BDS Movement Statement
We want to publicly state our support and commitment to the cultural boycott of the state of Israel. This is because of the on-going genocide that Israel is perpetrating against the people of Palestine.
In 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and allows Palestinian rights. We stand in solidarity with this call. By so doing we are part of an international movement that we hope will have a positive effect. We urge everyone to take this clear stand and to actively encourage others to join them.
The BDS call urges international artists, cultural workers and cultural organisations to boycott and work towards the cancellation of and activities that involve Israel, its lobby groups and complicit institutions or that whitewash Israel’s human rights violations. This is a boycott of Israeli cultural institutions not Israeli individuals. BDS targets complicity, not identity. The cultural boycott of Israel should continue until Israel meets the three demands of the BDS call. Israeli cultural institutions can avoid being targeted by the boycott if they meet the three demands of the BDS call and end all forms of support for Israeli violations of international law.
- Performances and exhibitions in Israel, except in certain situations
- All complicit Israeli cultural institutions
- Cultural products that are commissioned by an official Israeli body or a non-Israeli body that promotes Israel
- Events and activities that are sponsored by an official Israeli body or a complicit institution
- Normalization Projects
- Fact finding missions that are sponsored by Israel, Israeli institutions or lobby groups
Thus we do not give support to any artists, academics, cultural bodies etc. (either in person or to cultural work of any sort produced by them) who accept funding from the Israeli state or Israeli corporate bodies. We are open to platforming cultural work produced within Israel that either offers explicit and valuable critique of the Israeli state and its military/security policies or is more lateral in nature, yet is nonetheless predicated upon such critiques.
We wish to highlight that there are Israeli nationals who dissent from the racist, genocidal program of the Israeli state and also new migrants living within Israel who are struggling with racism, poverty etc. As an organisation we are willing to amplify their voices wherever possible. We believe by doing so we will continue to challenge the abuse of the Palestinian people as the Israeli state relies on curtailing dissenting opinions and maintaining racism within its borders as well as without.
The majority of the 50,000 African asylum seekers in Israel are mostly fleeing from Eritrea and Sudan. Of them, only two individuals have been granted refugee status, contrasting with global refugee recognition rates that are approximately 80% for Eritreans and 62% for Sudanese. A pitiless anti-immigrant approach is demonstrated in the detention centres that imprison asylum seekers without any medical care. Migrants have been labelled with the same term applied to Palestinians – infiltrator. In 2010 the Israeli city of Eilat launched an anti-migrant campaign hanging 1,500 red flags around the city and hundreds of banners that read: “Protecting our home, the residents of Eilat are drawing the line on infiltration.” By 2012 a vast fence was built spanning from Eilat to the Gaza border and by 2017 no migrants crossed between Egypt and Israel, contravening international law in the form of the UN 1951 Refugee Convention (that protects refugees from being returned to country in which they face serious threat to life or freedom) to which Israel is a signatory. The UNHR continues to be critical of Israel’s failure to honour its legal obligations to refugees.
We wish to emphasise that we condemn any form of anti-semitism and will never provide a platform for anti-semitic viewpoints.
Further reading on these areas can be found at: