John Menick on Sun, 14 Apr 2002 21:35:23 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> petition -- Boycot Israeli Arts Institutions

This petition is being posted on the site of an Israeli writer and activist
Oz Shelach ( It was written by Oz, Emily Jacir
(Palestinian artist), and Anton Sinkewich (American artist). To endorse

John Menick



To endorse this document email Endorsement list

Emily Jacir
Anton Sinkewich
Oz Shelach

7 Apr. 2002

We appeal to all artists 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, and the boycott of Austrian art institutions
when Haider was elected, the art world must speak out against the current
Israeli war crimes and atrocities.

We reach out our hand in support of all Israeli artists who are active
against the occupation, such as artist Meir Gal, film maker Simone Bitton,
poet Sami Shalom Chetrit, film maker Rachel Jones, and poet Yitshak Laor. We
support them and their work. It is especially important at this time to
extend all our support to those brave Israeli artists who are against the
current Israeli offensive and are speaking out against their own government.

We, members of the international art community are calling on Israel for a
complete withdrawal back to the 1967 borders as well as a dismantlement of
all West Bank settlements. We will boycott all Israeli art institutions and
cultural events until that time.

We appeal for an end of the current military offensive in which Apache
helicopter gunships, tanks, F-16s, M-16s, and anti-aircraft missiles are
terrorizing an entire civilian population who were already living under the
hardships of occupation.

We urgently appeal for food and drinking water, and for the general access
of all humanitarian agencies. The situation is on the verge of a
humanitarian disaster.

We appeal for the safety of all individuals.

We appeal for medical supplies and access to medical treatment, electricity,
water, phone lines and other necessary facilities.

We appeal for freedom of movement within all cities and outside all
Palestinian cities. Before the current military offensive, Palestinians in
the West Bank and Gaza were denied freedom of movement due to over 300
Israeli checkpoints. It is unforgivable that in the 21st century, people are
killed just trying to get to work, deliver babies, or visit a relative in a
neighboring village...

We appeal for the immediate end to vandalism, looting, humiliation, and
gratuitous violence and destruction.

We appeal for access of humanitarian agencies, including the ICRC, Red
Cross, and the Red Crescent to all detainees, prisoners and hostages,
including Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, to ensure their well-being.



Boycot Israeli Arts Institutions:
Frequently Asked Questions
Please send us your thoughts or comments

11 Apr. 2002

What is happenning in Jenin?
We think the question of the Boycott is primarily the question of Jenin.
This one square km home to 15,000 refugees, the scene of an on-going crime
remains sealed for the tenth day. While some children wander around the
debris looking for their parents and drinking sewage water, males aged 12-60
are rounded up by the army and the infamous security service, Shabak.
Israeli bulldozers are digging mass graves in the heart of the camp, and in
the tradition of Ariel Sharon's works, prisoners are executed. The usually
silent International Red Cross has issued several urgent calls for help. All
major Human Rights organizations converged to demand a immediate
international intervention.
We think that anyone who challenges this boycott must first make sure they
are well informed about Jenin, and the rest of the West Bank. The
information is available. Let no one say in hindsight that they did not

Why Boycott Israeli Art Institutions?
Because all over the West Bank and Gaza the Israeli army perpetrates crimes
against humanity. We call for a ban on Israeli art institutions and events,
such as museums, the Israel Festival, etc... We also call on artists not to
exhibit their work, or perform in Israel, which has, in its criminal acts,
delegitimized itself as a venue.
We think pop artists should not come to entertain the Israeli public, and
artists should not legitimize the coziness of museums and museum goers.
Someone visiting the Israel Museum these days must be aware that they are
buying a ticket to a pride piece funded by, and serving the Occupation
Regime. They should know they will not see the work of a living artist of

Who are you to judge what artists are OK?
Let's keep this crystal clear: we nominate no one to compile lists of
politically good, or politically bad artists.
The 5 names of Israeli artists who are active against the occupation were
given as an example, not as a definitive list. We ought to be clear from the
text: "We reach out our hand in support of all Israeli artists who are
active against the occupation, such as...".

But many Israeli artists support Peace...
This is not a call to isolate Israeli artists. While some institutions in
Israel, such as Dar Andalus publishing (for example) are actively struggling
against the occupation, the same cannot be said of Israeli arts
We support artists' visits to Palestine/Israel, such as the recent
delegation of writers from the International Writers' Parliament.

Where can we read the appeal?
The text of the appeal is on-line, with the list of endorsers.
How can I sign the appeal?
Send an email to, with your name, field of activity
and/or institutional affiliation, city, and country.

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