QUARTET FIDDLES WHILE GAZA BURNS….
PROTEST THE JERUSALEM STRING QUARTET
Sunday, Oct. 2
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts @ UBC
6265 Crescent Rd – Vancouver
Join the Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign – Vancouver for a protest of the Jerusalem String Quartet performance at the Chan Centre on October 2.
Arts and culture have become an important weapon in the Israeli government’s public relations campaign, and in 2006, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an initiative called “Brand Israel,” to salvage Israel’s deteriorating image abroad. Arye Mekel of Israel’s Foreign Ministry has stated that, “We will send well-known novelists and writers overseas, theater companies, exhibits… This way you show Israel’s prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war.”
The Jerusalem Music Centre, the home base for the Jerusalem String Quartet, is prominently featured on the Foreign Ministry website, revealing how it is among the Israeli cultural institutions that are all part of the ongoing effort to “re-brand” Israel’s image in the West. Thus, Israel is portrayed as an enlightened center of arts and technology, thereby concealing the ugly facts about its occupation, racial discrimination and grave violations of international law and fundamental Palestinian rights.
Although the Centre claims to be independent, it cooperates readily with practically all leading organisations of music and music education in Israel and is funded by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, a funder of the racist Jewish National Fund (responsible for “Canada Park” on stolen Palestinian land, instrumental in the Nakba, and an active participant in the ongoing displacement of millions of Palestinians). The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated in an article that the Jerusalem Quartet receives professional patronage from the Unit for Young Musicians at the Music Centre and the Israeli ambassador to the UK said in 2008 when protesters disrupted the Quartet’s performance at Edinburgh Festival “we must not give in to attempts to sabotage the marketing of Israeli art and culture…”
Since the quartet has made no attempt to dissociate itself from Israel’s apartheid policies, we can only assume that it is happy to play under the patronage of the State of Israel and/or its institutions while the charges of war crimes against Israel hang thick in the air worldwide.
This call is made within the framework of the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), and the call for the boycott of all Israeli academic and cultural institutions issued by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), and in accordance with the guidelines for the cultural boycott of Israel, which an overwhelming majority of Palestinian cultural and artistic institutions have endorsed.
Join us to protest the music of apartheid on Sunday, Oct. 2!
Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign