“Irish Artists’ Pledge to Boycott Israel” tops 300 signatures as Israel continues assault on Gaza
As the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip continues leaving over 1,100 Palestinians dead there has been an upsurge in artists signing on to the Irish Artists’ Pledge to Boycott Israel. Originally launched by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign in 2010, the pledge has now been signed by more than 300 creative and performing artists, including Stephen Rea, Donal Lunny, Damien Dempsey, Andy Irvine, Sharon Shannon and many more. The pledge states:
“In response to the call from Palestinian civil society for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge not to avail of any invitation to perform or exhibit in Israel, nor to accept any funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.”
The full list of signatories can been viewed here: http://www.ipsc.ie/pledge.
Israel’s latest attack on the Gaza Strip which began on July 8th has left over 1,100 dead with the UN reporting that over 80% of the fatalities have been civilians. Schools, homes, hospitals and essential infrastructure have been destroyed in Israeli attacks by air, sea and land leaving over 215,000 people displaced in the tiny coastal strip. The area, no bigger than county Dublin, is home to 1.8 million people. It has been bombarded for three weeks now and reports have emerged that flechette munitions and white phosphorus, weapons that are illegal to use on a civilian population, have been used to compound the destruction. Any targeting of a captive civilian population amounts to collective punishment and is illegal under international law.
Dr. Raymond Deane who initiated the pledge said, “By its own admission, the Israeli government ‘sees culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank, and…does not differentiate between propaganda and culture.’ *Since 2010 some 328 artists have signed this pledge as an act of resistance against such propaganda. Over 60 of these artists have signed since Israel began its current offensive against the defenseless population of Gaza, thus demonstrating that artists cannot and will not stand aloof in the face of oppression and genocide.”
The call for a campaign of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel came from Palestinian civil society movements in 2005 and has gained the support of trade union movements, political parties and grassroots movements world wide.
IPSC Spokesperson Freda Hughes said, “Boycotting is an extremely effective way for individuals to collectively apply the necessary pressure to isolate Israel for its apartheid policies towards the Palestinian people, blatant disregard for human rights and flagrant abuse of international law. Israel acts with impunity because the international community allows it to. Where governments fail to act civil society must. We need to emulate the methods that isolated apartheid South Africa to help to end the brutal occupation of Palestine.”
If you are a creative or performing artists based in Ireland and would like to sign, please see here.