Newsletter Archive:.
  Feb 2015  

Around 1000 artists announce a cultural boycott of Israel

The British Cultural Boycott Pledge:

We support the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. In response to the call from Palestinian artists and cultural workers for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge to accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to its government until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.

Along with more than 600 other fellow artists, we are announcing today that we will not engage in business-as-usual cultural relations with Israel. We will accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to its government. Since the summer war on Gaza, Palestinians have enjoyed no respite from Israel's unrelenting attack on their land, their livelihood, their right to political existence. "2014," says the Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem, was "one of the cruellest and deadliest in the history of the occupation."" The Palestinian catastrophe goes on.

Israel's wars are fought on the cultural front too. Its army targets Palestinian cultural institutions for attack, and prevents the free movement of cultural workers. Its own theatre companies perform to settler audiences on the West Bank - and those same companies tour the globe as cultural diplomats, in support of "Brand Israel". During South African apartheid, musicians announced they weren't going to "play Sun City". Now we are saying, in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Ashkelon or Ariel, we won't play music, accept awards, attend exhibitions, festivals or conferences, run masterclasses or workshops, until Israel respects international law and ends its colonial oppression of the Palestinians. To see the full list of supporters, go to


SOAS votes for academic boycott of Israel

 SOAS students and staff have endorsed an academic boycott of Israel, after the results of a week-long referendum were released Friday evening. The vote, open to students, academics, and all other staff and management, finished with 73% for the 'Yes' campaign and 27% for the 'No' campaign.


Stanford Student Senate Votes to Divest from Occupation of Palestine

 The Undergraduate Senate of Stanford University voted 10-4-1 to pass a resolution calling on Stanford to stop investing in corporations facilitating human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It was brought forth by the Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine (SOOP) coalition of 19 student groups.


Northwestern University students pass Israel divestment resolution

 Since Northwestern is a private institution, the university's investment portfolio is kept secret. The resolution demands transparency from the university administration regarding the billions of dollars it holds in assets.


PACBI Editorial

Historic BDS achievements

  February witnessed important milestones in the growth of the BDS movement. At the School ofOriental and African Studies (SOAS), students, staff and faculty overwhelmingly voted in a school-wide referendum in favour of boycotting Israeli academic institutions.

  This victory reinforces the demands of the BDS call issued in 2005 by the great majority of Palestinian civil society entities. Over 2000 students, academics, non-academic staff, university administrators and workers took part in this SOAS vote, resulting in 73% support for the academic boycott of Israel. SOAS is one of the most diverse student bodies in the UK, and has a leading role and reputation in fighting for social justice in the UK and beyond.

  Less than two weeks before the SOAS vote, over 700 artists pledged support for the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality, including Mike Leigh, Myriam Margolyes, Mike Hodges and Gillian Slovo. Artists vowed to answer the Palestinian call for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel by pledging to refuse professional invitations in, funding from and institutional links with Israel and its institutions until it abides by international law and human rights. The pledge signatories are now close to 1,000.

  A few months prior, the National Union of Students in the UK, representing millions of students, endorsed BDS. This, of course, follows the historic and unwavering support for Palestinian rights and BDS by the largest trade unions in the UK, Unite and Unison, representing millions of workers.

  In the US this past month, students at Northwestern University, Stanford University, and UC Davis all passed divestment motions, despite well-funded attacks and outlandish bullying by the Israel lobby.

  More so, last month, the respectable Chatham House poll of British public opinion showed that Britons feel more "unfavourable" to Israel than to any other country in the world, with the exception of North Korea. The BBC annual Globescan poll of international public opinion has consistently shown Israel competing with North Korea in popularity in most of the world, including in the UK, where a whopping 72% perceive Israel "mainly negatively."


Boycott the Red Sea Jazz Festival - Winter 2015

 PACBI reiterates the call to Jazz performers and other artists for a boycott of the Red Sea Jazz Festival and all cultural initiatives that have sponsorship from Israeli state organs or institutions.



Gregory Porter: Live up to your words and do not commit "musical genocide"

 In your latest album Liquid Spirt, you sing 'I do not agree, this is not for me, no musical genocide.' PACBI urges you to cancel your Tel Aviv gig of March 20th and not to play for apartheid Israel.


A Letter from Roger Waters to Alan Parsons

 "I wrote to try to persuade Alan to stand with me and Nick Mason and Brian Eno and Elvis Costello and Massive Attack … and thousands of other artists worldwide who support a cultural and academic boycott of Israel."

  Risala in Arabic means mission, message or letter