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PACBI | 26 October 2015

Art should not be used to cover up apartheid: Boycott the Zabludowicz Art Trust!

Art should not be used to cover up apartheid: Boycott the Zabludowicz Art Trust!

Occupied Palestine, October 26, 2015 -- The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) calls for a boycott of the Zabludowicz  Art Trust for its deep complicity in Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid.

The Zabludowicz Art Trust directly supports Israel’s oppression of Palestinians through its funder, The Tamares Group, which is responsible for investments in Knafaim, an Israeli­based holding company, focused on the aviation industry, with major holdings in several Israeli companies including Kanfey Tachzuka, which provides maintenance services to the Israeli Air Force[1], notorious for its ongoing commission of war crimes against Palestinian and Lebanese civilians.

Investment in the provision of services to the Israeli Air Force cannot be “business as usual,” given the decades-old Israeli occupation and denial of Palestinian rights under international law. It is even more egregious given Israel’s latest massacre in Gaza this past summer. In less than two months, the Israeli occupation forces killed more than 2,168 Palestinians, including hundreds of children, and injured over 10,895 people, predominantly civilians.[2] Hospitals, ambulances, UN schools, rescue workers, mosques, churches and shelters for people with special needs have not been spared Israel’s high-precision missiles and artillery shells.

Israeli Air Force missiles were also used to target and kill the four Baker boys as they played football on the Gaza beach.[3]

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA), at least 141 schools, including 90 UN schools, were damaged in the assault on Gaza,[4] and four kindergartens were significantly damaged or destroyed.[5] Seven of the UN schools that were bombed by Israel were designated as emergency shelters, hosting thousands of displaced persons.[6] Despite being given the exact coordinates and locations of the school 17 times, Israel attacked the UN school in Jabalia, killing at least 15 civilians, including four children.[7] 

UNRWA spokesperson, Chris Gunness, stated that the situation in Gaza has “moved beyond the realm of humanitarian action alone” into “the realm of political accountability and political action.”[8]

Israel’s other forms of oppression of the Palestinian people include a 67-year old denial of the Palestinian refugees’ UN-stipulated right to return to their homes, an ongoing process of dispossession, an incessant colonial land grab in the occupied West Bank, a brutal siege of Gaza, and a system of apartheid imposed against Palestinians everywhere.

Furthermore, the Tamares Group was a major shareholder in the British Israel Investments (BII) Ltd, a real estate company that boasts that it is the leader in the construction of shopping malls and commercial centres in Israel. Amir Biram, CEO of BII Israel, told the New York Times that BII’s investments were "Zionism, but business all the same. BII owns the Adumim shopping mall in the illegal colonial settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, built on occupied Palestinian land.[9] The Tamares Group has other investments in Israel including Tamares Communications[10], and Israel’s National Airline El Al through Knafaim. 

In addition, the founder of Zabludowicz Art Trust is a major funder of BICOM, a main Israel lobby group in the UK. Representatives of the Trust have donated 1.4 million British pounds in the last two years to the Israel lobby group BICOM.[11]

The Trust’s funding of the arts is used to cover up multifaceted support for Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid. 

PACBI calls for the boycott of the Zabludowicz Art Trust until it ends its investments in and ties with all Israeli companies that are complicit in war crimes and with Israel lobby groups that enable Israel’s regime of oppression to continue. PACBI calls on artists, universities and institutions to refrain from accepting Zabludowics Art Trust funding until it ends its complicity in violations of human rights and international law.


Posted on 26-10-2015

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