The following are just a few notable developments in the cultural boycott of Israel over recent months*:

• Musicians including Carlos Santana, Gil Scott-Heron and Elvis Costello have cancelled their concerts in Israel. 

– The legendary Costello called his decision to cancel his two summer performances in Israel “a matter of instinct and conscience.” [1]

• Several groups have also withdrawn their performances in Israel, including: The Pixies, Massive Attack, Faithless, Gorillaz Sound System and the Klaxxons. 

– Front man of Faithless, Maxi Jazz, compassionately wrote to his fans: “While human beings are being wilfully denied not just their rights but their needs for their children and grandparents and themselves, I feel deeply that I should not be sending even tacit signals that this is either ‘normal’ or ‘ok’. It’s neither and I cannot support it.” [2] 

– Del Naja of Massive Attack has explained his active support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement: “I think musicians have a major role to play […] The boycott is not an action of aggression towards the Israeli people…it’s towards the government and its policies. Everyone needs to be reminded of this because it’s very easy to be accused of being anti-Semitic, and that’s not what this is about.” [3]

• Hollywood actors Meg Ryan and Dustin Hoffman cancelled plans to attend the Jerusalem Film Festival following Israel’s raid on the Gaza-bound humanitarian aid flotilla that left nine dead. [4]

• In late 2009, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover and director John Greyson, together with over 1000 cultural workers, supported the Toronto Declaration: “No celebration of occupation!” The declaration came in support of Greyson’s withdrawal from a film festival that had a “spotlight on Tel-Aviv.” [5]

• British writer and director, Mike Leigh, refused to teach at the Israeli Sam Spiegel Film & Television School, noting the insanity of “the ongoing criminal blockade of Gaza, not to mention the endless shooting of innocent people.” [6]

• Significantly, prominent Israeli directors, performers and writers have also taken a boycott position. 

– In a recent refusal to perform in one of Israel’s illegal settlements (the settlement of Ariel) they stated: “Ariel is in occupied territory and no Israeli artist should have to take part in a production in occupied territory, not in Ariel nor in any other settlement when it is against international law.” [7] 

– The Israeli actors’ boycott was backed by authors Amos Oz, David Grossman, A.B. Yehoshua and Sami Michael, as well as sculptor and architect Dani Caravan. [8] 

• In what was described as a watershed moment in BDS history, over 150 Irish creative and performing artists initiated the first nationwide cultural boycott pledge against Israel. [9]

• In February 2010, 500 artists in Montreal, including filmmakers, musicians, dancers, poets, authors and painters, also joined the international boycott through a joint public statement. [10]

• In September 2010, More than 100 Norwegian artists and academics publicly lent their support to the call for boycotting Israel. [11]

• In October 2010, Nobel-Prize winner, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, backed the public call on a South African group (the Cape Town Opera) to cancel their scheduled performance in Israel. He passionately appealed: 

“Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong for Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel. The Tel Aviv Opera House is state sponsored. By luring international artists to perform there, it advances Israel’s fallacious claim to being a “civilized democracy”. [12]

• Subsequent to Tutu’s call, on 1 November 2010 the South African cultural boycott of Israel declaration, ‘South African Artists Against Apartheid’, was launched.













* This record sheet is regularly updated on this website.


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5. Obama: East Jerusalem building plans ‘unhelpful’ to peace efforts

EU urges Israel to ‘reverse’ plan for 1,300 East Jerusalem homes; Israel also announces plans to build 800 homes in Ariel.

Similar responses to Israel’s expressed intention to build massively in East Jerusalem and Ariel are in many of the on-line editions 


November 09, 2010

    PM: Jerusalem not a settlement

In US, Netanyahu says Israel sees no connection between peace process and construction in the capital. ‘All Israeli governments have built in all parts of the city for 40 years, and we still signed peace deals with Egypt, Jordan,’ premier adds,7340,L-3982170,00.html

Attila Somfalvi

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has toughened his stance ahead his scheduled meeting with the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on Thursday, rejecting any American and international criticism regarding building in east Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem is not a settlement – Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel. Israel has never restricted itself regarding any kind of building in the city, which is home to some 800,000 people – including during the 10-month construction moratorium in the West Bank,” the PM said Tuesday. 

“Israel sees no connection between the peace process and the planning and building policy in Jerusalem, something that hasn’t changed for the past 40 years. All Israeli governments have built in all parts of the city in the past 40 years. 

“During this time,” he added, “We have signed peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan and have held negotiations with the Palestinians for 17 years. Construction in Jerusalem has never obstructed the peace process.” 

Netanyahu spoke just hours after US President Barack Obama told a press conference in Indonesia that Israeli construction in east Jerusalem “is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations.” 


6. [forwarded by Rupa, who writes “what DOES the govt gain by arresting children? if they are harmless now, any guarantee they WILL be when they grow up after having been in the prison?” rupa.]

Israel arrested over 345 Palestinians in October, including 140 childrenMonday, 08 November 2010 13:30   

Source: Gaza – Quds Press

In addition to the detention of more than 500 Palestinian workers for not having obtained Israeli work permits.A report released by the Supreme National Committee for the Support of Prisoners, has confirmed that last month, forces of the Israeli Occupation arrested more than 345 Palestinian citizens from various parts of the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip including 130 children and two women. This is in addition to the detention of more than 500 Palestinian workers for not having obtained Israeli work permits.

According to the Committee, the largest number of arrests occurred in the city of Hebron where 90 individuals were detained including 15 children. 

The Committee’s media director, Riyadh al-Ashqar, stated that last month, forces of the Israeli Occupation abducted two females, one of whom is yet to be identified by name. The unidentified girl was detained at al-Anfaq checkpoint near Occupied Jerusalem under the pretext that she tried to stab an Israeli soldier. The second, a 20 year old student named Sajida Rizq al-Awawdeh from the village of Dura in the south of Hebron, was arrested in front of Hebron University. Sajida, who is the wife of a prisoner, was interrogated and released a day after her arrest. Israeli forces also rearrested and detained Omar al-Barghouti from Ramallah who previously spent 25 years in an Israeli prison. 

Al-Ashqar emphasized that there had been a significant increase in the number of children detained during the month of October, particularly in Occupied Jerusalem. 140 children have been detained in all with 100 of those having been arrested in Jerusalem as a result of renewed clashes between Palestinians youths, gangs of settlers and border guards. A youth and a child from the Gaza Strip were also arrested.

Al-Ashqar explained that Occupation authorities used ‘Arabist units’ of operatives disguised in Arab clothing to arrest children from the streets while army units continued to arrest children from their homes and from road blocks under the pretext of them having thrown stones at settlers. These children are often beaten severely and interrogated inside the settlements. 

He also pointed out that over the last month, the Israeli prisons authority had continued to violate prisoner rights by storming a number of prisons and considered Israel’s announcement last month that it would be freezing the Shalit Law a deception aimed at misleading the international community, international organisations and public opinion into believing that Israel was no longer applying this arbitrary law.

However, in reality, Israel continues to employ all aspects of the law; from prisoners being deprived of family visits, educational opportunities, access to books and newspapers and from watching television to the fact that the Israeli policy of solitary confinement has been stepped up while prisoners from Gaza continue to be completely prohibited from receiving visitors. 

The Committee indicated that last month a number of individual and group hunger strikes had taken place to protest against the harsh conditions and to demand their rights. It also revealed that last month there was a flurry of international activism in support of Palestinians prisoners while it has organised an international Palestinian prisoner conference in the Gaza Strip to bring the suffering of prisoners into the international arena and allow their voices to be heard by world public opinion. 

The report also addresses the condition of prisoners who are ill and whose health conditions have continued to deteriorate over the last month. The Israeli Prisons Administration has allowed their condition to worsen by denying or obstructing their medical care. The Committee has appealed to humanitarian organisations to send investigative committees to Israeli prisons to scrutinise the condition of Palestinian prisoners and to put forward recommendations to the UN Human Rights Commission regarding the war crimes being perpetrated against them.

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