THE CULTURAL BOYCOTT: EITHER YOU’RE WITH US OR YOU’RE NOT!

The last thing the BDS Movement needs is fence sitters, or in the case of Israel/Palestine, Wall sitters.


Where there is a Movement, either you support its aims and purposes or you don’t. Two cases in point of those who don’t are discussed here….

Pete Seeger…. Lifelong humanitarian and friend of Palestine…. BUT a few months ago he was invited and took part in a virtual concert organised by various zionist groups. He was asked not to participate by close friends of his, fellow activists for the most part, but his response in the end was “dialogue and non-violent actions are the only way to solve conflicts”.

As is stated in the linked post about Seeger, my personal feelings for the man prohibit me from condemning him, but I do condemn this particular decision of his. When there is a Movement that one claims to support, one respects the decisions of that Movement, one does not go off on a tangent and act independently on the issues. Either you’re with us or you’re not! In this particular case, Seeger was not!

Second case is British novelist Ian McEwan. He is presently in Israel to receive the main prize at the Jerusalem International Book Fair. McEwan, as well, was urged by Israeli activists to turn down the prize and refuse to come to Israel at this time. The logic he used to attend is summed up in this sentence… “If you didn’t go to countries whose foreign policy or domestic policy is screwed up, you’d never get out of bed.” That was taken from a Reuter’s report found HERE.

On Friday, in a ‘show of solidarity’ with the Palestinian Cause, McEwan took part in the weekly demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah. Fellow Blogger Noam Sheizaf  posted the following on his Blog Promised Land….

Novelist Ian McEwan plays for both teams in East Jerusalem

The British author visited the Sheikh Jarrah protest – but also intends to receive the Jerusalem Prize for Literature from the patron of the city’s settlers, mayor Nir Barkat

Authors Ian McEwan and David Grossman at the Sheikh Jarrah protest (photo: Solidarity Sheikh Jarrah)Authors Ian McEwan and David Grossman at the Sheikh Jarrah protest (photo: Solidarity Sheikh Jarrah) 

The celebrated British author Ian McEwan joined today the weekly protest in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families have been evacuated from their homes to make room for Jewish settlers.

Ironically, McEwan arrived to Israel to receive the Jerusalem Prize for Literature from the hands of the city’s mayor, Nir Barkat. Mayor Barkat is one of the driving forces behind recent attempts to expand Jewish settlements and housing projects into Palestinian East Jerusalem. Currently, he even refuses to carry out an Israeli court order demanding the immediate evacuation of a house in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, illegally built by rightwing settlers. Many grassroots activists blame Barkat for the rising tension between Jews and Arabs in the city.

Before flying to Israel, McEwan rejected calls from a group called British Writers in Support of Palestine to turn down the Jerusalem Prize. In his replay he wrote:

“There are ways in which art can have a longer reach than politics […] Your ‘line’ is not the only one. Courtesy obliges you to respect my decision, as I would yours to stay away.”

The protest in Sheikh Jarrah started a year and a half ago, following the evacuation of two Palestinian families from their homes. Since then, more eviction orders have been issued, and construction began for a new housing project for Jews at the site of the old Shepherds Hotel, also in Sheikh Jarrah. Solidarity Sheikh Jarrah, which leads the protest in the neighborhood, has recently organized demonstrations in other parts of the city where Palestinians are threatened by eviction orders and by new municipal plans, among them in Silwan.


As is stated in the title of this post, either you’re with us or you’re not! YOU CAN’T PLAY FOR BOTH TEAMS!

Now more than ever before, with the United States coming out officially against the settlement freeze, your support for the BDS Movement is needed 100%…. not 50%!

4 Comments

  1. February 20, 2011 at 10:30

    The Cultural Boycott Either Youre With Us Or Youre Not Desertpeace…

    […]Since then, more eviction orders have ben isued, and construction began for a new housing project for Jews at[…]…

  2. Geltmeister said,

    February 20, 2011 at 17:46

    “There are ways in which art can have a longer reach than politics”

    What a load of old bollocks. What he’s worried about is that he’s books will be banned in Israel if he doesn’t accept this silly little award from a bunch of lying thieves and murderers.

    “Courtesy obliges you to respect my decision”

    Pretentious nonsense from a total doosh. Does ‘courtesy’ require him to respect the Israeli decision to commit genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza? The man is clearly a shit.

  3. February 21, 2011 at 01:41

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by angela Hussain, Pascal Uccelli, senseispeaks, LoLa, Kelly and others. Kelly said: THE CULTURAL BOYCOTT: EITHER YOU’RE WITH US OR YOU’RE NOT!: The last thing the BDS Movement ne… http://bit.ly/hxXS7B #flotilla #israel […]

  4. February 25, 2011 at 15:12

    […] McEwan has been in Israel for the past week to receive the Jerusalem Prize for Literature. He was urged not to come by activists in the Boycott from Within Movement to refuse the prize and refuse to come here…. […]


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