Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Protest against “cultural ambassadors” for Israeli apartheid

A protest will take place today against the Israeli dance troupe Batsheva as part of the international BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign to isolate Israel and its apartheid policies towards Palestinians.

The protest will take place outside the St James Theatre in Courtenay Place, Wellington from 7.30pm.

The government has given visas to this dance company despite appeals from Palestinian solidarity groups and 2014 being declared the United Nation’s “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”.

The Batsheva Dance Company is part of the Israeli propaganda effort to deflect criticism of its appalling policies towards Palestinians. It is largely funded by the Israeli Ministry of Culture & Sport, the City of Tel Aviv and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs who praise the troupe as “ambassadors of Israeli culture”.

The troupe's participation in the NZ Arts Festival is also partially sponsored by the Israeli Embassy in Wellington.

The protest will be calling for an end to Israel’s unashamedly racist treatment of its Arab-Israeli citizens; the construction of illegal Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land; the brutal military occupation of the West Bank Palestinian territory and the inhuman blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign was launched in 2005 by some 260 Palestinian civil society organisations as the best way for the international community to support the Palestinian struggle for justice and human rights.

While some may hide behind the excuse that art and culture is somehow apolitical, many (including Stephen Hawking, Emma Thompson, Miriam Margolyes, Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Roger Waters and Peter Gabriel) are taking a stand.

For the same reasons New Zealanders called for the end to rugby links with apartheid South Africa we are calling for the cutting of ties with apartheid Israel and a boycott of the Batsheva performances in New Zealand. This call is being made by a combined network of Palestinian solidarity organisations in New Zealand.

The National Party was on the wrong side of history in the struggle against apartheid South Africa in the 1980s and seems determined to continue on the wrong side of this issue.

As University of Auckland Dance Studies Associate Professor Nicholas Rowe puts it:

‘If Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company would have the courage to refuse to offer their bodies up to the Israeli Defense Forces for annual military service, if they would have the courage to publicly condemn the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the ongoing theft of land and property by the government that pays them to tour in the name of Israel, if they would have the courage to publicly state that they do not judge people by their religion or ethnicity and so would welcome the return of non-Jewish refugees back to their homes inside what is now Israel, then they would be touring to New Zealand as dance artists, and not just as political puppets. Anybody who seeks to watch Batsheva should be aware that Ohad Naharin and Batsheva have these choices to make. ‘ Dr Nicholas Rowe, Dance Studies, University of Auckland

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Gordon Campbell: On The Economic Bad News (And Turkey’s Fears About The Kurds)

Traditionally, voters regard National as a more competent manager of the economy. It is the sole upside of crony capitalism: surely these guys must know what their mates in business want and need. These last few months though, have put that faith sorely to the test... More>>

ALSO:

Discussion Document: Fresh Look At Family Violence Laws

A discussion document launched today takes a hard look at the way the law prevents and responds to family violence, and proposes a comprehensive rethink to strengthen New Zealand’s legislative response. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Presser: ‘Precarious’ Solid Energy In Banks’ Hands

Liquidation of state-owned coal company Solid Energy “cannot be ruled out” but is “not the number one preferred option of the government,” says Prime Minister John Key, who confirmed the beleaguered company was discussed today at Cabinet as its banking syndicate grapples with its commercially dire prospects. More>>

ALSO:

Missed Opportunities: Amnesty International Report Card On NZ's UN Role

As New Zealand steps down from its month as President of the Council, Amnesty International has taken the opportunity to review New Zealand’s role on the Council so far and assess their performance and contribution to protecting human rights worldwide. More>>

ALSO:

Prince Charles Get More Jobs: PM Announces Honorary Military Appointments

PM John Key has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of HRH The Prince of Wales to three honorary positions: Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy; Field Marshal, New Zealand Army; Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. More>>

ALSO:

No TPP Deal: Gordon Campbell On Why We Should Still Oppose Investor-State Dispute Measures

Even in this dark hour for the TPP, the secrecy farce continues... What is left to hide? Every single negotiator went into those talks in Maui knowing exactly where everyone else stood. More>>

REACTION:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news