Opponents of Israel's Apartheid Regime and War on Gaza to Hold Protest Vigil Outside Israel's Batsheva Dance Company Performance at UCLA on Saturday Night February 28, 2009
Planned as Part of Growing International Cultural Boycott Movement Against Israel's Policies
*COLORFUL VISUALS and Art Displays:
Dancing on the Graves of Gaza
Boycott the Batsheva Dance Company
1,300 dead, 5,000 wounded, and 50,000 left homeless
This is no time for dancing
WHAT: Candlelight Vigil Protest and Art Display
WHEN: Saturday, February 28 ? 6:45 - 8:00 pm
WHERE: UCLA Humanities Plaza, behind Royce Hall
LOS ANGELES, CA (Feb 27, 2009) --- As part of a growing international cultural boycott movement, 8 Los Angeles groups, including Jewish organizations, will protest a performance of the Batsheva Dance Company of Israel Saturday night, February 28th, at UCLA. Los Angeles is near the end of Batsheva’s tour and they have faced protests all across the country, including in San Diego on February 26.
When asked why they are boycotting a dance performance, Sherna Gluck, professor emerita at Cal State University Long Beach and protest organizer said, "The dance company is funded by the Israeli government and calls itself 'Israel's Leading Ambassador.'"
The boycott action is in response to a Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions like the 1980s boycott campaign, strongly supported by UCLA students and faculty, that finally ended the brutal apartheid regime in South Africa.
The anti-apartheid movement included boycotts of South African artists and of artists who performed in South Africa. South African sports teams were also boycotted. These actions put pressure on the people and government of South Africa, by isolating them from the international community.
"When the campus and community understand that Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories live under a system of apartheid even more cruel than that in South Africa, said organizer Karin Pally of Women in Black-Los Angeles, “they will support the boycott campaign.”
In a 2005 interview with a Canadian newspaper that asked him about Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands, Ohan Naharin, Batsheva's current director said, “I continue to do my work, while 20 km from me people are participating in war crimes; the ability to detach oneself from the situation, that is what allows one to go on.”
"Today, more than ever, following Israel's deadly assault on Gaza," said Professor Gluck in response to Naharin, "those who respect human dignity and human rights must speak out and hold those who are ambassadors of Israel accountable for their silence."
In 2004 Palestinians initiated a boycott of all Israeli academic and cultural institutions and in 2005, 171 Palestinian civil society organizations called for a worldwide campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
The 8 endorsers of the boycott at UCLA are: US Committee for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid-Southern California; LA Jews for Peace; Cafe Intifada; Los Angeles Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee; Women in Black-Los Angeles; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-LA Chapter; and Al-Awda Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside & San Bernardino.
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel http://www.pacbi.org/
Dance Insider on the boycott of Batsheva http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=936_0_1_0_C
The cultural boycott of South Africa (UN note) http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/boycotts/cultural.html