances, as did the British dance band Klaxon and the Gorillaz Sound System. Santana and Bjork also called off concerts, without explaining why.

    Other musicians, such as Elton John, Paul McCartney and Madonna, have resisted the pressure.


    Friday, January 20, 2012

    London's Natural History Museum Blasted for Collaborating with Ahava

    In the summer of 2009, US Campaign coalition member group CODEPINK launched the Stolen Beauty Campaign against Israeli cosmetics manufacturer Ahava Dead Sea Labaratories. Since then, the boycott campaign against Ahava has grown into an international campaign that continues to raise awareness about Ahava's deceitful business practices, which include labeling products manufactured in the occupied West Bank as 'Made in Israel', in violation of international law.

    This past Tuesday, prominent intellectuals in Great Britain demanded that the Natural History Museum in London pull out of a research project which involves Ahava. In an open letter to the British newspaper, The Independent, top British filmmakers Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, along with other leading cultural and academic figures in Great Britain, condemned the museum for "coordinating an activity that breaks international law."

    The museum is coordinating a European Union-funded project studying the environmental and health risks of nanoparticles. Avaha is one of several companies and institutions collaborating on the project, however, it is the only one operating in an illegal settlement in occupied territory. In their letter, the 21 signatories conveyed their outrage over the museum's collaboration with Ahava:

    Ahava/DSL is based on occupied territory. It extracts, processes and exports Palestinian resources to generate profits that fund an illegal settlement. Israel's settlement project has been held by the International Court of Justice to break international law. Organisations which aid and abet this process may well themselves be found to be in violation. We find it almost inconceivable that a national institution of the status of the Natural History Museum should have put itself in this position.

    We call on the museum to take immediate steps to terminate its involvement in Nanoretox and to establish safeguards that protect against any comparable entanglement.

    The letter has generated a fair amount of negative publicity for Ahava, including a separate article in The Independent, and featured articles in the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Rueters, YNet News and leading science websites like Nature and Science.

    Check out CODEPINK's Stolen Beauty website for more information on how you can get involved in the boycott campaign against Ahava!

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Palestinians Hold Third National BDS Conference

    Last month, the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank hosted the Third National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Conference. The Conference centered on BDS as a means of nonviolent popular resistance and addressed some key issues currently confronting the movement, both locally and internationally. Below is the Conference Report, published by the Palestinian BDS National Committee.

