Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.
Performing in Israel at this time is morally equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era. We all remember how leading Rolling Stones musicians played a prominent role in enforcing a cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa in the 1980’s, and participated in recording the timeless song, Sun City, which had a singular influence on raising public awareness about apartheid and its injustices. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights Prof.
The motion came in response to a statement made in August 2006 by over 120 Palestinian artists, filmmakers and cultural workers calling on artists and cultural institutions around the world to join a cultural boycott of Israel.
Visits to the OPT by international supporters and advocates of Palestinian rights have always been viewed by Palestinians as a source of encouragement and inspiration. These gestures of solidarity are very important to us; they help break down the walls of isolation imposed by Israel and the global centers of power, and also demonstrate to Israel and the world that the Palestinians are not alone in their struggle for freedom.
At a time when the international movement to isolate Israel is gaining ground in response to the escalation of Israel‘s colonial and racist policies, we respectfully urge conscientious academics, artists and intellectuals from around the world, including those who visit the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), to refrain from visiting Israel to participate in any event or encounter that is not explicitly dedicated to ending Israel‘s illegal occupation and other forms of oppression.
Whereas the IMA has shown blatant disregard for the ethical issue of medical neutrality, with the IMA unconditionally defending the violations of medical neutrality by the Israeli army in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT);
Whereas the IMA is charged with being the executive arm of the Israeli establishment working to support political imperatives rather than serving universal medical ethics;
Whereas the IMA violates it own Physicians’ Code of Ethics, which stipulates that the goal of the IMA is to: “… maintain a suitable professional and ethical level in the medical profession”;
In May 2002, long before the Palestinian call for academic boycott of Israel was issued , and in support of the early British efforts to impose a moratorium on the European Union’s scientific association with Israel, Tanya Reinhart was a pioneer in laying the logical and political foundations for what later developed into an institutional academic boycott movement. In a letter refuting the anti-boycott arguments of her fellow Israeli academic, Baruch Kimmerling, Tanya wrote with her typical clarity and resoluteness :
“I have no doubt that you supported the South Africa boycott.
In a press conference held on February 11 2007, the Trade Unions and Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign addressed this call to the Arab and International Trade Unions and, in particular, the International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions, the Arab League, the Arab Labor Organization, the International Labor Organization, the International Trade Union Confederation, the Organization of African Trade Union Unity, the Palestinian people and the international community.
A further press conference is scheduled to be held in the Gaza Strip.
Below is the English translation of the statement: