Updates from the palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)
Israel is recognized by the United Nations and the absolute majority of nations across the world as a repressive occupying power that maintains illegal colonies in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), violates international law, UN resolutions and basic human rights of the Palestinian people. These are not abstract notions, at least not to us.
Upon learning of your planned tour, Palestinian as well as several international artists asked in shock: How can the artist whose name around the world was for many years associated with breaking walls of injustice be in any way complicit with the monstrosity of Israel’s Wall, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice at the Hague? Not too long ago, you lent your good name to the War on Want’s effort to collect signatures of public figures against Israel’s Wall.
The Greenhouse project is run by an Israeli organization, [url=http://www.nfct.org.il/english/about_nfct.htm]The New Israeli Foundation for Cinema and Television (NFCT)[/url], in partnership with the Ramallah Film Institute and the Institute of Documentary Filmmaking in the Czech Republic. It is to be implemented in the Mediterranean area. The NFCT was founded in 1993 by the Israeli Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport with the assistance of The Israel Film Council; it receives 60% of its funds from the Israeli government as stated by its director, Mr. David Fisher.
A group of Palestinian political activists, cultural organisations and their supporters have backed a letter to Mr Waters, who has expressed strong opposition to the 450-mile separation barrier being built by Israel. They urge him to remove the city from his summer tour this year.
The letter, which is supported, among others, by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, urges Waters not to perform in Israel "until the time comes when it ends its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory".
Waters showed no sign last night that he would bow to the pressure .
Groups such as the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art and the League of Palestinian Artists have written to Waters expressing concern at his plans. Their letter said: "Palestinian as well as several international artists asked in shock: how can the artist whose name around the world was for many years associated with breaking walls of injustice be in any way complicit with the monstrosity of Israel's wall, declared illegal by the international court of justice?"
Last year, Waters was among several British artists who supported a War On Want campaign against the West Bank barrier.
The major concerns outlined in the letter were twofold:
1) That this entity calling itself the "Ramallah Film Institute" is in fact not registered in Palestine: Euromed lists the partners of the project to be the "New Foundation for Cinema and Television (Israel) and the Ramallah Film Institute (Palestinian Authority)". Attached is an official letter from the Palestinian Ministry itself stating that the Ramallah Film Institute is not registered anywhere within the Palestinian Authority.
The Palestinian Call for Academic Boycott Revised: Adjusting the Parameters of the Debate