    Report: Third National BDS Conference, Hebron, December 17

    Posted January 9th, 2012 by Conference team

    On 17 December 2011, Palestinians gathered in the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank for the Third National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions  (BDS) Conference. The event took place against the backdrop of continuous Israeli violations of Palestinian rights, and a growing resistance against injustice worldwide as demonstrated by the Arab revolutions and the occupy movements.  Just minutes away from the conference venue, 500 Jewish settlers live under escort of the Israeli military in a colonial enclave in the middle of old Hebron, terrorizing local Palestinian residents on a daily basis, with the stated intent of driving them from their homes. Hebron is also an important commercial center in Palestine, and thus was a fitting venue to hold the national BDS conference, after it was held in Nablus and Ramallah in previous years.
    The day started early with about 500 Palestinians from all corners of the West Bank, as well as 48 Palestinians representing a diverse sector of civil society including trade unions, student and women groups, academics, cultural workers and NGOs, all uniting under the banner of BDS.
    There was also a visible international presence as well as that of Israeli partners who have responded to the 2005 BDS call.  Notable was the absence of representation from Gaza, under an Israeli imposed siege, and refugees outside historic Palestinian, although their contribution to the movement was acknowledged.
    The conference was an opportunity to take stock of the movement’s achievements worldwide, and to develop strategies to face the challenges ahead. The BDS movement witnessed impressive growth in 2011. Achievements include the withdrawal of German company Deutsche Bahn from construction of the A1 train line connecting Jerusalem to Tel Aviv; the forced closure of settlement company Ahava’s London flagship store and the loss of a $10 bn contract by French company Alstom in Saudi Arabia as a result of its role in the construction of the illegal Jerusalem Light Rail in occupied Jerusalem. 2011 was also the year when Israel’s foremost agricultural export company and a major BDS target - Agrexco - went bankrupt thanks in part to a sustained Europe-wide campaign.
    The movement has now visibly spread beyond its traditional base of Palestine solidarity groups. The call for a military embargo of Israel received an enthusiastic response in Brazil and South Korea while in Australia, a nationwide debate involving government politicians and national media outlets ensued following the adoption of the movement’s principles by Marrickville Council in Sydney. A number of well-known artists have cancelled their scheduled performances in Israeli venues following appeals from BDS activists. Over a hundred Swiss artists vowed to boycott performances in Israel. Similarly, over 200 Swedish academics pledged to implement an academic boycott of Israel. The campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel (ACBI) has undoubtedly been one of the most visible, and successful campaigns this past year.
    Governments and corporations are yet to end complicity with Israel’s policies of occupation, colonization and apartheid, as is clear from Israel’s continued violations of international law. Nevertheless, the costs for Israel are now undeniable, as BDS is proving to be the most effective tool to challenge Israel’s impunity. Governments and corporations can now expect strong and principled opposition from a truly global movement. Israel and its supporters in turn have recognized BDS as a “strategic threat” that could become an “existential threat”, yet unable to mount effective opposition to the movement.
    The opening session of the conference covered these exciting developments. Dr. Wael Abu Yousef, representing the Coalition of National and Islamic forces, said that despite internal political divisions between the political parties, BDS is an unshakable point of consensus among them. Omar Barghouti, a founding member of the BDS movement, emphasized that while the movement is inspired by  the South African anti-apartheid struggle and other struggles for national liberation around the world, it is foremost a Palestinian movement, rooted in decades of nonviolent popular resistance to Zionism.
    Michael Deas, the BNC coordinator in Europe, and Adam Horowitz, co-editor of popular blog Mondoweiss, spoke in the first panel about developments of the campaign in Europe and the US. There was much interest in the numerous successes the BDS movement has achieved, in addition to an element of surprise about the movement’s wide reach and successes. Questions asked by the audience reflected these sentiments. There was consensus amongst participants that these victories should be widely publicized as to promote awareness amongst Palestinian civil society about the strength and victories of the BDS movement.
    The second panel addressed the possibilities for implementing a boycott of Israel locally and in the Arab world. Rania Elias, member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), said Israeli and international actors have been major players promoting Palestinian normalization with Israel, which runs counter to Palestinian aspirations and universal opposition to normalization within Palestinian civil society. The audience voiced their opposition to normalization, and demanded that the Palestinian Authority takes a strong stance to end all forms of normalization, and to hold those involved accountable.
    Palestinian economist Ibrahim Shikaki provided a detailed critique of the current state of the Palestinian economy, dangerously developing to become subjugated to Israel in the long-term. He warned against attempts to replace a national resistance discourse with that of economic development.
    In his analysis of Israeli dominance of the Palestinian consumer market, Salah Haniyyeh of the Economic Monitor noted that the Palestinian Authority lacks procurement legislation within its own government institutions to favor Palestinian and Arab products over Israeli ones. He also lamented the perception of Israeli products as being superior to Palestinian ones, calling on organized efforts to promote local produce.  Hanniyeh considered shortsighted the idea that the economic boycott of Israel should be halted for the risk it could pose to livelihoods of some families and instead emphasized the need for proactive strategies to protect workers while forwarding the national cause. Omar Assaf, representative of the Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS), in turn condemned the existing Oslo framework as a major obstacle for social justice as it served to legitimize Israel’s security aspirations and economic dominance. The establishment in 2011 of PTUC-BDS represents a positive development in the consolidation of the workers’ efforts to isolate Israel, Assaf stated.
    The hall awakened during the Q & A session with loud cheers in support of a number of enthusiastic interventions. There were suggestions for the development of a united front against normalization. Some expressed unhappiness about the role of foreign donors in turning Palestinians into consumers instead of promoting true economic independence. The loudest cheers however were reserved for the urgent need to bring the struggle back to the people, BDS being one such avenue, contrasting it to the role of the peace process in removing Palestinian popular agency.
    Following lunch, participants split into groups for workshops on aspects of BDS relevant to the local context (students and youth, women’s organizations, civil society institutions, formal labor, and popular committees against the wall and settlements and international work). Each session agreed recommendations that were then presented to the conference at the end. Recommendations varied from strengthening the culture of boycott through awareness raising campaigns to developing mechanisms to actively oppose all levels of normalization.
    It was evident throughout the day that there is huge enthusiasm and energy among all those attending to contribute more actively to the global BDS movement, and activate the boycott within their respective organizations and institutions.


