Over 200 members of the cultural community ask IIC to cancel its ongoing film festival in collaboration with the Israel embassy

IIC: Stop Artwashing Apartheid

The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI) joins Palestinian artists and civil society in appealing to the Film Club of India International Centre, an institution of repute with a liberal humanist outlook, to cancel its collaboration with apartheid Israel’s embassy in Delhi in organizing its film festival.

There is growing consensus among leading international human rights organizations and figures, such as Israel’s B’tselem Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, UN Special Rapporteur Micheal Lynk, as well as former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, that Israel’s regime of oppression over Palestinians constitutes apartheid. Eleven former presidents and hundreds of MPs and civil society leaders from the global south have endorsed the call by Palestinian civil society to designate Israel as an apartheid state and impose on it targeted, proportional and lawful sanctions, such as a comprehensive military-security embargo.

Palestinians are still in shock and mourning following the killing of veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces during a military raid in the Jenin refugee camp. Such wanton murder of Palestinians, including children and journalists, is but one policy of Israel’s apartheid regime intended to instill fear, insecurity and utter hopelessness among the colonized community. Shireen is among scores of Palestinian journalists killed by Israeli forces in the line of duty, an act of violence amounting to a war crime. The people of India know what it means to live for decades under a brutal colonial rule.

This latest Israeli crime comes days before Palestinians commemorate on May 15th the 74th anniversary of the 1948 Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe), when Israel was established over the ruins of Palestinian society, after ethnically cleansing the land of more than 800,000 Indigenous Palestinians. More than 500 Palestinian villages and towns were destroyed during and after the Nakba.

The Nakba did not end in 1948, however. Israel is planning to expel over a thousand Palestinians from their homes and villages in Masafer Yatta in the occupied Palestinian territory. Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and other neighbourhoods of occupied Jerusalem, as well as across the West Bank, have been facing home demolitions and threats of expulsion as well as brutal violence from Israeli forces and illegal settlers.

Just in the month of April, Israeli forces killed 19 Palestinians, including 3 women and 2 children; brutally assaulted Muslim-Palestinian worshippers and repeatedly desecrated the Al-Aqsa Mosque especially during Ramadan; restricted Christian-Palestinian access to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre during Easter; and bombed the Palestinian population of besieged Gaza.

Given this quick sample of life under Israeli apartheid, we are shocked that the India International Centre is providing its worthy platform to Israel, allowing it to artwash its regime of apartheid, settler colonialism and illegal occupation over the Palestinian people. Since 2004, Palestinian academics and artists have called for a boycott of apartheid Israel and its complicit institutions in the field of academia, art and culture, as these institutions are deeply implicated in maintaining and justifying Israel’s regime of oppression and its grave human rights violations. Thousands of leading international writers, artists and cultural figures, including from India, have supported this ethical and principled form of nonviolent pressure.

Early this year, more than 20 acts pulled out of the prestigious Sydney festival over its sponsorship deal with the Israeli embassy. Over 200 queer filmmakers have pledged to not submit their films to the Israeli government-sponsored TLVFest. Zakir Hussain, Mira Nair, Ken Loach, the late John Berger are just some of the reputed artistic and cultural figures that support the institutional cultural boycott of Israel until it fully respects Palestinian human rights as stipulated in international law.

The IIC brochure states: ‘In its programmes the Centre pursues values of a liberal humanism, which are today of universal significance. An expression of this vision is the Memorial Plaza, a beautiful space dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King’. Both Gandhiji and Dr. King shaped and led the tactics of principled boycotts against an unjust system, and both are key inspiring figures for the peaceful, Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights. Does the IIC partnership with the embassy of apartheid Israel conform to its stated values?

We call upon the IIC to respect the nonviolent Palestinian picket line, respect its own stated values and cancel this ongoing film festival in collaboration with Israeli embassy. We also urge you to not host any future programs with complicit Israeli institutions until apartheid is brought to an end. We would expect nothing less from a leading Indian cultural institution.

List of signatories:

1 Aban Raza, Artist 110 Maura Hurley Basu
2 Abdulkarem Kasid, Poet 111
Michael Letwin, Labor for Palestine; Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
3 Abdullah 112 Midhun Puthupattu, Dastak, Delhi University
4 Abhi Chatterji 113 Moon
5 Abhijit Almeida 114 Muralidharan K
6 Abhik Bhattacharya, Ambedkar University Delhi 115 Musarrat
7 Achin Vanaik 116 Mushfiq Khan
8 Akram Mustafa 117 N Manu Chakravarthy
9 Ali Ahmed 118 N. Jayaram, Journalist
10 Almas Saeed, Jamia Millia Islamia 119
Nalini Nayak , Delhi University (Retd, Associate Professor)
11 Amaan 120 Nandini Nayak, Ambedkar University Delhi
12 Amar Jesani, Independent Consultant 121 Nandini Sundar, IIC Member
13 Amarjit Chandan, Writer 122 Naresh Dadhich , IUCAA
14 Amber Habib 123 Nasir Tyabji , Retired Academic
15 Amir Rizvi 124 Navsharan Singh, Independent researcher
16 Anand Patwardhan 125 Neeta Ratwani
17 Anand Ram-mohan Kundaji 126 Nick Griffin
18 Ananya Mehta 127 Nina Rawal
19 Ania Loomba , Professor 128 Nisheetha, Artist
20 Anindita Rawat 129 Nishtha Jain, Filmmaker
21 Anirban Bhattacharya, CFA 130 Nivedita Menon, Jawaharlal Nehru University
22 Anish Radhakrishnan, NewsClick 131 Oishik Sircar , Jindal Global Law School
23 Anjali Monteiro , Filmmaker and academician 132 Orijit Sen, Independent artist
24 Anjum Rajabali 133 Padmaja Shaw
25 Anmol Vellani, Theatre 134 Pamela PhiliposeIndependent journalist
26 Anu Chenoy 135 Parvez kaulBusiness
27 Aranya 136 Persis Ginwalla
28 Artists for Palestine UK 137 Prabhat Patnaik, Jawaharlal Nehru University
29 Arundhati 138
Prasad Chacko, Consultant (Inclusive Development Programming)
30 Arup Kumar Sen, Serampore College 139 prasad chandana, Revolutionary Writers Association
31 Asad zaidi, Writer 140 Praveen Vadhera
32 Asha Gopinathan, IIC- Associate Member 141 Priyamvada
33 Ashok Maridas, Samvidhanada Haadiyalli 142 Probir Dasgupta
34 Ashwin Baindur 143 Prof Nasir Tyabji, Retired Academic
35 Asit bagchi 144 Prof.Mohan Rao, Independent researcher
36 Audrick 145 Purbasha
37 Ayesha Kidwai, Jawaharlal Nehru University 146 Pushpamala N, Independent artist
38 Berrier, EEA 147
Raghunandana, Kannada poet, playwright, stage-director
39 Berrier Arthur, Edu 148 Rahul Roy, Indian Statistical Institute
40 Biswarup 149 Rai
41 Bodhisattwa Maity 150 Rajni Palriwala, IIC member
42 Bolan Gangopadhyay, Social Activist & Freelance Journalist 151 Raju Bhai
43 Brahma Prakash, Jawaharlal Nehru University 152 Rakesh Khanna, Blaft Publications
44 C P Geevan , Independent Researcher 153 Ram RahmanPhotographer
45 C S R prasad 154 Ramneek Singh, Playwright and Theatre Director
46 Candace Martin 155 Ranjan Solomon , Badayl
47 Chakradhar Rao Konatham, All-India Forum for Right to Education 156 Ravi
48 Darren Ell 157 Reginald Goveas
49 Deepa 158 Renu Ramanath
50 Deepti Negi 159 Ritu Menon , Writer and Publisher
51 Devaki Khanna 160 Robert Rizzuto
52 Devanshi, Brunel University 161 Rounak Layek
