PACBI Statement

Open Letter to Jean-Luc Godard from occupied Palestine

May 26, 2008
Palestinians expect someone with your history, moral commitment and consistent support for the causes of justice -- from Algeria, to Vietnam, to Palestine -- to stand in solidarity with us against occupation and apartheid, not to help whitewash both, whether knowingly or not. Did you ever go to an Afrikaner film festival in apartheid South Africa? Why Israel, then? Participating in a festival in Tel Aviv now can only be seen in the wider context of Israel’s celebrations of 60 years since its establishment over the ruins of another country, Palestine.

Palestinians expect someone with your history, moral commitment and consistent support for the causes of justice -- from Algeria, to Vietnam, to Palestine -- to stand in solidarity with us against occupation and apartheid, not to help whitewash both, whether knowingly or not. Did you ever go to an Afrikaner film festival in apartheid South Africa? Why Israel, then?

Participating in a festival in Tel Aviv now can only be seen in the wider context of Israel’s celebrations of 60 years since its establishment over the ruins of another country, Palestine. In the process of creating this state sixty years ago, Zionist forces dispossessed and uprooted more than three quarters of a million Palestinians from their homes and lands, destroying more than 500 of their villages, thereby condemning them to a life of exile and destitution.

Israel at 60 is a state that is still denying Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned rights, simply because they are "non-Jews." It is still treating its own Palestinian citizens with institutionalized racism. It is still illegally occupying Palestinian and other Arab lands, in violation of numerous UN resolutions. In the occupied Palestinian territory, Israel is continuing the construction of its colonies and massive Wall in direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of July 2004. It is still persistently and grossly breaching international law and infringing fundamental human rights with impunity afforded to it through unquestioning US and European economic, diplomatic and political support.

In 2006, virtually all leading Palestinian artists and cultural figures have called for an international cultural boycott of Israel [2]. To date, many prominent international cultural figures, including Ken Loach and John Berger, and some artists' unions, like the Irish Aosdana, have heeded the Palestinian Call and shunned Israel, just as they had boycotted South Africa during the apartheid era.

Your visit to Israel would not only violate the Palestinian call for boycott; it would betray a regrettable double standard, if not a negation of your once fierce commitment to human dignity and justice. We hope that, even at this late stage, you will take a courageous stand and cancel your trip to Israel.

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[1] [url=http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3546765,00.html]http://www.yne...
[2] [url=http://www.pacbi.org/press_releases_more.php?id=333_0_4_0_C]http://www.p...

Endorsed by:

- The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
- List of Palestinian and Arab Filmmakers

May 26, 2008
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