Landmark 1,500th artist signs the “Irish Artists’ Pledge to Boycott Israel”
The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) is proud to announce that our ‘Irish Artists’ Pledge to Boycott Israel’ has just passed the 1,500 signatory mark, a hugely significant milestone in support for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. After reaching 1,000 signatories in early 2021, more than 500 new cultural workers have added their names over the past two years alone.
SEE THE FULL LIST AT: https://www.ipsc.ie/pledge
The Irish artists’ pledge was launched just over a decade ago, initiated by composer and IPSC co-founder Raymond Deane. Initially signed by over 140 Irish creative and performing artists, whereby they undertake to boycott the Israeli state under present circumstances, the pledge now has over 1,500 signatories, among them Irish cultural legends like Stephen Rea, Sinéad Cusack, Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine, Damien Dempsey, Sharon Shannon, Robert Ballagh, Mary Black and Kíla, joined by exciting fresh artists such as CMAT, Pillow Queens, Kneecap, The Mary Wallopers, Steo Wall, Ailbhe Reddy, Cherym, Array Collective and Katie Kim, alongside established figures like Kevin Barry, Sally Rooney, Steve Wickham, Derbhle Crotty, Paul Duane and Eugene O’Hare.
IPSC Chairperson and Cultural Liaison, Zoë Lawlor, said: “We are extremely proud to have so many artists sign up to our pledge. Reaching 1,500 signatories is a huge landmark in Irish solidarity with Palestine and a serious statement in support of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. As the indigenous Palestinian people endure their 75th year of dispossession, ethnic cleansing, apartheid and enforced exile, and western governments fail to sanction Israel, they need the solidarity of people of conscience – and this pledge plays a major part in that.”
Ms Lawlor continued, “Irish artists continue to show their support for the Palestinian people, and it is both moving and heartening to see such empathy and shared humanity.”
The Pledge – which commits signatories to refrain from performing in the apartheid state of Israel – was launched by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) in August 2010. Modelled on the successful cultural boycott of Apartheid South Africa, it has been called “a ground-breaking initiative” by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) National Committee in Palestine, the leadership of the global BDS movement for Palestinian freedom.
The Pledge reads as follows:
“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 1,509 signatories include actors, writers, poets, painters, sculptors, film-makers, dancers, architects, composers, designers, musicians and others, including many members of Ireland’s state-sponsored academy of artists Aosdána and range from some of Ireland’s most internationally known figures to artists starting out on their careers.
The Irish pledge was the first such nationally organised cultural boycott of Israel, and was followed by similar successful initiatives in Switzerland, South Africa, Britain and elsewhere.
Fatin Al Tamimi, Vice-Chairperson of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “As Palestinians struggle to deal with Israel’s oppressive and worsening apartheid regime, it can be difficult to find hope in my homeland right now.
“However, the fact that over one 1,500 artists in Ireland are willing to stand in solidarity with our struggle by refusing to help Apartheid Israel culturally whitewash its crimes against my people, is a huge ray of hope, and makes me incredibly proud of my adoptive homeland. I thank each one of the signatories, and I ask every other Irish artist to sign up to boycott Israel until we Palestinians enjoy our freedom, justice and equality.”