PACBI Statement

PACBI Condemns Violations of the Pesaro Festival Boycott

June 15, 2009
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) urges all filmmakers, particularly Palestinian filmmakers, not to take part in the 45th Mostra Internationale del Nuovo Cinema in Pesaro, Italy.  Italian solidarity groups, responding to the Palestinian call for boycott, have called for a boycott of the Festival due to its hosting of a retrospective on Israeli cinema, in collaboration with the Israel Film Fund, an organization that is founded and funded by the Israeli government.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) urges all filmmakers, particularly Palestinian filmmakers, not to take part in the 45th Mostra Internationale del Nuovo Cinema in Pesaro, Italy.  Italian solidarity groups, responding to the Palestinian call for boycott, have called for a boycott of the Festival due to its hosting of a retrospective on Israeli cinema, in collaboration with the Israel Film Fund, an organization that is founded and funded by the Israeli government. PACBI condemns any conscious attempt, whether by Palestinians or others, to undermine the steadily spreading institutional boycott against Israel. As was the case during the international boycott against apartheid South Africa, a deliberate violation of the Palestinian boycott call, which aims at ending Israel’s occupation and other forms of oppression, is in itself a form of immoral complicity in this oppression.

In its open letter to the organizers of the Pesaro Festival, PACBI stated [1]:

“By hosting a retrospective of Israeli cinema under the aegis of the Israel Film Fund in your festival, you would be celebrating Israel while it brutally subjugates the Palestinian people and carries out its ethnic cleansing policies. You would be cooperating with an organization that has direct links to the Israeli government, which is currently facing calls for investigation regarding war crimes and crimes against humanity. You would be granting awards to Israeli directors while Palestinian filmmakers, musicians, artists, writers and poets, and ordinary individuals struggle to survive colonial repression meant to suffocate and crush them. We hope you agree that this is the opposite of everything that culture and filmmaking should represent.”

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Marche, Italy), made up of associations and individuals working for a just peace in the Middle East and against the Israeli occupation, has endorsed PACBI’s appeal and called for a “boycott of the 45th Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema.” [2]

It is worth noting that virtually all Palestinian filmmakers and cultural workers endorsed a Call for Cultural Boycott of Israel in 2006 [3], in which they said:

“We call upon the International community to join us in the boycott of Israeli film festivals, Israeli public venues, and Israeli institutions supported by the government, and to end all cooperation with these cultural and artistic institutions that to date have refused to take a stand against the Occupation, the root cause for this colonial conflict.”

PACBI
[email protected]
www.PACBI.org

[1] http://pacbi/etemplate.php?id=983
[2] http://pacbi/etemplate.php?id=1022
[3] http://pacbi/etemplate.php?id=315

June 15, 2009
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