Palestinian Filmmakers, Artists and Cultural Workers Call for a Cultural Boycott of Israel

August 12, 2006

In News

“The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure– in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s. Over the past six months, a similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation”.

Desmond Tutu

See also “Why an Economic Boycott of Israel is Justified.”

Statements in Arabic and German on

Ramallah, August 12, 2006

Over 100 Palestinian filmmakers, artists and cultural workers have called on filmmakers and artists worldwide to cancel art exhibitions planned in Israel, to boycott Israeli film festivals, Israeli cultural venues, and to end all cooperation with Israeli art, film and cultural organizations and institutions sponsored by the Israeli government. In order to end the apathy and silence in Israel to the war atrocities being committed. The call comes at a time when Israel has escalated its attacks on Palestine and Lebanon, with over 1000 civilians killed, more than a million forced to leave their homes, and infrastructure in both countries destroyed, a war that is supported by a majority of the Israeli population.

The statement calls for an end to the war, and an end to the root of the problem in the Middle East which is the continued military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, that has lasted for almost 40 years.

Among those calling for the boycott are prominent Palestinian artists, writers and filmmakers Mai Masri, Michel Khleifi, Vera Tamari, Suleiman Mansour, Hany Abu Assad, Khaled Jubran, Elia Suleiman, Marwan Abado, Reem Banna, Walid Abu Baker and Emily Jacir to name a few. The call has been supported by around 300 filmmakers, artists, writers, and musicians from countries all around the world.

August 4, 2006

Dear Filmmakers & Artists,

During the past few weeks we have borne witness to the escalation of Israeli aggression into open war on both Palestine and Lebanon.

With Israel’s invasion of Gaza on June 27th, 2006, ministries and educational institutions have been destroyed, as has the plant that supplies nearly 50 percent of Gaza’s electricity. Bridges, roads, dozens of homes, and hundreds of dunams of agricultural land have also been destroyed. Sixty-four elected Palestinian legislators, cabinet ministers and officials have been detained without charge.

On July 12th, Israel brought its campaign of collective punishment and military violence to Lebanon, with “Operation Just Reward”. A complete assault, via land, sea, and air, of the Lebanese population and infrastructure has led to total destruction. In just 3 weeks, almost 1 million Lebanese civilians have been displaced and the death toll has reached 900 Lebanese and 160 Palestinians, with a UN count saying one-third of the dead are children.

Additionally, in violation of international law, Israel continues to occupy Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and Syria’s Golan Heights. In violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel continues to hold 9,600 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails and detention centers without due process, among them 130 Palestinian women and 388 children, many of them taken from their homes in the middle of the night.

We, the undersigned Palestinian filmmakers and artists, appeal to all artists and filmmakers of good conscience around the world to cancel all exhibitions and other cultural events that are scheduled to occur in Israel, to mobilize immediately and not allow the continuation of the Israeli offensive to breed complacency. Like the boycott of South African art institutions during apartheid, cultural workers must speak out against the current Israeli war crimes and atrocities.

We call upon the International community to join us in the boycott of Israeli film festivals, Israeli public venues, and Israeli institutions supported by the government, and to end all cooperation with these cultural and artistic institutions that to date have refused to take a stand against the Occupation, the root cause for this colonial conflict.

We call upon you to take a stand in order to appeal to the Israeli people to give up their silence, to abandon their apathy, and to face up to their responsibility in the destruction and killing their elected government is wreaking. To the Lebanese and Palestinians terrorized by this Army’s planes, bombs and missiles, this silence, apathy and lack of action from Israelis, are regarded as complicit in the ongoing war crimes, as for those Israeli artists, academics and intellectuals who continue to serve in the Israeli army they are directly implicated in these crimes.

We call upon you to give way to action that would replace words spoken too often and forgotten too quickly. We call upon you to make your voices heard in calling for an end to this bloodshed and an end to this oppression that has lasted too long.

To endorse or answer this call for a cultural boycott of Israel please send an email with your name, position and country to

Signatures (Alphabetical):

