Council for the National Interest

American Actors Call for Cultural Boycott of Israel

May 15 2014 / 7:48 pm
By Ali Abunimah.
Electronic Intifada – Philosopher and activist Grace Lee Boggs and actor and activist Danny Glover have denounced the inclusion of the film American Revolutionary: the Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs in a government-sponsored Israeli film festival this week.“We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, and support their call for cultural and academic boycott of Israel,” they say in a statement sent to The Electronic Intifada, co-signed with ten other individuals involved with the award-winningdocumentary that focuses on the life and work of the 98-year-old Boggs.


“As people featured in the film … we were shocked to find the film slated to be screened at the DocAviv festival in Israel on May 13th and 15th. This was scheduled without our knowledge,” the statement notes.

The authors of the statement say they asked for the film to be withdrawn but “festival organizers and film producers informed us that this was not possible and they would move forward with the screening, over our objections.”

“This film uplifts the life work and legacy of Grace Lee Boggs. She has explicitly stated her support of the boycott and believes this screening is in direct contradiction to her legacy and ongoing work as a revolutionary.”

Boggs, a daughter of Chinese immigrants who lives in Detroit, has been a radical activist and author “whose seven decades of political involvement encompass the major US social movements of the past hundred years,” including Civil Rights and Black Power.

“We will pursue opportunities for this film and the ideas within it to be made available in Palestine in a way that supports the movement and will post our response as soon as possible,” the statement concludes.

Government and corporate support

The sponsors of DocAviv include such Israeli government agencies as the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the foreign ministry, Tel Aviv municipality and the Tel Aviv port authority.

The festival receives funding from the state-controlled Israeli national lottery, which finances numerous buildings in settlements in the occupied West Bank that are deemed illegal under international law.

Another sponsor is Bank Leumi, one of several Israeli banks that have seen major international investors dump their stocks because of the banks’ role in the colonization of occupied Palestinian land.

DocAviv is supported by a number of European embassies and foreign corporations including Fiat and FedEx.

Guidelines

Guidelines published by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) call for the boycott of events and projects “complicit in maintaining the Israeli occupation and denial of basic Palestinian rights.”

“The general principle is that an event or project carried out under the sponsorship/aegis of or in affiliation with an official Israeli body constitutes complicity and therefore is deserving of boycott,” the guidelines say.

Full statement

We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, and support their call for cultural and academic boycott of Israel.

As people featured in the film American Revolutionary: the Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, we were shocked to find the film slated to be screened at the DocAviv festival in Israel on May 13th and 15th. This was scheduled without our knowledge.

We immediately took action to have the film withdrawn from the festival. The festival organizers and film producers informed us that this was not possible and they would move forward with the screening, over our objections.   This film uplifts the life work and legacy of Grace Lee Boggs. She has explicitly stated her support of the boycott and believes this screening is in direct contradiction to her legacy and ongoing work as a revolutionary.

We will pursue opportunities for this film and the ideas within it to be made available in Palestine in a way that supports the movement and will post our response as soon as possible.

  • Grace Lee Boggs

and

  • William Ayers
  • Richard Feldman
  • Danny Glover
  • Shea Howell
  • Invincible
  • Angela Jones
  • Scott Kurashige
  • Jenny Lee
  • Julia Putnam
  • Ronald Scott
  • Stephen Ward
Posted by on May 15 2014 . Filed under Boycott Divestment & Sanctions, News from the Middle East . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 . Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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