Artists for Palestine

We, members of the international community of artists, write to declare our solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of aggression, land seizures, bombing, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing.

In the international campaign to boycott South African apartheid, artists played a significant role in refusing to perform in South Africa. In doing so, they helped to add pressure on the government to dismantle the oppressive system of apartheid. 

The state of Israel also commits the UN-defined crime of apartheid. Recent reports by Human Rights Watch and Btselem only confirm what Palestinians have been saying for decades: that Israel has created a Jewish supremacist, settler-colonial apartheid state through the mass expulsion of Palestinians.

Within the last two weeks, aggression against the Palestinian people has dramatically increased. In the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, more than 500 Palestinians face expulsion by the Israeli courts on behalf of Israeli settlers. These settlers have committed pogroms against Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, marching through the street chanting “Death to Arabs.” In response to protests, the Israeli police have fired rubber-coated plastic bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas at Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan, injuring more than 300. In response to rocket fire from Gaza, Israel has launched air strikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip. These attacks have killed at least 212 civilians in Gaza, including 61 children, and 10 civilians in Israel have been killed by rocket fire.

Previous attacks on Gaza have prompted an ongoing investigation of Israel’s war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

The most prominent movement promoting a solution for this ongoing violence is the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. We reiterate the three central demands of the BDS campaign:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall

International law recognises the West Bank including East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan Heights as occupied by Israel. As part of its military occupation, Israel steals land and forces Palestinians into ghettos, surrounded by checkpoints, settlements and watchtowers and an illegal apartheid Wall. Israel has imposed a medieval siege on Gaza , turning it into the largest open air prison in the world. Israel also regularly carries out large-scale assaults on Gaza that are widely condemned as constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity.

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality

One-fifth of Israel’s citizens are Palestinians who remained inside the armistice lines after 1948. They are subjected to a system of racial discrimination enshrined in more than 50 laws that impact every aspect of their lives. The Israeli government continues to forcibly displace Palestinian communities in Israel from their land. Israeli leaders routinely and openly incite racial violence against them.

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194

Since its violent establishment in 1948 through the ethnic cleansing of more than half of the indigenous people of Palestine, Israel has set out to control as much land and uproot as many Palestinians as it can. As a result of this systematic forced displacement, there are now more than 7.25 million Palestinian refugees. They are denied their right to return to their homes simply because they are not Jewish."

These goals, the ending of the occupation and colonization, the right of Palestinians to full equality, and respecting the UN stipulated rights of Palestinian refugees, should be top priorities for anyone who cares about ending racism and colonialism.

Therefore, all artists in the world who are against racism, colonialism, and apartheid must take up the responsibility of centering Palestinian voices and honoring their requests. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)  and encourage all people of conscience to read their guidelines:

“Since April 2004, PACBI has called upon intellectuals and academics worldwide to 'comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel's occupation, colonization and system of apartheid.' In 2006, a decisive majority of Palestinian cultural workers, including most filmmakers and artists, supported by hundreds of international cultural workers, appealed to all international artists and filmmakers of good conscience to join the institutional cultural boycott against Israel.”

We endorse this call and ask all artists to stop performing in Israel and to stop accepting money from the Israeli government, and we encourage all artists to boldly express their solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and the BDS movement. Previous struggles for justice have been bolstered by cultural workers standing up for human rights and against racism, colonialism, and oppression. We encourage all artists and people of conscience to educate themselves about the struggles of Palestine and give their support to this Palestinian-led movement for human rights. 

