Art, Music & Culture

Extended run of Dean Obeidallah's one-man comedy show in NYC!

2 September 2006

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The New York Arab-American Comedy Festival is happy to announce that Dean Obeidallah’s comedic one man show “I Come in Peace” will be playing for one more week after its recent successful run in the New York International Fringe Festival. Before 9/11, comedian Dean Obeidallah was living the typical white guy life. He hung out with his white friends and did generic white people stuff. Then 9/11 happened. Dean’s life would never be the same. What is it like to be an Arab-American with a Muslim last name after 9/11? Why did 9/11 transform Dean from a typical white guy to Super Arab? Is the Bush administration listening to his phone calls? Find out the answers to these questions and more in Dean’s comedic one man show “I Come in Peace.”

Hurtling toward the Next Intifada: An Interview with Jonathan Cook

Andrea Bistrich
1 September 2006

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This is an edited version of an interview published in German in the newspaper Die Junge Welt on 1 July 2006 between Andrea Bistrich and the British journalist Jonathan Cook, based in Nazareth, Israel, about his new book “Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish State” (Pluto Press) about Israel’s plans for the further dispossession of the Palestinians. The interview was conducted before Israel’s attack on Lebanon. Cook discusses his book, his views on Israel, Zionism, and Olmert’s “convergence” plans, and puts forward his views toward the future.

Filmmaker Ken Loach Joins the Cultural Boycott of Israel

24 August 2006

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Ken Loach, the acclaimed British director and winner of this year’s Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival, an artist who is known for his politically and socially engaged films, has declared in a personal statement his support of “the call by Palestinian film-makers, artists and others to boycott state sponsored Israeli cultural institutions and urge[s] others to join their campaign”. He anounced that he would not take part in the “Haifa Film Festival or any other such occasions,” a clear statement of his intent to boycott Israeli film festivals, and an acknowledgment of the fact that “Palestinians are driven to call for this boycott after forty years of the occupation of their land, destruction of their homes and the kidnapping and murder of their civilians”.

A war against art and culture

Samia A. Halaby
21 August 2006

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This past month, Lebanese artist Youssef Ghazzawi’s studio was destroyed by Israeli military bombardment for the third time in his life. The first time was in 1977 when his home in the southern Lebanese village of Khiam was severely bombed. And the second time was in 1983 during the Israeli occupation of Beirut; the apartment building he was living and working in collapsed due to continuous shelling. Under each barrage, his entire studio and most of its contents were destroyed. He had salvaged a few things from the previous two demolitions and was saving them. In the most recent destruction of Youssef’s studio his entire life’s output was lost.

Music Video: "Hala" from rappers The N.O.M.A.D.S. and the Philistines

The N.O.M.A.D.S. and
the Philistines
18 August 2006

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The N.O.M.A.D.S. (Notoriously Offensive Male Arabs Discussiing Sh*t) and The Philistines bring you quality hip-hop with a purpose and the video to their new track “Hala,” directed by JCON. Both groups co-sponsored and performed at the Free the P Hip-Hop and Slam Party in New York City earlier this year, which benefited Slingshot Hip-Hop, a documentary film that focuses on the daily life of Palestinian rappers living in Gaza, the West Bank and inside Israel. Based in the US, the groups are part of the growing Palestinian and Arab hip-hop phenomenon.

Palestinian Filmmakers, Artists and Cultural Workers Call for a Cultural Boycott of Israel

4 August 2006

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We, the undersigned Palestinian filmmakers and artists, appeal to all artists and filmmakers of good conscience around the world to cancel all exhibitions and other cultural events that are scheduled to occur in Israel, to mobilize immediately and not allow the continuation of the Israeli offensive to breed complacency. Like the boycott of South African art institutions during apartheid, cultural workers must speak out against the current Israeli war crimes and atrocities. We call upon you to make your voices heard in calling for an end to this bloodshed and an end to this oppression that has lasted too long.

Christianity in Palestine: Misrepresentation and Dispossession

Timothy Seidel
2 August 2006

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“You are a Christian?” a foreign tourist inquires with marked disbelief of a Palestinian tour guide in Bethlehem. “When did you convert?” This response by foreigners, Christian or not, is unfortunately not uncommon in Palestine. Even in Bethlehem, the origin to which many trace the very roots of their Christian faith, this disbelief goes hand-in-hand with tourists’ visits to the Church of the Nativity — visits that seem to carry with them some image of a time long past with only archaeological or religious sites remaining with little consideration for the “living stones” that have continuously borne witness to this tradition for two millennia.

Edinburgh International Film Festival Returns Israeli Money in response to Boycott Plans

2 August 2006

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The organisers of the Edinburgh International Film Festival have cancelled an official Israeli Embassy sponsorship of their programme and returned the Israeli cheque following a huge public outcry over Israeli Embassy involvement. The film festival website carries the following: “this funding was secured some three months ago, well before the commencement of current hostilities in Lebanon. Of course we acknowledge that the situation has altered dramatically since then, and with this in mind, took the decision early yesterday to decline any funding from the Israelis.”

Letter from Palestinian filmmakers to Locarno International Film Festival 2006

18 July 2006

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We would like to express our deep concern with the fact that the festival’s Leopards of Tomorrow program is co-sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Given the current belligerence exhibited by Israel in its ongoing brutal attack on Palestinian and Lebanese civilians and infrastructure, justified by the same Ministry of Foreign Affairs that is listed as a cosponsor of the festival, we demand that the festival organizers reconsider their relationship to the government of Israel, and withdraw the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the list of the festival’s sponsors.

Letter to Palestinian and Lebanese filmmakers from Israeli filmmakers

22 July 2006

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We, the undersigned Israeli filmmakers, greet the Arab filmmakers who have gathered in Paris for the Arab Film Biennial. Through you, we wish to convey a message of camaraderie and solidarity with our Lebanese and Palestinian colleagues who are currently besieged and bombarded by our country’s army. We unequivocally oppose the brutality and cruelty of Israeli policy, which has reached new heights in recent weeks. Nothing justifies the continued occupation, closure, and oppression in Palestine. Nothing justifies the bombing of civilians and the destruction of infrastructures in Lebanon and Gaza.

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