Boycott the Haifa International Film Festival
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) appeals to all international artists of conscience to withdraw their participation from the Haifa International Film Festival, whether through direct attendance or by showcasing their films, and thus, to deny the festival the international legitimacy it seeks through such participation.
PACBI calls on these international artists to refrain from showing their films or accepting awards at the festival. Doing otherwise would inadvertently lend a stamp of approval to Israeli policies of colonialism, apartheid and occupation, especially given the festivalís ties to the Haifa city government and the larger Israeli establishment, both of which use this as an opportunity to rebrand Israel as a normal country by showing its "prettier face"--its vibrant cultural and artistic community. Israel, however, is not a normal country and should not be admitted into the global cultural arena until it respects international law and recognizes the Palestinian peopleís right to freedom, equality and justice.
A former deputy director general of the Israeli foreign ministry, Nissim Ben-Sheetrit, explained upon launching the Brand Israel campaign in 2005: "We are seeing culture as a hasbara [propaganda] tool of the first rank, and I do not differentiate between hasbara and culture."