1.AbdelFattah Abu-Srour, Al-Rowwad Cultural Center
2.Abdelsalam Shehadeh, Filmmaker
3.Adila Laidi, Lecturer
4.Ala’ Abu Ghoush, Graphic Designer
5.Alexandra Handal, Artist
6.Ali Nassar, Filmmaker
7.Amer Hlehel, Actor/ director
8.Amer Shomali, Artist
9.Anan Brakat, Filmmaker, Arab Cinema School
10.Annemarie Jacir, Filmmaker
11.Azza El-Hassan, Filmmaker
12.Bahia Munem, Filmmaker
13.Bashar Ibrahem, Film critic
14.Benaz Batrawi, Filmmaker
15.Betty Shamieh, Writer
16.Buthina Canaan Khoury, Filmmaker
17.Carol Michel, International Center of Bethlehem
18.Cherien Dabis, Filmmaker
19.Dahna Abourahme, Filmmaker
20.Dima Abu Ghoush, Filmmaker
21.Elia Suleiman, Filmmaker
22.Emily Jacir, Artist
23.Enas Muthaffar, Filmmaker
24.Fadi Zmorrod, Artist
25.Faten Farhat, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
26.Faten Nastas, Artist
27.Firas Abdelrahman, Filmmaker
28.George Azar, Photojournalist / Cinematographer
29.Ghada Terawi, Filmmaker
30.Hadeel Karkar, Writer
31.Hala Al-Yamani, Drama Teacher
32.Hanna Atallah, Filmmaker
33.Hanna Elias, Filmmaker
34.Hanna Musleh, Filmmaker
35.Hany Abu-Assad, Filmmaker
36.Haya Al-Jareedy, Filmmaker
37.Hayan Charara, Writer
38.Hazim Bitar, Filmmaker
39.Iman Aoun, Ishtar Theatre
40.Iman Hammouri, Popular Art Centre
41.In’am El-Obeidi, Media Department, Birzeit University.
42.Ismail Habbash, Filmmaker
43.Jamil Daraghmeh, Photographer
44.Jibril Awad, Filmmaker
45.John Halaka, Artist
46.Juliano Mer Khamis, Actor & Director
47.Kamal Boullata, Artist
48.Karma Abu-Sharif, Writer
49.Khadijeh.H.Abu-Ali, Filmmaker
50.Khaled Hourani, Artist
51.Khaled Jubran, Musician
52.Khaled Katamish, Dancer
53.Lana Zreik, Movement Director and Actress
54.Larissa Sansour, Artist
55.Leila Sansour, Filmmaker
56.Liana Badr, Filmmaker
57.Liana Saleh, Filmmaker
58.Lina Bokhary, Artist
59.Lois Nakhleh, Artist
60.Mahmoud Massad, Filmmaker
61.Mai Masri, Filmmaker
62.Manal Issa, A.M.Qattan Foundation
63.Marwan Abado, Musician
64.Mazen Saade, Filmmaker & Writer
65.Michel Khleifi, Filmmaker
66.Miguel Littin, Filmmaker
67.Nabila Irshaid, Artist
68.Nada El-Yassir, Filmmaker
69.Nader Jalal, Palestinian Institute for Cultural Development (nawa)
70.Nahed Awwad, Filmmaker
71.Najwa Najjar, Filmmaker
72.Nida Sinnokrot, Artist
73.Nizar Hassan, Filmmaker
74.Noora Baker, Dancer
75.Omar Barghouti, Dance choreographer
76.Omar Qattan, Filmmaker
77.Osama Al-Zain, Filmmaker
78.Radi Shehadeh, Theatre director
79.Rana Bishara, Artist
80.Rania Elias- Khoury, Yabous Productions
81.Rashid Masharawi, Filmmaker
82.Rawda Atallah, Arab Cultural Association- Nazareth
83.Reem Fadda, Palestinian Association of Contemporary Art
84.Rim Banna, Singer/ Song writer
85.Riyad Deis, Filmmaker
86.Rowan Al Faqih, Filmmaker
87.Rula Halawani, Artist/photographer
88.Rula Khoury, Curator/ Art coordinator
89.Saed Andoni, Filmmaker
90.Saleh Bakri, Actor
91.Salim Abu Jabal, Writer
92.Salwa Mikdadi, Curator
93.Sama Alshaibi, Artist/ Professor, Palestine/USA
94.Sameh Zoabi, Filmmaker
95.Sami Bukhari, Artist
96.Samia A. Halaby, Artist
97.Samieh Jabbarin, Film/Theatre director
98.Shadi Zmorrod, The First Palestinian Circus School
99.Sherine Salama, Filmmaker, Palestine/Australia
100.Sobhi al-Zobaidi, Filmmaker
101.Suha Barghouti, Popular Art Centre
102.Suleiman Mansour, Artist
103.Suzy Salamy, Filmmaker
104.Taghreed Mishael, Filmmaker
105.Tarek Bishara, Actor/Screenwriter
106.Ula Tabari, Filmmaker
107.Vera Tamari, Artist
108.Vladimir Tamari, Artist
109.Wafa Jamil, Filmmaker
110.Walid Abu Bakr, Writer
111.Yahya Barakat, Filmmaker