Performing Arts Boycott of Israel sign now

Background: Arts as an expression of dissent

In the 1980s, the injustices perpetrated by South Africas Apartheid regime evoked strong protest across the world. Although it had taken decades for people worldwide, to realize that indeed, the institutional racial and ethnic segregation of South African Apartheid should be opposed in a comprehensive manner, including a variety of boycott activities, it finally came about.

Internationally renowned artists and bands, like U2 and Peter Gabriel, expressed their opposition to the Apartheid system, by refusing to perform there until this racial inequality was dismantled.

Israeli Apartheid

In Palestine, for decades now, the same type of segregation is being applied upon the Palestinian people by their Israeli occupiers.

Israel, having confiscated vast tracts of Palestinian land even since the talks of Oslo started, is now walling in Palestinian communities with a barrier made of concrete and steel. Many in the world have rightfully called this separation structure, that was condemned in 2004 by the International Court of Justice, the Apartheid Wall, since it functions as a tool for the oppression of those locked up inside it, namely the Palestinians.

In fact, Israel is in the process of creating, in this fashion, the largest prisons in human history, and those locked inside are not people who committed a crime, but entire communities, consisting of men, women and children, who are thus rendered unable to live a normal life.

The Israeli version of Apartheid is the main motor which keeps the current cycle of violence spinning. The wall is only its visible and tangible instrument, which serves to exercise full control over the Palestinian people, and enables Israel to maintain its hegemony based on a perception of racial superiority.

Desmond Tutu

Speaking on April 13, 2002 in Boston, the famous champion of the anti-Apartheid struggle and Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu declared: "I've been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us blacks in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. They suffer like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. They seemed to derive so much joy from our humiliation."

Declaration

We, the undersigned, declare that no race or people is superior over the other. We feel that it was right, and just, to boycott South Africa in the eighties. We feel that there is a strong similarity between how Israel treats the Palestinians, and how white South Africa used to treat its black population. We also believe that by advocating a Performing Arts Boycott of Israel, we are legitimately, and non-violently, pressuring Israel to comply with the internationally accepted concepts of racial equality.

We, the undersigned, are calling upon performing artists from all over the world, and their vast audiences, to sign this petition. We wish that they express their deep dismay about Israels systematic oppression of the Palestinians, by refraining from performing in Israel, nor supporting or attending concerts, plays or shows there, until Israel dismantles its structures of Apartheid, and advocates a society based on the equality of all human beings.

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Carlene MullenBy:
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Artists and their fans

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