    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Tell Boston LGBT Film Festival Organizers to Stop Pinkwashing Israeli Apartheid

    Israel's pinkwashing propaganda comes to Boston this month. As part of its Brand Israel campaign, the Israeli government is sponsoring Out in Israel Month in Boston and has partnered with the Boston LGBT Film Festival on a series of events designed to promote Israel as a progressive, liberal bastion "with many faces and just as many narratives." Israel is cynically co-opting the hard fought struggle for gay rights in Israel to divert attention away from its brutal occupation of Palestine. Tell the Boston LGBT Film Festival to respect the international cultural boycott of Israel and cancel all events associated with Out in Israel!

    The text below is from the petition to the Boston LGBT Film Festival Organizers to stop pinkwashing Israeli apartheid.

    Why this is Important

    In the past, the Boston LGBT Film Festival has demonstrated a sincere commitment to diversity and social justice. But its latest partnership with "Out in Israel" undermines that history. Boston LGBT Film Festival organizers flout an international cultural boycott of the Israeli government -- led by Palestinian artists and allies -- to protest the brutal and illegal occupation. Through this partnership with "Out in Israel," the film festival provides positive publicity for a government whose human rights violations have attracted worldwide censure.

    Israel’s invocation of LGBT rights - its “pinkwashing” propaganda - is disingenuous insofar as it diverts attention from the realities of Palestinians living under ongoing Israeli colonization, apartheid, and occupation. Consider, for instance, what Israel looks like to gay Palestinians. For these individuals, Israel is anything but a haven of freedom and inclusivity. Subject to the omnipresence of Israel’s gay-inclusive military, Palestinians’ movements are controlled and monitored by hundreds of Israeli checkpoints and obstacles throughout the West Bank. Throughout Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, Palestinians face the threat of home demolition and increasing violence at the hands of Israeli settlers. Even Palestinians who legally live in Israel contend with institutionalized inequity in the form of at least 70 discriminatory Israeli laws. Indeed, Israel’s wall - dividing Palestinian families, communities, and land - emerges as the symbol writ large of Israeli apartheid.

    We ask, then, the Boston LGBT Film Festival respects the international cultural boycott and cancels all events associated with "Out in Israel."

    We ask film organizers to choose events for which all people may be "out" and "proud." Pinkwashing injustice just isn't one of them.

    Friday, September 30, 2011


    US Campaign member group USACBI has issued a call to action this week as the Jerusalem String Quartet prepares for its North American Tour this October.

    Join a local protest or organize your local action - contact us at:!
    The Jerusalem String Quartet is embarking on a North American tour from October 2-16, 2011 (visiting Vancouver, BC; Costa Mesa, CA; Tucson, AZ; Logan, UT; Downers Grove, a Chicago suburb, IL; Houston, TX; Toronto, ON; West Lafayette, IN; and Louisville, KY). The Quartet, a premier Israeli musical institution and a project of the Jerusalem Music Centre, has been protested by Palestine solidarity and Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) activists around the world during its tours over the years.
    The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is calling for boycotts and protests of the Jerusalem String Quartet at all of its performance locations during its North American tour, in accordance with the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and the call for the boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions issued by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
    Learn more about what makes the Quartet boycottable, the tourm and organized protests here!