Camellia Aftahi

Carlos Aguilar, New York, NY

Evan Anderson, Boston, MA

Krista Antenucci

Jashelle Bajolo

Sergio Cote Barco, Bogotá, Colombia

Vanessa Batyko

Pema Bennardis, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Annie Roth Blumfield, Saint Paul, MN

Isaac Roth Blumfield, Saint Paul, MN

Dante Boon, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Leonard Bopp, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Skylar Cameron

Rose Caplan

Eliot Cardinaux, Northampton, MA

Rebecca Casalino

Joanna Chen

Rachael Chen

Nicholas Christenson, Minneapolis, MN

Hannah Christiansen, Chicago, IL

Jon Clancy, Brooklyn, NY

Adam Cuthbert, Detroit, MI

Tyler Cunningham, Toronto, ON, Canada

Elizabeth Dashiell, Brooklyn, NY

Lior David

Morgan Davison, The Juilliard School, New York, NY

David Davisson

J Diaz, independent, Philadelphia, PA

Carolina Días Chan, Brooklyn, NY

Álvaro Domene, New York, NY

Gramm Drennen, Ann Arbor, MI

Forrest Eimold, Columbia University & The Juilliard School

Warren Enström, Milwaukee, WI

Ezra Escobar, New York, NY

Sarah Farahat, Portland, OR

Meesh Fradkin

Max Friedman

India Gailey, Halifax, NS

Emma Gasterland-Gustafsson, NY

Michael Genese, Brooklyn, NY

Alec Goldfarb

Erin Graham

Leo Hardman-Hill

Ali Hassan, FUG

Alisha Heng, New York, NY

Maya Hinrichs, UCSD, San Diego, CA

Seamus Hubbard Flynn

Daryl Jamieson, Fukuoka, Japan

Joseph Jordan, Columbia University & The Juilliard School, New York, NY

Naomi Kavka, Prince Rupert

Atiyyah Khan, New Frame, Cape Town, South Africa

Anthony Kirk

Flora Klein

Liana Kleinman, London, UK, London Contemporary Dance School/EDGE Dance Company

Salina Kuo, Philadelphia, PA

Juan Sebastián Lach, UNAM, Morelia, México

Yaz Lancaster

Jack Langdon, Thetford, VT

Matt Lavine, Philadelphia, PA

Brian Lawlor

Rebecca Lawrence, Los Angeles, CA

Connie Li

sarah ma, The Juilliard School, New York, NY

Nozuko Madokwe, Cape Town, South Africa

Madeleine Manasse, New York, NY

Joshua Marquez, Philadelphia, PA

Josh Mastel

James May, New Orleans, LA

Nebal Maysaud

Thomas Meinzen, Bozeman, MT

Jacob Melsha, The Juilliard School, New York, NY

Aaron Mencher

Abraham Mennen

Chantae Miller

Jamie Monck, Louisville, KY

Cullyn Murphy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Justine Neuberger, NY

Helen Newby, Brooklyn, NY

Violetta Maria Norrie, New York, NY

Andrew Noseworthy, freelance artist/Western University, London, ON, Canada

Pablo O'Connell, New York, NY, The Juilliard School

Juan Orta, NKVD

Rebecca Payne, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Sienna Peck, New York University

Julian Raharjo Drummond

Chris Revak, Stroudsburg, PA

Charlotte Richardson-Deppe, Department of Art, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Zachary James Ritter, New York, NY

anna robertsgevalt

Reiny Rolock, Stony Brook University, New York

Jeremy Rosenstock

Justin Rui Han

Ethan Sandman

Ashley Seward, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Lauren Siess, New York, NY

Sivan Silver-Swart, Los Angeles, CA

Bekah Simms, Toronto, ON, Canada

John Smigielski, Buffalo, NY

Audrey Q. Snyder, Chicago, IL

Zain Solinski, Toronto, ON, Canada

Eiden Spilker

Ryann Daisy Swimmer, Minneapolis, MN

Isabela Tanashian, The Juilliard School, New York, NY

Camila Tapia

Jerusha Trotman, New York, NY

Jasmine Tsui, Toronto, ON, Canada

Kirsten Volness, Reed College, Portland, OR

Tihda Vongkoth, Modern Marimba, Sarasota, FL

Samuel Vriezen

Shelley Washington, Brooklyn, NY

Jamie Weinfurter, Minneapolis, MN

Alec Toku Whiting

Ross Wightman

Will Yager, Iowa City, IA



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