Boycott InDnegev Festival 2019
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a founding member of the largest coalition in Palestinian society that leads the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, calls for the boycott of InDnegev 2019 festival and urges all artists to withdraw, just as they would have refused to play a festival in apartheid South Africa.
The festival takes place in the Naqab (Negev) desert, where Israel’s far-right apartheid regime continues to ethnically cleanse the indigenous Palestinian Bedouin population, who hold Israeli citizenship but lack basic rights. Israeli forces have in recent years demolished hundreds of homes in the Negev, in a perpetuation of the Nakba (“catastrophe”) that began in 1947, with the majority of Palestinians systematically and forcibly expelled from the land that became Israel.
The Palestinian Bedouin town of Al Araqib has been destroyed by Israeli forces well over 150 times, in violation of international law, with its inhabitants rebuilding it each time. The constant threat of home demolition and displacement hangs heavy over Palestinians in dozens of unrecognised villages that are already denied basic services including running water.
In a shameless act of complicity in Israel’s colonial regime against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, InDnegev festival is even sponsored by the Negev Development Authority, the racist state agency responsible for this concerted campaign of ethnic cleansing. This takes the “Brand Israel” programme of art-washing apartheid through culture to its logical conclusion.
We urge all international artists to withdraw from the festival, to avoid participating in the blatant attempts of Israel’s regime of apartheid, occupation and settler-colonialism to whitewash its war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinians.