Palestinian human rights activists are calling on Oscar nominees not to accept travel vouchers supplied by the Israeli government as part of the gift bag that will be given to the nominees in the acting and directing categories.
A statement from the Israeli ministry of tourism boasted that its initiative is a chance to have “leading opinion-formers” share their visit “among millions of fans and followers”.
Omar Barghouti from the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the largest coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations that leads the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, said:
“There are no Hunger Games in Gaza but there is real hunger, and it is induced by years of Israeli occupation and siege. We hope Oscar nominees will take the moral path of rejecting this free propaganda gift from Capitol while its brutal troops and settlers burn and colonize our District 12.”
In 2012, it was revealed that Israel used “calorie count” to severely limit food supply to the 1.8 million Palestinian under siege in Gaza. A top advisor to Israel’s prime minister in 2006 said: “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”
Barghouti added, “Israel is desperately trying to fight its increasing international isolation through bribes and intimidation rather than by ending its occupation and apartheid.”
An increasing number of Israeli politicians and intellectuals have admitted that Israel is practicing apartheid against Palestinians. The publisher of Haaretz, a prominent Israeli daily, has recently written that “only international pressure will end Israeli apartheid.”
– Read more: Palestinians Call on Oscar Nominees to Reject Israel Propaganda Trip – Mondoweiss