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Orchestra suspends four musicians who opposed Israeli musicians' concert

    Following the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra's (IPO) performance in London this month, four musicians have been suspended from the London Philharmonic Orchestra for speaking out against the performance.  The IPO performance was interrupted by Beethovians for Boycotting Israel (BBI), and footage of the demonstrations outside the performance can be viewed here.
    The London Philharmonic Orchestra has suspended four musicians for nine months for using its name when they called unsuccessfully for the cancellation of a concert by an Israeli orchestra at the Proms.
    The move follows the indefinite suspension of an unnamed LPO violinist after she allegedly launched an anti-Israel "rant" when Israeli musicians appeared at the Royal College of Music before the concert at the Royal Albert Hall earlier this month.
    Tim Walker of the London Philharmonic Orchestra
    . Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian
    In a statement, Tim Walker, the LPO's chief executive, and Martin Hohmann, its chairman, said the suspensions sent "a strong and clear message that their actions will not be tolerated … the orchestra would never restrict the right of its players to express themselves freely, however such expression has to be independent of the LPO itself.
    "The company has no wish to end the careers of four talented musicians but … for the LPO, music and politics do not mix."
    They added that the orchestra had no political or religious affiliations and strongly believed in the power of music to bring peace and harmony to the world, not war, terror and discord.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    An Open Letter from Gaza to Julio Iglesias: Don’t Entertain Apartheid Again!

    The following is an excerpt from an open letter composed by the One State Democratic Group urging performer Julio Iglesias to heed the call for a cultural boycott of Israel.
    Besieged Gaza,
    Occupied Palestine,
    Dear Julio Iglesias,
    We, youth and students of the Gaza Ghetto, entrenched and surrounded by Israeli Gunships, Snipers, Jeeps, F16s and Merkava tanks at every turn, are saddened to see that once again, you will entertain an apartheid regime, and ignore the horrors Israel is inflicting on us.
    This is not the first time an oppressed group has called on you to heed calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions of apartheid.
    Those in the South African apartheid liberation struggle described you then as one to, “have chosen to make profit in a land of exploitation and misery instead of taking a stand on principle and foregoing blood money.”[1]

    You performed twice in the infamous Sun City of South Africa in 1983 and 1984. Your claims to have had “a child with a colored woman" and to "sing duet with Diana Ross who is colored"[2] were unacceptable excuses and no similar excuses will see us Palestinians forget your turning your back on our call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of apartheid Israel. By performing in Israel you directly contravene the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) [3], that has been heeded by international artists and writers such as Elvis Costello, the Pixies, Carlos Santana, Annie Lennox, Gorillaz, John Berger, Adrienne Rich, Massive Attack, Faithless, Gill Scot-Heron, Devendra Banart, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Meg Ryan, Arundati Roy and many others, who have put equality, anti-racism and the will of the oppressed against the appearance money and adulation. Adulation from, in this case, many young people who have served in the Israeli Occupation Forces that occupy and control us and our land, bomb our  villages and destroy or steal our houses, olive groves and—more importantly—our human dignity.


    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Tell Interpol Not to Entertain Israeli Apartheid!

    American post-punk band Interpol plans to perform in Israel later this month. Join the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) -- a US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation member group -- in calling on Interpol to not entertain Israeli Apartheid!

    Below is a sample email appeal, followed by sample tweets...

    Email addresses: contact,,
    Sample Subject Line: Interpol - Stand up for human rights!

    Dear members and management of Interpol,

    During the past month, tent cities have sprung up all over the State of Israel. Israeli citizens are protesting against their government's unfair policies: tax benefits to the rich, lack of public housing, underinvestment in infrastructure, privatization of social services and more.

