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1000 Irish artists join pledge to boycott Israel

The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) has announced that their ‘Irish Artists’ Pledge to Boycott Israel’ has just passed the 1,000 signatory mark, a hugely significant milestone in support for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.

The Irish artists’ pledge was launched a decade ago, initiated by renowned composer, and IPSC co-founder, Raymond Deane.

Initially signed by over 140 Irish creative and performing artists, whereby they undertake to boycott the Israeli state under present circumstances, the pledge now has over 1,000 signatories, among them Irish cultural legends like Stephen Rea, Sinéad Cusack, Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine, Damien Dempsey, Sharon Shannon, Robert Ballagh, Mary Black and Kíla joined by exciting new artists such as Sisterix, CMAT, Pillow Queens, Kneecap, TPM, Steo Wall, Oein DeBhairduin and Roisin El Cherif as well as established figures like Kevin Barry, Joe Rooney, Mary Coughlan, Derbhle Crotty, Paul Duane and Eugene O’Hare.

IPSC Cultural Liaison Zoë Lawlor said: “We are very proud to have so many artists sign up to our pledge. Reaching 1,000 signatories is a huge landmark in Irish solidarity with Palestine and a serious statement in support of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. As the indigenous Palestinian people endure their 73rd year of dispossession, ethnic cleansing, apartheid and enforced exile, and western governments fail to sanction Israel, they need the solidarity of people of conscience – and this pledge plays a major part in that.”

Ms Lawlor continued, “Irish artists have faced an extremely difficult year, but have still shown their support for the Palestinian people, and it is both moving and heartening so see such empathy and shared humanity.”

The Pledge, which commits signatories to refrain from performing in Israel, was launched by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) in August 2010.

Modelled on the successful cultural boycott of Apartheid South Africa, it has been called “a ground-breaking initiative” by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) National Committee in Palestine, the leadership of the global BDS movement for Palestinian freedom.

The Pledge reads as follows:

“In response to the call from Palestinian civil society for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge not to avail of any invitation to perform or exhibit in Israel, nor to accept any funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.”

The 1,034 signatories include actors, writers, poets, painters, sculptors, film-makers, dancers, architects, composers, designers, musicians and others, including many members of Ireland’s state-sponsored academy of artists Aosdána and range from some of Ireland’s most internationally known figures to artists starting out on their careers.

The Irish pledge was the first such nationally organised cultural boycott of Israel, and was followed by similar successful initiatives in Switzerland, South Africa, Britain and elsewhere.

Fatin Al Tamimi, Chairperson of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “As Palestinians struggle to deal with the dual threats of COVID-19 pandemic and Israel’s oppressive and worsening apartheid regime, there is a growing absence of hope in my homeland right now.

“However, the fact that over one thousand artists in Ireland are willing to stand in solidarity with our struggle by refusing to help Apartheid Israel culturally whitewash its crimes against my people, is a huge ray of hope, and makes me incredibly proud of my adoptive homeland. I thank each one of the signatories, and I ask every other Irish artist to sign up to boycott Israel until we Palestinians enjoy our freedom, justice and equality.”

To see the full list please go to: https://www.ipsc.ie/pledge

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