Thu Jan 24, 2019 | 08:20
Artists' settlement boycott expanded
Sun, 14 Nov 2010 01:49:25 GMT
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A view of the boycotted Ariel cultural center in the central West Bank
An artists' boycott of Israeli plans to force them to perform in West Bank settlements is gathering momentum as cinema and television figures join the campaign.

Israeli Culture Minister Limor Livnat recently announced a plan to pressure arts centers to force their actors to perform anywhere in Israel.

The move is a response to the refusal by dozens of Israeli actors and actresses to perform in a newly opened cultural center in the central West Bank settlement of Ariel.

"Together with you, we will stand up for our civil rights and moral duty to express our opinion and to act according to our political positions and our conscience, and therefore to try and influence the future of… Israel," said an online petition signed by dozens of prominent Israeli directors, the Jerusalem Post reported on Saturday.

The signatories included Ari Folman, Keren Yedaya, Eran Riklis, Ronit Elkabetz, Eytan Fox, and several others.

"It is unconscionable that the resistance to the settlement enterprise, a belief shared by a substantial amount of the Israeli public, has turned into an illegitimate position that leads to slandering, silencing, and funding cuts," read the petition.

The petitioners condemned a number of rightist Israeli parliament (Knesset) members and ministers for calling for a halt in funding to the artists who called for a boycott of the cultural center in Ariel.

"Threats uttered by these MPs do not scare us. Israeli culture and its funding are not a carrot and stick," said the cinema and TV figures. The funding of culture is a major sign of democracy, "not a tool used to threaten and silence citizens," they added.

"Culture should, among other things, reflect the reality we live in for all its problems and not serve as a mouthpiece for propaganda for this regime or any other," the directors stated.

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