Palestinians urge Dominican Republic to cancel apartheid Israel tribute

Santo Domingo International Book Fair has invited apartheid Israel as guest of honor

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a founding member of the BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian society that is leading the global BDS movement, calls on the Dominican Republic Ministry of Culture to cancel its planned tribute to apartheid Israel at the Santo Domingo International Book Fair.

The recent re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu has brought the most openly racist and homophobic government in Israel’s history to power. One minister proudly describes himself as a fascist. Netanyahu too has pledged to maintain Jewish supremacy over Indigenous Palestinians through perpetual apartheid and military occupation. This fascist settler-colonialism is nothing to celebrate.

Leading international, Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations have designated Israel as an apartheid regime that oppresses the entire Palestinian people. Celebrating Israeli apartheid at an international cultural event would be a shameful addition to the Dominican Republic government’s declared intention to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, in defiance of international law.

Dominican organizations have urged the ministry to instead “guarantee a democratic space for the free exchange of ideas” and “to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and all other peoples who resist against racist and colonial oppression”. The organizations also called for the end to police and far-right repression against Afro-Dominicans. We echo their calls.

Palestinians have looked to the historic liberation movements of Latin America to inspire our own. We hope the courageous people of the Dominican Republic will help to pressure its government to refrain from undermining our struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

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