The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) welcomes the cancellation of Joker’s scheduled performance in Israel. We appreciate his willingness to dialogue with our supporters and to take the time to learn about and reflect on Israel’s violations of international law and the human rights of Palestinians. We do, however, wish to address some stated reasons for his cancellation reported in various press, which included his concern over violent threats that he may or may not have claimed activists had made against him.
PACBI, a key member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) National Committee (BNC), treats such concerns with grave urgency, especially that this accusation is not the first of its kind leveled against our movement.
PACBI strongly and unequivocally condemns any violent threats made against Joker or, for that matter, against any other cultural or academic figure who decides to visit Israel in violation of the Palestinian boycott of Israel. As a civil resistance movement whose message is anchored in an unwavering commitment to universal human rights and ethical responsibility, we strive to persuade people, to appeal to their minds and hearts to boycott Israel -- through campaigns of public awareness raising and morally sound, non-violent pressure -- due to its occupation, racist oppression and unique system of apartheid.
Violent threats are never issued nor endorsed by the BDS movement. While we have strong reason to believe that these threats may have originated from and are being employed by the state of Israel, and/or its lobby groups, to tarnish the image of BDS activists, we do wish to appeal to our supporters to remain true to the spirit of BDS as an ethical force that subscribes to the highest principles of human rights and international law. As such, we urge our supporters to be diligent and mindful of these principles in communicating with artists and other cultural figures in the future.
We still strongly condemn all those who decide to cross our boycott picket line and allow themselves to be used in whitewashing Israeli occupation and apartheid.
Posted on 26-12-2011