Outraged at apartheid Israel’s crimes against Palestinians? Here are 5 things you can do.

In many countries, governments and corporations are deeply complicit with Israel’s decades-old regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid, just as they were complicit in the apartheid regime in South Africa. Israel can only sustain this regime of oppression with international complicity. 

Here are the 5 most effective things YOU can do to challenge this complicity and support the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality:

  1. Work with progressive networks to pressure parliament and government to (a) end all military-security cooperation and trade (military funding in the US case) with apartheid Israel and similarly criminal regimes of oppression worldwide, (b) ban all goods/services of companies operating in Israel’s illegal colonial settlements; and (c) demand a UN investigation of Israeli apartheid.

  2. Mobilize pressure in your community, trade union, association, church, social network, student government/union, city council, cultural center, or other organization to declare it an Apartheid Free Zone (AFZ), ending all relations with apartheid Israel and companies that are complicit in its system of oppression.

  3. Boycott products/services of, and/or mobilize institutional pressure to divest from, Israeli and international companies and banks that are complicit in Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity. This includes all Israeli banks (Leumi, Hapoalim, etc.) and major multinationals such as: Elbit Systems, HP, G4S/Allied Universal, AXA, CAF, PUMA, Caterpillar, General Mills/Pillsbury, Hyundai Heavy Industries, JCB, Volvo, Barclays Bank, Alstom, Motorola Solutions, and CEMEX.

  4. Cancel all academic, cultural, sports, and tourism engagements in Israel or supported/sponsored by Israel (or its lobby groups and complicit institutions).

  5. Join a BDS campaign or a strategic Palestine solidarity group near you to act collectively and effectively.

Channel your anger and mobilize to dismantle apartheid and all forms of racism and oppression.

Update

Pacbi Welcomes Statement by More Than 500 Filmmakers Against "Close Up" Initiative Normalizing Israeli Apartheid

Filmmakers denounce “Close up,” a new documentary film project that aims to normalize relations with Israel as if it were a normal state, not a regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

The Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) warmly welcomes the statement signed to date by more than 500 filmmakers, primarily from the Arab world, denouncing “Close up,” a new documentary film project that violates the anti-normalization guidelines agreed on by the vast majority of Palestinian civil society. PACBI calls for boycotting this complicit project.

Under the banner of Filmmakers Against Normalization, the directors and film professionals urge their colleagues not to collaborate with “Close Up,” an initiative that aims to normalize relations of Arab, Iranian, Afghani and other filmmakers with Israel as if it were a normal state, not a regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid. This directly conflicts with the relevant BDS guidelines that call for co-resistance with progressive Israelis to end Israel’s system of injustice, rather than fraudulent “co-existence” that normalizes and perpetuates this system.         

Close up and similar normalization projects pose a false premise of parity between the oppressors and the oppressed and implies that both are equally responsible for the “conflict.” Normalization initiatives help whitewash Israel’s ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people and undermine the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

Close Up is a spin-off of the Greenhouse Film Centre. Close Up’s founding members comprise the Greenhouse director and four of its partners.

Greenhouse is a project of the Israeli government-funded New Fund for Cinema and Television (NFCT).

In 2006, Palestinian filmmakers raised serious concerns over Greenhouse being shortlisted for a grant from the EU Euromed Audiovisual program. At the time, Greenhouse was run by NFCT in partnership with the wholly discredited Ramallah Film Institute (RFI), which served as a fig leaf. RFI had already been banned by the Palestinian Ministry of Culture over failure to provide audited financial and administrative reports and its entire board had resigned in protest over its director’s professional misconduct.

In their letter to Euromed, the filmmakers stated:

We realize how important this funding can be for the development of documentary film practices in the region and especially in Palestine. However, in order for Palestinian filmmakers to benefit from such an opportunity to develop their film careers, we believe this funding must be channeled in an acceptable framework, that is transparent, trusted, and rooted in the community.

We would hope that, considering that we live under a harsh military occupation and an apartheid system, that it is understandable why we would not want to work with organizations that are part of the same government that imposes this system on us.

The letter from Palestinian filmmakers was supported by nearly 70 Israeli film professionals and artists.

Of the 41 completed films listed on the Greenhouse website, nearly 40% are listed as Israeli productions or co-productions. Of the five Palestinian films, only two are listed without Israel co-production.

Given its roots, Close Up appears destined to repeat its predecessor’s pattern of favoring Israeli filmmakers for funding while normalizing Israel’s apartheid regime in the region.

We echo the call from Filmmakers Against Normalization urging film professionals to refuse to collaborate in any way with Close Up or its affiliated initiatives. We call on international filmmakers to support the call from Filmmakers Against Normalization by adding their names to the statement.


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