Newsletter Archive:.
Trouble viewing graphics in this email ? Read it online

  September  2012  

The Baramki House: The Absent / Present

We in the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) call upon international civil society to support our efforts to return the Baramki House in Jerusalem to its rightful Palestinian owners, the Baramki family.  After the death of his father, Gabi Baramki continued the effort to reclaim the family home, but to no avail. In 1999, the Baramki House was transformed into “The Museum on the Seam” by the Israeli Jerusalem Foundation, which advertised as its mission its hope to “advance dialogue amongst us despite our different viewpoints. We must commit ourselves to a social dialogue that is based on what we have in common and what unites us rather than on what divides us and keeps us apart.”

The story of the Baramki House is only one of thousands of similar stories; but this particular case exemplifies the wider injustice.  In August 2012, Gabi Baramki passed away, leaving behind a rich legacy of struggle for Palestinian rights and for developing Palestinian educational institutions. The struggle for freedom, justice and equal rights, to which Gabi dedicated his entire life, continues. 

We in PACBI see this Museum as an embodiment of Israeli criminality, hypocrisy, property theft, colonization, oppression and persistent denial of the Palestinians’ very presence and the rights that go along with it. We demand that international law be implemented, and the Baramki House be returned to its legitimate Palestinian owners, the Baramki family.  


Boycott Int’l Conference on Cultural Psychiatry in Mediterranean

The Gaza community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) is disturbed by the news about holding the 1st International conference on cultural Psychiatry in Mediterranean countries in Tel Aviv.  They appeal to the international mental health community and professionals to boycott this conference.  


Gaza footballers to F.C Barcelona: Do not side with the Oppressor!

Palestinian footballers, athletes and sporting organizations and officials are dismayed to learn the great team of Barcelona will host former Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to the Barcelona vs. Real Madrid match, while more than 5000 Palestinian political prisoners remain in Israeli prisons.

Peter Brook, Bouffes du Nord Theatre Respect Cultural Boycott of Israel

Noted British theater director Peter Brook and the Bouffes du Nord theatre troop of France have honored the call to boycott Israel and cancelled their planned performances for December of this year in Tel Aviv, Israel. 


PACBI Editorial

On Music, Politics and Ethical Responsibility

Earlier in September, in the lead up to a performance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in apartheid Israel, a worldwide campaign calling on them to cancel their show gathered steam. Over the last several months, our South African, Lebanese, Indian, American, Israeli, and Italian partners, among others, had all written letters to RHCP, and a petition was set up that garnered over 7500 signatures [1], a first of its kind.

In Lebanon, days before their show, the famous band, Mashrou3 Leila, announced that it would be opening for RHCP and a huge online debate spurred about the ethics of such a show in light of RHCP performing in Israel a few days later. One of the most salient arguments used against those who were calling for Mashrou3 Leila to cancel, as well as against those calling on RHCP to boycott Israel, was that music should be separate from politics, indeed “above” politics. This argument is based on various taken-for-granted claims, the most frequently repeated of which are: Music has nothing to do with politics; music should build bridges and peace not fall prey to conflict; music is about bringing smiles and human compassion to an audience; and a musical performance is not a political act. All artists who have crossed the cultural boycott “picket line,” whether in the South African or Palestinian context, have resorted to a similar logic to justify their acts of complicity. Let us consider why in the context of Israel’s colonialism, occupation and apartheid the notion that music and art are above politics rings hollow.
Since its inception Israel has taken great pains to destroy or inhibit the development of Palestinian culture and to target Palestinians who chose cultural production as their method of resistance. For decades, Israeli leaders routinely proclaimed that Palestine didn't exist as a nation, and Israeli authorities and complicit institutions attempted to destroy or confiscate indigenous Palestinian culture, heritage, tradition, history and identity, if not explicitly then through convoluted schemes and arbitrary laws.


California Scholars for Academic Freedom Appeal to California Assembly

Conflation of criticism of Israel with anti-semitism has become a standard tactic by those who seek to censor criticism of Israel.  California Scholars for Academic Freedom urge a vote against House Res. 35.

Gaza video: “We’re counting on you” to intensify BDS

We want say to all the activists that we want you to double your efforts because every success that the BDS activists accomplish brings us, the Palestinian people, more hope that justice isn’t far away.

Indian boycott activist: “Tremendous response” in India to BDS (podcast)

When we began in 2010, in response to the Palestinian [BDS] call, we didn’t realize that there would be such a wide variety of people who would be interested. There is tremendous response to the call ...
  Risala in Arabic means mission, message or letter