    However, although there may seem to be a revolutionary uprising in the Israeli public, modeled after the Arab Spring revolutions, one subject is taboo in the tents. Under the call for “unification” in Israeli society, social justice ends with Palestinians. The Palestinian people are denied some of the most elementary freedoms: the freedom of movement, the freedom to access their stolen agricultural land and the freedom to protest without facing life threatening violence: When they demonstrate against the Israeli government, they face brutal treatment. Their relatives in the Gaza strip are by no means luckier, living under constant siege. In the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, kids are abducted from their houses, in violation of international law, and taken to violent police interrogations.

    Israeli propaganda will gladly announce that you are coming to perform in "the only Democracy in the Middle East", but your Palestinian fans in the Occupied Territories will not even be allowed to come to Tel Aviv and enjoy your performance. Furthermore, the Pic.Nic festival is produced by Shuki Weiss, who has a special relationship with the Israeli establishment. Mr. Weiss attended Knesset meetings which have led to draconian anti-democratic legislation to outlaw boycotts, and he sends Israeli politicians VIP tickets to concerts which he produces. This is not just corruption within the system, but corruption that serves to whitewash Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people, using international artists such as you.

    You have an opportunity to stand with the oppressed. Please don’t play in apartheid Israel, until it complies with international law and ends the occupation over the occupied territories, recognizes full equality for its Palestinian citizens and respects and protects the Palestinian refugee’s right of return to their homes and properties.


    [Your name]

    Tweet your BDS message and post it to their Facebook page here.
    Use the sample tweets below or write your own. Click "Tweet Now!" for automatic tweeting.

    Ethnic Cleansing is the real "Evil" @Interpol, Take a stand for rights & join us in #BDS until #Israel complies with Int'l Law
    Tweet Now!

    "Turn on the bright lights" & see #Israel apartheid @Interpol Stand up for Palestinian rights #BDS
    Tweet Now!

    @Interpol the real "Barricade" is the illegal #Israel Wall which steals #Palestine land for settlements Time to join #BDS
    Tweet Now!

    @Interpol should be arresting #Israel War Criminals, not entertaining apartheid #BDS
    Tweet Now!

    @Interpol, #Israel "Wrecking Ball" demolishes Palestinian homes daily dont help them conceal crimes with your performance #BDS
    Tweet Now!

    Click here to see the full action alert.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Indian Artists Boycott Tel Aviv Museum Show

    The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel, a campaign endorsed by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, recently issued the following press statement...

    July 31, 2011

    Indian Artists Boycott Tel Aviv Museum Show

    The first major show of Indian art "Deconstructing India" is planned for Spring 2012 in the new wing of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel.

    We, the undersigned artists, who have been invited by the curators to participate in this show, have declined to exhibit our work, in solidarity with the International Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel called by Palestinian intellectuals and artists, and the India Campaign. The Boycott, inspired by the earlier successful international boycott against Apartheid South Africa, is a peaceful, non-violent Gandhian campaign, which is directed at mainstream institutions and not at individuals, to pressurize Israel to recognize the rights of the Palestine people.

    The newly built Amir Wing of the Tel Aviv Museum designed by American architect Preston Scott Cohen is planned to be a showpiece for the discredited Israeli Government to increase its status and prestige internationally at a time when the country's image is at its lowest ebb.

    By declining to participate in this show, we refuse to legitimize the illegal racist and apartheid policies of the Israeli Government against the people of Palestine and to become a part of "Brand Israel".

    Click here for the full statement and list of signatories and supportive artists and art scholars...

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Victory: LGBTQ Student conference withdraws conference from Israel!

    Following successful campaigning by Palestinian queer groups such as alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, Aswat -- Palestinian Gay Women, and Palestinian Queers for BDS, the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth and student umbrella organization IGLYO has withdrawn their annual conference from Israel, in line with the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS).

