500 Montreal Artists Declare Solidarity for Palestinian Rights

500 Montreal artists sign letter to support sanctions against Israeli apartheid 
Meg Hewings –  first published at www.hour.ca
February 25th, 2010 – The world’s superpowers claimed Nelson Mandela was a terrorist before an international boycott and sanctions campaign raised awareness about South Africa’s apartheid state. 

This week in Montreal, 500 local artists have signed a declaration in support of the growing international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli state.

The letter decries the Israeli military bombardment of Gaza in early 2009 that left over 1,440 Palestinians dead, including 431 children. “Montreal artists are now joining this international campaign [to] protest the Israeli state’s ongoing denial of the inalienable rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties, [as] well as Israel’s ongoing occupation and colonization of the West Bank (including Jerusalem) and Gaza, which also constitutes a violation of international law and multiple United Nations resolutions,” reads the letter. 

Israeli Apartheid Week (March 4-11) started six years ago to raise awareness about Palestinian struggles and focused on a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign. It took off from the successful model of South African apartheid boycotts of the 1980s, and has since gained a toehold on campuses and in communities around the world. 

“These issues are being ignored in Canada,” says Rebecca Foon, a cello player in Esmerine who signed the letter. She recently wrote the score for H2Oil, a doc about the Alberta tar sands, and  regularly plays with Fifths Of Seven and Thee Silver Mount Zion. “I’m Jewish. Within my own family  this is a heated argument, but as I see it, this is an issue of equality and justice.

My family has lived in Israel and strongly supported raising awareness and fighting for equal rights and peace for the Palestinian people. You can’t live face to face with Palestinians [without seeing the injustices they suffer].” 

International solidarity and pressure is crucial.

For more, visit info@tadamon.ca and http://apartheidweek.org





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2 responses to “500 Montreal Artists Declare Solidarity for Palestinian Rights

  1. Omar

    If you realy care about justice why dont you get together all artists to divest from Iran, there are currently thousands of young Iranian men and women being tortured in Iranian jails, their only crime is wanted a bit freedom.

    Why dont you divest from all those countries who oppress their people and especialy women?
    And they are doing it in the name of a religion, you which one.

    On the other hand, go out and ask every one of the 1.5 million Israeli Arabs living in Israel from where they have free health care or free schooling or if they can vote in Israeli elections. Ask them if they are afraid to walk between Jews for the fear of being lynched, asked them if they can vote in Israeli elections, ask them if they have reps. in Knesset, ask them if they are afraid the voice their opposition the state that feeds them

    To prove that Israelis never killed in the name of religion, just look in the name of which religion people are being slaughtered everyday on the streets of Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan by suicide bombers. When was the last time you heard a religous Jew killed someone?!

    • Tariq Jeeroburkhan

      Over one million civilians have been slaughtered in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan in the name of capitalism by foriegn occupying forces that look to take from other countries to make up for the shortcomings in their own.

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