SULEIMAN, Elia. Palestinian director & actor urges cultural boycott of Apartheid Israel: "the situation of the Palestinians is worse than that of black South Africans under apartheid"

Elia Suleiman (born July 28, 1960 in Nazareth, Israel), is a Palestinian film director and actor best known for the 2002 film “Divine Intervention” about living under occupation in Palestine which won the Jury Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elia_Suleiman ).

Elia Suleiman advocating a cultural boycott of  Apartheid Israel in a letter to the UK Guardian  signed by 95 creative writers and artists (2006):There is a fragile ceasefire in Lebanon, albeit daily violated by Israeli overflights. Meanwhile the day-to-day brutality of the Israeli army in Gaza and the West Bank continues. Ten Palestinians are killed for every Israeli death; more than 200, many of them children, have been killed since the summer. UN resolutions are flouted, human rights violated as Palestinian land is stolen, houses demolished and crops destroyed. For archbishop Desmond Tutu, as for the Jewish former ANC military commander now South African minister of security, Ronnie Kasrils, the situation of the Palestinians is worse than that of black South Africans under apartheid.

Meanwhile, western governments refer to Israel's legitimate right of self-defence, and continue to supply weaponry. The challenge of apartheid was fought better. The non-violent international response to apartheid was a campaign of boycott, divestment and UN-imposed sanctions which enabled the regime to change without bloodshed.

Today, Palestinians teachers, writers, film-makers and non-governmental organisations have called for a comparable academic and cultural boycott of Israel as offering another path to a just peace. This call has been endorsed internationally by university teachers in many European countries, by film-makers and architects, and by some brave Israeli dissidents. It is now time for others to join the campaign - as Primo Levi asked: "If not now, when?" We call on creative writers and artists to support our Palestinian and Israeli colleagues by endorsing the boycott call. Read the Palestinian call pacbi.org.

John Berger
Brian Eno
Sophie Fiennes
Eduardo Galeano
Reem Kelani
Leon Rosselson
Steven Rose
Arundhati Roy
Ahdaf Soueif
Elia Suleiman
and 85 others." [1].

[1]. Letter to the Guardian signed by 95 creative writers and artists, “Israel boycott may be the way to peace”, Guardian, 15 December 2006: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/dec/15/israel.guardianletters .

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