150 Irish artists, intellectuals declare Israel boycott
DUBLIN (WJC)–More than 150 Irish artists and intellectuals have declared a boycott of Israel, saying they would not perform or exhibit there until Israel ceases what they call “abuse of Palestinian human rights.”
The artists also pledged to reject funding from any institution associated with the Israeli government. The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) said the boycott would continue until “Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights”.
Eoin Dillon of the Irish world music band Kila said he had signed up to the campaign because “it worked in South Africa.” An Israeli Embassy spokesman in Dublin said the boycott was regrettable and ill-advised. He added: “Vilifying and ostracizing Israel and promoting a lose-lose program of boycotts is not the way to secure legitimate Palestinian rights”.
Among the artists supporting the boycott are the musicians Damien Dempsey and Donnal Lunny, artists Robert Ballagh and Felim Egan, playwright Jimmy Murphy and actress Neilil Conroy.
“Culture cannot stand aloof from politics,” boycott coordinator Raymond Deane said in a statement. “Whether or not art is ‘above politics’, its presentation and representation in the real world can all too easily be hijacked by oppressive states. With this pledge, Irish artists have an opportunity to distance themselves from such exploitation, and to take a non-violent stand on behalf of the oppressed Palestinian people.”
The move comes in a period in which several high profile artists have cancelled concerts in Israel for “political reasons”. Elvis Costello, the Pixiesand the Gorillaz Sound System were among those who boycotted scheduled performances there for political reasons. Earlier this month the band Massive Attack used a spot at a festival to attack Israel and promote the cause of Palestinian refugees.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress