Irish Jewish group calls for a boycott of the Israeli Feis

dontdanceIn a statement issued this afternoon, Jewish Voice for Just Peace (Ireland) has called on Irish dancers and musicians, and the Irish Dancing Commission to observe the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel until it complies with international law by boycotting the Israeli Feis due to take place in Tel Aviv on August 15th. Noting that they are “part of a long historical Jewish tradition of fighting oppression and standing up for peace and justice for all” the group says that the “Israeli state has made it clear that it regards cultural events like this one as propaganda tools. The Israeli Feis supports the attempt by the State of Israel to appear to be a normal democratic society and would camouflage the wholesale destruction of the Palestinian people” and that therefore they are calling on cultural figures to boycott Israel. The statement, which is reproduced in full below, follows a similar one issued by Boycott From Within, the organisation of Israeli citizens in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions call. There is also a petition calling on internationals to boycott the Feis online here.

Full statement by Jewish Voice for Just Peace (Ireland), 29 June 2015.

Jewish people in Ireland say boycott the Israeli Feis

Jewish Voice for Just Peace (Ireland) supports the boycott of Israel until it complies with international law. We are part of a long historical Jewish tradition of fighting oppression and standing up for peace and justice for all. Irish people also have a long tradition of standing up for human rights and against occupation and oppression, which is reflected in Irish culture and music. The Israeli state has made it clear that it regards cultural events like this one as propaganda tools. The Israeli Feis supports the attempt by the State of Israel to appear to be a normal democratic society and would camouflage the wholesale destruction of the Palestinian people, ongoing land seizure and expansion of illegal settlements. In this context, Palestinians are not free to express their culture. Culture does not exist outside the real world. Almost a year after ’Operation Protection Edge’ left two thousand Palestinian people dead – we call on Irish dancers and musicians, and the Irish Dancing Commission, to reflect on what they are doing and to boycott Israel. We look forward to the day when we can dance and celebrate as equals together, with jigs, dabke and klezmer. ENDS

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