Statement from The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Don’t let apartheid onstage!
Protest against the ‘Israel in India’ initiative!
Boycott the Israeli embassy sponsored performance of the Maria Kong Dance Company at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi, November 4, 2014
On 4th November, 2014, the Maria Kong Dance Company will perform at the Kamani Auditorium as part of the “Israel in India” initiative, with support from the Israeli embassy in India. This is part of the 8th Delhi International Arts Festival, organised by the Prasiddha Foundation with the support of organisations including the ICCR.
The festival aims to “serve as a significant platform for cultural diplomacy” and “provide a common ground for interaction between the artists and the mass audience”. Is a common ground possible between the Israel and Indians of conscience, whether artists or citizens? Is “cultural diplomacy” possible with Israel when it has attacked Gaza so brutally earlier this year, and held its people to ransom for years? Since Israel does not respect international law and recognize the Palestinian people’s right to freedom, equality and justice, the Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI) demands that Israel be boycotted from the Indian cultural arena.
On Sunday evening, November 4th, about 60 friends of Palestine — theatre persons, writers, artists, film makers, academics, students and activists — gathered outside Delhi’s Siri Fort auditorium, the venue for the Israeli state-sponsored performance by The Cameri Theatre. Their form of protest was an unusual one. All of them wore T shirts which said, in bold black letters on white, No to Israeli Apartheid. There were no slogans or placards. Instead, they stood around the entrance, distributing leaflets and talking to theatre goers about the boycott. A few theatre goers actually responded and did not go in. A couple even joined the protest. One woman, who took a T shirt to wear inside, found a different form of discrimination being practiced in the auditorium; the Israeli theatre goers were let in, but the Indians had to wait. She read the leaflet in her hand, came out to join the protestors. Read more
[Posted below is a statement by artistes, writers and the Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. The statement is self-explanatory. However, as we shall be explaining in a series of posts on Kafila soon, Zionism in Israel has perfected the most hated techniques of their own twentieth century tormentors, the Nazis, against the people of Palestine. Worse still, it has given these techniques a veneer of ‘normalcy’ – and every ‘cultural exchange’ with Israel only helps further normalize this most despicable form of colonial occupation. ‘Settlements’, in this game of occupation, become the mode of annexing more and more of the Palestinian territory through settling of civilian Jewish populations in what still remains of Palestinian areas. – AN]
Call to boycott The Cameri Theatre at the Delhi International Arts Festival 2012
The organizers of the Delhi International Arts Festival (DIAF) — the Prasiddha Foundation, the Hindustan Times and the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) — have invited The Cameri Theatre from Israel to perform at Siri Fort on November 4th as part of the Festival’s celebration of “the spirit of Delhi”.
The Cameri Theatre serves as an official propaganda tool for the State of Israel — a state that occupies Palestinian lands and practises apartheid policies on the Palestinian people. The Cameri theatre is complicit in the Israeli Occupation of Palestine because it chooses to perform in the illegal settlement of Ariel. Ariel is one of the largest settlements in the occupied West Bank, located on expropriated agricultural Palestinian land. The construction of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land violates international law, and amounts to a war crime.
Illegal Ariel contaminates Palestinian water and agricultural lands. Illegal Ariel is surrounded by walls and fences, and closely guarded by soldiers and armed security personnel. A theatrical performance in this illegal settlement is, by definition, a performance to an exclusively Israeli audience. Palestinians living even in the nearest village are physically excluded from attending. By performing in such circumstances, the Cameri profits from and legitimizes Israel’s illegal colonization policies, and becomes an accomplice to these crimes.