Kenyan institutions and companies: end complicity in apartheid

The Israeli Film Festival in Nairobi, Sherekea ("celebrate"), artwashes colonialism and apartheid


The largest Palestinian civil society coalition calls on Kenyan governmental organisations and companies sponsoring the Israeli Film Festival in Nairobi to end their complicity in Israel’s decades-old regime of apartheid, settler-colonialism and occupation.

The festival, provocatively titled Sherekea (“celebrate”), lists as headline partners apartheid Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs and its embassy in Nairobi, alongside other apartheid agencies. If we have learned anything from fighting the apartheid regime in South Africa, which Israel ranked among its top supporters, is that apartheid must be boycotted, not celebrated. Celebrating apartheid is an insult not just to Palestinians but also to the peoples of Africa who fought it.

The Palestinian call for the boycott of apartheid Israel’s complicit cultural sector is strictly institutional and does not target individuals. We target institutional culpability in apartheid. Apartheid Israel’s foreign affairs ministry and embassies should be held accountable for the regime’s ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians and these entities’ role in whitewashing these crimes.

That Kenya’s National Museum would host such an event – and that the Kenyan Film Commission, the Kenya Film Classification Board, and various companies including Safaricom, Citizen TV and Diamond Trust Bank would sponsor it – is deeply shameful and immoral. We know we can count on the people of Kenya, with their rich heritage of struggle against colonialism, to challenge their government’s complicity with Israeli colonialism and apartheid.


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