    Palestinian queer groups welcome the decision by the board of IGLYO to withdraw their annual General Assembly conference from Tel Aviv, Israel. Since June 1st, a campaign to get 'IGLYO Out of Israel' was launched by Palestinian Queer Groups to protest the organization's decision to hold its General Assembly in Tel Aviv, and accept funding from the Israeli government, followed by a call to boycott the conference after IGLYO declined to change its location. We take this opportunity to salute IGLYO Member and Associate Organizations who took a principled and moral stance in support of our rights and headed our calls, including NUS-LGBTQ, Kaos-GL and Pembe Hayat from Turkey; BelonG To, the Ireland LGBT youth organization; and Helem -- Lebanese Protection for LQBTIQ, and IGLCN -- The International Gay and Lesbian Cultural Network. This can only be seen as a continuation of the beautiful spirit of global solidarity, dominant during the South African anti-apartheid struggle and ongoing in solidarity with the rights of the Palestinian people, and oppressed people everywhere. We also call on other member organizations, and IGLYO to fully respect the Palestinian civil society call for BDS until Israel ends its oppression of the Palestinian people.

    Palestinian Queer groups have launched this campaign in protest of the location's conference, and acceptance of funding from the Israeli government, which directly implicates IGLYO in Israel's occupation, colonization and apartheid, and Israeli efforts to 're-brand' Israel. Israeli policies and occupation do not distinguish between queer and straight. All Palestinians -- queer and straight --  must deal with the effects of Israel's apartheid system, illegal wall and colonial settlements, and military occupation. Furthermore, Palestinians in Gaza live under medieval and illegal siege, and the largest open-air prison in the world. Like all Palestinian citizens of Israel, queers are subject to institutionalized discrimination in all walks of life, and Palestinian refugees are denied their basic, UN-sanctioned right of return.


    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    USACBI Alert: Will you tell Renée Fleming to cancel her trip to Israel?

    The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) is a coalition member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

    USACBI Alerts, July 23, 2011

    We are asking BDS supporters to get the word out and tell Renée Fleming, an American soprano, to cancel her July 27th performance in Israel! See the letter from BRICUP urging her to respect Palestinian rights and not cross the international picket line: or read the letter to Renée from Israeli activists:

    Tweet your BDS message or post it on Facebook.
    Use the sample tweets below or write your own. Click “tweet now!” below the samples for automatic tweeting.

    Even your voice cant drown out the bulldozers demolishing Palestinian homes & dreams Stand up for humanrights @reneesmusings #BDS
    tweet now!

    Ethnic Cleansing is a crime Dont cross our picket line! Support the Palestinian call for equal rights @reneesmusings #BDS
    tweet now!

    Colonization of #Palestine land is illegal dont entertain violations of humanity and law @reneesmusings #BDS
    tweet now!

    @reneesmusings dont let your beautiful voice be used to whitewash #Israel war crimes Stand up against oppression #BDS
    tweet now!

    Sample email:

    To email Renée Fleming, contact,
    Subject Line: Renée Fleming - don’t cross the international picket line!

    Dear Renée Fleming,

    We would like to inform you of a few important details.

    The venue which has been selected for your concert in Jerusalem, Binyanei Hauma, is owned by the Jewish Agency and the Jerusalem municipality (

    The Jewish Agency has been a key player in Israel’s violent colonization project throughout the occupied West Bank (

    The Jerusalem Municipality is a racist authority which demolishes Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, and severely discriminates against Jerusalem’s Palestinian population (

    A performance by prominent international artists like you serves to whitewash the Jewish Agency and the Jerusalem Municipality’s complicity in severe violations of human rights and international law, and legitimize its wrongful conduct.

    Moreover, Palestinian fans of classical music living under Israeli military occupation will not be allowed to come to any venue in Jerusalem and enjoy your performance!

    Palestinian civil society has called for a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel’s policies of apartheid, racism and occupation.

    In view of these details, should you, as a conscientious artist, perform at Binyanei Hauma, and in Jerusalem, under such circumstances?