by Chris Carlson
European solidarity movement grows
As the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip continues to leave nearly 2,000 Palestinians dead and over 7,000 injured, there has been an upsurge in artists signing on to the Irish Artists' Pledge to Boycott Israel.The Palestinian News Network (PNN) reports that the pledge, originally launched by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign in 2010, has now been signed by more than 300 creative and performing artists, including Stephen Rea, Donal Lunny, Damien Dempsey, Andy Irvine, Sharon Shannon and many more.
The pledge states:
“In response to the call from Palestinian civil society for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge not to avail of any invitation to perform or exhibit in Israel, nor to accept any funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.” The full list of signatories can been viewed here: http://www.ipsc.ie/pledge.
Israel’s latest attack on the Gaza Strip, which began between July 7th and 8th, has, as of today, left approximately 1,803 dead with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights reporting a ratio of 85% civilian casualties.
Schools, homes, hospitals and essential infrastructures have been destroyed in Israeli attacks by air, sea and land, leaving hundreds of thousands of people displaced in the tiny coastal strip.
The area, no bigger than county Dublin, is home to 1.8 million people, according to the PNN.
Reports are now surfacing that flechette munitions and white phosphorus, weapons which are illegal to use on civilian populations, are once again being used in the current assault. Targeting of captive civilian populations qualify as collective punishment and is illegal under international law.
Related info: http://imemc.org/article/68579
The boycott pledge was initiated by Dr. Raymond Deane, who said, “By its own admission, the Israeli government ‘sees culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank, and…does not differentiate between propaganda and culture.’"
Since 2010, over 300 artists have signed onto the pledge as an act of resistance against such propaganda. PNN further reports that over 60 of these artists have signed since Israel began its current offensive against the defenseless population of Gaza, thus demonstrating that artists cannot and will not stand aloof in the face of oppression and genocide.”
IPSC Spokesperson Freda Hughes said, “Boycotting is an extremely effective way for individuals to collectively apply the necessary pressure to isolate Israel for its apartheid policies towards the Palestinian people, blatant disregard for human rights and flagrant abuse of international law. Israel acts with impunity because the international community allows it to. Where governments fail to act civil society must. We need to emulate the methods that isolated apartheid South Africa to help to end the brutal occupation of Palestine.”
See related: The Growth of the Palestine Solidarity Movement in Europe
Though Americans have been increasingly active with the international community in demonstrating their outrage against the atrocities committed by the Israeli regime, most who claim and cling to any sort of European descent remain largely ignorant of the crisis, due to corporate media propaganda distributed to them via affiliated sports and entertainment agencies.