Solidarity with ‘liberal’ Israeli cultural institutions?

The widespread and ongoing Jewish Israeli protests are largely aimed at defending Israel’s supremacist settler democracy.

Photo: Huwara by Activestills.

Jewish Israeli protests against the far-right Israeli government – the most openly racist, sexist, fundamentalist and homophobic in its history – continue to reach new heights. 

Apartheid Israel’s largest film fund, the Rabinovich Foundation’s Israel Cinema Project, recently announced it would end its racist loyalty oaths, after dozens of mainstream Israeli filmmakers boycotted the fund. This followed a BDS call to boycott all Rabinovich-funded films.

After the fascist pogrom by Israeli militias against Palestinians in Huwara in the occupied Palestinian territory, more than ever, Israeli cultural institutions should be pressured to finally end their complicity in Israel’s regime of apartheid, occupation and settler-colonialism.

So far, virtually none ever has. The widespread and ongoing Jewish Israeli protests are largely aimed at defending Israel’s supremacist settler democracy. The fascist tendency within Israeli politics has grown more audacious and now threatens Israeli colonial society too.

From Israeli film festivals, distributors, production houses and broadcasters; galleries and museums; publishers, bookshops and literary festivals; music venues, promotions companies and record labels; to all other arts and culture events, groups and organisations:-

No major Israeli institution has ever ended complicity in Israel’s regime of oppression while publicly endorsing the comprehensive rights of the Palestinian people under international law. 

Forms of institutional complicity are diverse, and may include direct endorsement, sponsorship or support from the Israeli state, government ministries, and/or local municipalities. Other forms may include justifying or whitewashing – art-washing – Israeli apartheid.

In one example, Docaviv International Film Festival continues to partner fully with the far-right Israeli government, regardless of some disagreements between them, and has seen conscientious international filmmakers withdraw as a result of private and public appeals. 

During the apartheid regime in South Africa, the absolute majority of progressive artists refused to appear, or allow their work to appear, except with institutions that were publicly opposed to apartheid and were not complicit in justifying or art-washing the apartheid regime.

Until Israeli cultural institutions have met the two conditions of ending complicity and endorsing comprehensive Palestinian rights, they should be boycotted just as apartheid South African institutions once were. This is by far the most effective contribution to our struggle.

- The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is a founding member of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) 


Stay updated!

Sign-up for news, campaign updates, action alerts and fundraisers from the BDS movement.

Subscribe Now