Thousands of artists call for an end to complicity with Israeli apartheid

It is as if a dam has burst. The last few days have seen an unprecedented outpouring of solidarity with Palestinians from artists and cultural organisations around the world.  Half a century ago, there was massive support for a cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa. Now, artists and cultural workers are mobilising on a similar scale against Israel’s system of apartheid, calling variously for boycotts, practical acts of solidarity with Palestinians and, in particular, an end to co-operation with cultural organisations that are complicit with apartheid.

On May 23rd, ‘Against Apartheid’, a letter signed by many leading Palestinian authors and artists, was endorsed by more than 16,000 international artists, writers and actors including Sally Rooney, Deborah Levy, Cornelia Parker, Alejandro Iñárritu, Holly Hunter, Jeremy Irons, Richard Ford, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alia Shawkat, and Tony Kushner. The letter, which referenced the 2021 report by Human Rights Watch which found Israel guilty of ‘crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution’, said:

‘We call on activists, and especially our peers in the arts, to exercise their agency within their institutions and localities to support the Palestinian struggle for decolonization to the best of their ability. Israeli apartheid is sustained by international complicity, it is our collective responsibility to redress this harm’.

May 25th saw more than 500 visual artists each posting a statement with the hashtag #VisualArtsforPalestine. The statement pledged to

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Art and Occupation: Boycott Zabludowicz

Every document of civilisation, wrote Walter Benjamin, is also a document of barbarism. He could have had the corporate-sponsored London art scene in mind – and in particular the Zabludowicz Collection, now a strong presence in London, as it is in New York and Helsinki. With the growing influence of Zabludowicz, art and the occupation of Palestine are becoming more closely linked – a linkage which artists are now challenging.

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PACBI STATEMENT – Art should not be used to cover up apartheid: Boycott the Zabludowicz Art Trust!

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has issued the following statement about the Zabludowicz  Art Trust.

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Art should not be used to cover up apartheid: Boycott the Zabludowicz Art Trust!

Occupied Palestine, October 26, 2015 — The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) calls for a boycott of the Zabludowicz  Art Trust for its deep complicity in Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid.

The Zabludowicz Art Trust directly supports Israel’s oppression of Palestinians through its funder, The Tamares Group, which is responsible for investments in Knafaim, an Israeli­-based holding company, focused on the aviation industry, with major holdings in several Israeli companies including Kanfey Tachzuka, which provides maintenance services to the Israeli Air Force[1], notorious for its ongoing commission of war crimes against Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. Continue reading