This 60-page booklet produce by Artists for Palestineis extra-ordinarily helpful. Writing the Foreword, Kamila Shamsie quotes Danish writer Janne Teller talking about the way in which being in Palestine takes all the already-known facts of oppression and apartheid and ‘moves them from the brain to the stomach.’ How true this is.
In 2004, a coalition of Palestinian organisations, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, called on ‘people of conscience’ to ‘shoulder the moral responsibility to fight injustice’ by boycotting Israel’s academic and cultural institutions. The following year this was broadened into a call for general Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign until Israel fully complies with international law. For many people cultural boycott goes against the grain. This booklet answers a whole range of questions which artists may ask when they are hesitant about refusing to perform in Israel or quite possibly have not even questioned why they should not.
Artists for Palestine invite artists to state publically why they will not perform or participate in cultural events in Israel. Taking part enables Israel to white wash their oppressive policies against Palestinians and to continue to flagrantly defy international law.