Over 70 Jewish Organizations, Individuals Endorse Boycott of Sydney Festival over ‘Art-Washing’ of Israeli Apartheid

Poster of the Jewish Solidarity with Palestine campaign. (Poster: Ricardo Levins Morales, via Do Better Palestine website)

More than 70 Jewish organizations and individuals have signed an open letter endorsing the boycott of the 2022 Sydney Festival over what they called art-washing of Israeli apartheid, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Dozens of artists and performers have already decided to pull out of the festival. The mass boycott of the event came after Israel was listed as a partner of the annual festival as its embassy in Australia made a $20,000 donation in support of an Israeli choreographer.

“Following the lead of Palestinian organizers, we know that we cannot allow this artwashing to work as intended. Rather than staying silent we want to say loudly: Israeli apartheid, settler-colonialism, and occupation cannot be allowed to continue,” the open letter said.

“Israel engages in daily violence, from the violence of the military courts, checkpoints, settlements, murders, land theft and daily harassment of Palestinian communities in the West Bank; to the siege on Gaza and airstrikes; to the attacks on East Jerusalem in May 2021 and the differential treatment of Palestinians and Jews throughout ‘48,” the signatories added.

“Boycotts are a non-violent and effective tool for exposing these kinds of injustices and helping us take a stand against it. Solidarity works. Countering colonialism – wherever and whenever it occurs – works. We are dedicated to working alongside Indigenous people everywhere, to amplifying their voices and knowledge in the fight against colonialism,” the letter continued.

The signatories urged the Sydney Festival to reject this ‘art-washing’ of Israeli apartheid, and called on people everywhere to take a stand in solidarity and refuse to be part of Israel’s propaganda.

Signing organizations included Loud Jew Collective, Jews Against Fascism, Hue, Jews against the Occupation Sydney, Tzedek Collective and Independent Australian Jewish Voices.

(The Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

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