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

4 August 2006

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Palestinians call to boycott Israeli and American products in the center of the West Bank city of Ramallah, 3 August 2006. (MaanImages/Mushir Abdelrahman)


Dear Filmmakers & Artists,

During the past few weeks we have borne witness to the escalation of Israeli aggression into open war on both Palestine and Lebanon.

With Israel’s invasion of Gaza on June 27th, 2006, ministries and educational institutions have been destroyed, as has the plant that supplies nearly 50 percent of Gaza’s electricity. Bridges, roads, dozens of homes, and hundreds of dunams of agricultural land have also been destroyed. Sixty-four elected Palestinian legislators, cabinet ministers and officials have been detained without charge.

On July 12th, Israel brought its campaign of collective punishment and military violence to Lebanon, with “Operation Just Reward”. A complete assault, via land, sea, and air, of the Lebanese population and infrastructure has led to total destruction. In just three weeks, almost one million Lebanese civilians have been displaced and the death toll has reached 900 Lebanese and 160 Palestinians, with a UN count saying one-third of the dead are children.

Additionally, in violation of international law, Israel continues to occupy Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and Syria’s Golan Heights. In violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel continues to hold 9,600 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails and detention centers without due process, among them 130 Palestinian women and 388 children, many of them taken from their homes in the middle of the night.

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 the international community to join us in the boycott of Israeli film festivals, Israeli public venues, and Israeli institutions supported by the government, and to end all cooperation with these cultural and artistic institutions that to date have refused to take a stand against the Occupation, the root cause for this colonial conflict.

We call upon you to take a stand in order to appeal to the Israeli people to give up their silence, to abandon their apathy, and to face up to their responsibility in the destruction and killing their elected government is wreaking. To the Lebanese and Palestinians terrorized by this Army’s planes, bombs and missiles, this silence, apathy and lack of action from Israelis, are regarded as complicit in the ongoing war crimes, as for those Israeli artists, academics and intellectuals who continue to serve in the Israeli army they are directly implicated in these crimes.

We call upon you to give way to action that would replace words spoken too often and forgotten too quickly. 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.

To endorse or answer this call for a cultural boycott of Israel please send an email with your name, position and country to pal.filmmakers@gmail.com

Signatures (Alphabetical)
1. Adila Laidi, Lecturer 2. Anan Brakat, Filmmaker, Arab Cinema School 3. Annemarie Jacir, Filmmaker 4. Azza El-Hassan, Filmmaker 5. Bahia Munem, Filmmaker 6. Dahna Abourahme, Filmmaker 7. Dima Abu Ghoush, Filmmaker 8. Emily Jacir, Artist 9. Enas Muthaffar, Filmmaker 10. Faten Farhat, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center 11. Ghada Terawi, Filmmaker 12. Hanna Atallah, Filmmaker 13. Hanna Elias, Filmmaker 14. Hany Abu-Assad, Filmmaker 15. Haya Al-Jareedy, Filmmaker 16. Hayan Charara, Writer 17. Hazim Bitar, Filmmaker 18. Iman Aoun, Ishtar Theatre 19. Iman Hammouri, Popular Art Centre 20. John Halaka, Artist 21. Juliano Mer Khamis, Actor & Director 22. Kais Al-Zubaidi, Filmmaker 23. Kamal Boullata, Artist 24. Karma Abu-Sharif, Writer 25. Khadijeh.H.Abu-Ali, Filmmaker 26. Khaled Jubran, Musician 27. Larissa Sansour, Artist 28. Leila Sansour, Filmmaker 29. Liana Saleh, Filmmaker 30. Lina Bokhary, Artist 31. Mahmoud Massad, Filmmaker 32. Mai Masri, Filmmaker 33. Mazen Saade, Filmmaker & Writer 34. Michel Khleifi, Filmmaker 35. Miguel Littin, Filmmaker 36. Nabila Irshaid, Artist 37. Nahed Awwad, Filmmaker 38. Najwa Najjar, Filmmaker 39. Nizar Hassan, Filmmaker 40. Omar Barghouti, Dance choreographer 41. Omar Qattan, Filmmaker 42. Osama Al-Zain, Filmmaker 43. Rana Bishara, Artist 44. Rania Elias- Khoury, Yabous Productions 45. Rashid Masharawi, Filmmaker 46. Reem Fadda, Palestinian Association of Contemporary Art 47. Riyad Deis, Filmmaker 48. Rowan Al Faqih, Filmmaker 49. Saed Andoni, Filmmaker 50. Saleh Bakri, Actor 51. Salim Abu Jabal, Writer 52. Salwa Mikdadi, Curator 53. Samia A. Halaby, Artist 54. Sobhi al-Zobaidi, Filmmaker 55. Suleiman Mansour, Artist 56. Suzy Salamy, Filmmaker 57. Taghreed Mishael, Filmmaker 58. Ula Tabari, Filmmaker 59. Vera Tamari, Artist 60. Wafa Jamil, Filmmaker

Additional signatures can be viewed here.

Related Links

  • BY TOPIC: Israel invades Gaza (27 June 2006)
  • BY TOPIC: Cultural Boycott