Artists for Palestine UK 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 against politically motivated attacks and censorship.

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 undermines 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 the arguments for an appropriate ethical and political response in our booklet The Case for a Cultural Boycott of Israel. 

People in the arts have a special role to play in showing solidarity with Palestinian counterparts and their communities. APUK is an inclusive network that aims to amplify the voice of all those in the arts who respect the core principles laid out in the Artists’ Pledge for Palestine and to extend support for those principles among cultural institutions and practitioners.

We do this by promoting open and informed discussion on the responsibilities of artists, situating the debate in the context of the Palestinian appeal for a non-violent movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

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 persist in breaching it.

We work with artists and others on events and projects relating art and social justice.

APUK and anti-racism
BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) is an anti-racist movement.   Our Palestinian colleagues have been absolutely explicit in stating that there is no room for anti-semitism within it.  There is never a justification for denying or minimising the suffering and trauma of others.  Holocaust denial and Nakba denial are semantically identical and both are morally reprehensible. APUK tolerates neither anti-Muslim nor anti-Jewish prejudice.

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