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Pro-Palestine campaign calls for boycott of New Zealand film festival until Israel ties cut

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this undated file picture, protesters march behind a banner of the pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Marseille, southern France. (Photo via Twitter)

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has called for boycott of Doc Edge Festival in New Zealand until it drops partnership with the Israeli embassy.

The call for the boycott came after Doc Edge named the Israeli embassy as a supporter on its website. 

In a statement released on Thursday, PACBI, a founding member of the global BDS movement, said that accepting any funding from the Israeli regime would be a vicious attempt to normalize apartheid and military occupation of Palestine.

The group, which includes hundreds of film professionals, movie directors and international artists, called for effective measures to hold the Israeli regime accountable for its brutal oppression of Palestinians.

PACBI said that Doc Edge is complicit through its art-washing partnership with apartheid Israel, urging all film professionals to boycott it. 

More than 200 prominent filmmakers have pledged not to submit films in “events partially or fully sponsored by complicit Israeli institutions until Israel complies with international law and respects Palestinian human rights”.

“No documentary film should have a free pass to promote the violation of international law, whether it is an Israeli, US or NZ production; consistently applying the same principle to all. Any film institution that programmed such a film would expect “common sense” boycotts from conscientious film audiences,” the statement added

Many artists, including Hollywood stars, have taken issue with the festival showing films by Israeli directors, but none from Palestinians.

They have strongly censured the Tel Aviv regime for its murder of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was killed in cold blood by Israeli forces at Jenin refugee camp.

The artists decried the hypocrisy of the Western governments which “have rushed to impose blanket boycotts and sanctions in response to Russia’s offensive in Ukraine”, while they “continue to fund and shield Israel’s decades-long occupation and grave human rights violations against Palestinians”.

“There must be no double standards when it comes to the basic human right to freedom from persecution and oppression and the right to life and to dignity.”

The group, inspired partly by the international boycotts against apartheid in South Africa, is calling for the boycott of institutions that are complicit in Israel’s crimes and its settlement expansion policies.

The BDS movement was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations pushing for “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”

Thousands of volunteers worldwide have since then joined the BDS movement, which calls for people and groups across the world to cut economic, cultural, and academic ties to Tel Aviv and to help promote the Palestinian cause.

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