53 Devina Dutt 162 Rudy Stevens
54 Diana, Pro peace 163 Sachidanand Sinha, Jawaharlal Nehru University
55 Dinesh Kothari, Banyan Tree 164 Sakib Ahammad
56 Dr. P. A. Azeez 165 Salim
57 Dr. M. A. Haque, Retired author and writer 166 Salim Yusufji
58 Dr. Shakeel , Indian Doctors for Peace and Development 167 Samarin
59 Dulali Nag 168 Samir Eskanda , Musician
60 Ekramul Haque 169 Sanchita Dasgupta , Designer
61 Elias kazmi 170 Sania Hashmi, Anhad Films
62 Enakshi Nandi 171 Sayandeb Chowdhury, Ambedkar University Delhi
63 Eshita Ghosh 172 Shaah Ramiz Raza
64 Fahad 173 Shafey kidwai, Aligarh Muslim University
65 Faiz Syed 174 Shamsudhin Moosa
66 Farida Abdulla Khan, Independent researcher 175 Sharad Behar
67 Firoz 176 Shaswati Sarbagna
68 Freny Manecksha, Independent journalist 177 Shaunak M
69 Gangadharan Menon 178 Sherna
70 Gareth Evans, Whitechapel Gallery 179 Shivani Nag, Ambedkar University Delhi
71 Gargi Sen, Filmmaker 180 Signed
72 Garreth D’Mello 181 Simon Caplan
73 Geeta Kapur, Independent Critic and Curator 182 Simon Vrouwe
74 Geeta Seshu, Journalist 183 Simona Sawhney
75 Githa Hariharan , Writer 184 SIRAJKHAN GHAURI
76 Guna Kalita 185 SK Das
77 Gurpreet Sidhu 186 Smita C
78 Hamza Shaikh 187 Snigdha
79 Indu Chandrasekhar, Tulika Books 188 Sohail Hashmi
80 Ita Mehrotra, Artist 189 Sonia Nepram, Independent Filmmaker
81 J G Krishnayya, Retired Director, Systems Research Institute 190 SrabaniCommunist Party of India (Marxist)
82 Jagarat Chand, Sound Recordist 191 Subhashini ali
83 Jameela 192
Sudeshna Banerjee, Independent researcher and editor
84 Jeroo Mulla, Sophia Polytechnic 193 Sudhanva Deshpande , LeftWord Books
85 John Dayal IIC Member, Writer 194 Suhas Kolhekar
86 Jyoti Ranjan 195 Suhasini Mulay, Associate Member, IIC
87 K Chandy Mathew 196 Sumit, Independent filmmaker
88 K. Padma, Advocate 197 Suneet Chopra, Art Critic and Writer
89 K.J. Cleetus, IIC Member and Retired Academic 198 Supriyo Sarkar
90 Kaif Mahmood, Psychotherapist 199 Susan Ram, Writer, editor, journalist
91 Kajal Basu , Journalist 200 Suvir Kaul
92 Kasturi Sen, Public Health Researcher 201 Swarnangshu Shekhar, Lawyer
93 Kavita Srivastava 202 Tanima das
94 Keval Arora, Delhi University 203 Taposik Banerjee , Ambedkar University Delhi
95 Khalid Shaikh 204 Tarun Bhartiya, Raiot Collective
96 Kiran Tando , IIC member 205 Uzramma, Independent researcher
97 Komita, Jana Natya Manch 206 Varsha Nair
98 Krish 207 Vasundhara Jairath
99 Lolita Sengupta 208 Veena Chalam
100 Lourd Joséph 209 Vidya Kesavan
101 M Vanker, IT SA 210 Vijay Badami
102 Madhu Bhaduri 211 Vikas Rawal, JNU
103 Maggie Dodson 212 Vivan Sundaram, Independent artist
104 Mahnoor 213 Viveka Chattopadhyay
105 Mallika Taneja, Artist 214 Waseem Ahmad
106 Mandira Sen, Director, Stree Samya 215 Yousuf Saeed, Independent filmmaker
107 Marcy Newman 216 Zaef
108 Martin Meenan 217 Zainab
109 Mary M, Collectif Urgence Palestine-VD 218 Zita D’Souza