Artists for Palestine UK (APUK) is a growing network of artists, cultural workers, and activists who wish to make a stand in support of justice and equality for the Palestinians, and defend arts organisations and individuals who do make such a stand from politically motivated attacks and censorship.
APUK was launched in February 2015 in response in response to the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is a member of the Palestinian leadership of the grass-roots BDS movement of which we are part.
APUK recognises that Israel has, since 1948, denied fundamental human rights to the Palestinian people; that dispossession, colonisation, land annexation, illegal settlement and military aggression are habitually deployed by the Israeli state without it facing sanction, or any threat of sanction, from Western governments.
Israel deliberately represses Palestinian cultural expression, while marketing its own cultural output worldwide, thus attempting to cast a veil over its violations of human rights and international law. We think that Israel’s campaign to exploit culture as a diplomatic weapon, the ‘Brand Israel’ strategy, requires an urgent response from artists of conscience. To this end we have set out an argument and a strategy for collective non-cooperation in our booklet The Case for a Cultural Boycott of Israel in response to the Palestinian appeal for a non-violent, rights-based movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
People in the arts have a special role to play in showing solidarity with their Palestinian counterparts and their communities. We are an inclusive network that aims to amplify the voice of all those in the arts who support the core principles laid out in the Artists’ Pledge for Palestine.
We work towards a situation in which respecting the boycott will be the norm rather than the exception. In this spirit we encourage and support artists who publicly endorse the boycott, seek to persuade others to follow their example and challenge those who disregard it.
APUK and anti-racism
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