WATCH: Roger Waters, U.S. Artists Call for Cultural Boycott of Israel

Video urges artists to sign petition declaring they won't cooperate with any Israeli institution, 'until occupation, colonization, and apartheid have ended.'

Neta Alexander
Neta Alexander
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Roger Waters calls on artists to boycott Israel in new video.
Roger Waters calls on artists to boycott Israel in new video.Credit: YouTube
Neta Alexander
Neta Alexander

A new video starring Roger Waters and other U.S. artists is calling for a cultural boycott of Israel.

The video begins with the artists explaining the different ways in which Israeli control dictates the life of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The clip then details the economic cost of the occupation.

"Since 1967, Israel has received $120 billion dollars in U.S. aid, subsidizing the demolition of homes, the displacement of families, the theft of farmland, the arrest of children, and the siege and blockade of the Gaza Strip," the artists in the video say.

The clip is part of campaign titled "Amplify Palestine" was made by activist group Adalah-NY, which promotes the boycott movement.

Rogers, a longtime vocal supporter of the boycott movement, is joined in the video by actress Kathleen Chalfant ("Angels in America," "House of Cards"), musicians Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, author Molly Crabapple and street artist Swoon.

The video calls on artists to sign a petition declaring that they will refuse to cooperate with any institution supported by Israeli government agencies.

"We will not participate in events sponsored by the Israeli government or complicit Israeli institutions in New York, Israel, or anywhere else," the petition says.

"As a community of New York-based artists and cultural workers, we call on other artists and cultural workers to join this global movement until Israeli occupation, colonization, and apartheid have ended."

So far nearly 500 people signed the petition, roughly half of them identifying themselves as artists from New York.

Earlier this week, Vice published an op-ed by British musician Brian Eno and Israeli activist Ohal Grietzer expressing their support for boycott and the campaign.

"Palestinians are not asking you to save them," they wrote in the piece. "By calling for a boycott of Israel, they are only asking you not to help Israel oppress them."

In recent years, numerous international artists have refused to visit in Israel as part of the boycott, or canceled performances in the last minute as result of the movement's pressure. These include directors Mike Lee, Ken Loach, Mira Nair, Jean Luc Godard, musicians Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder and Lauryn Hill.

Two weeks ago two Palestinian directors pulled their film, "Degrade," from the Other Israel Film Festival in New York. Festival director Isaac Zablocki told Haaretz at the time that he believes the filmmakers capitulated to pressure from boycott activists.

“In these polarizing times, it is more important than ever to hear each other’s voices and create a culture of dialogue,” said Zablocki. “The silencing and boycotting of arts and education [in Israel] only hurts those aiming to create positive change and hear the other side.”

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