Join the protests!
Tell Edinburgh International Festival: Don't Dance with Israeli Apartheid!
Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh at 8pm
- Sunday 13 August
- Monday 14 August
We have created a letter template for you to personalise and send to Edinburgh International Festival Director Nicola Benedette - visit this page or click on the button below.
SPSC letter to Edinburgh International Festival Director, Nicola Benedetti
Monday 3 July 2023
We are writing to urge you to disinvite the L-E-V dance company from the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) unless the company publicly severs all links and refuse funds from the Israeli state. The inclusion of L-E-V in EIF is being used by Israel as cultural propaganda to cover its crimes against the Palestinian people.
With the current escalation of Israeli violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, EIF risks considerable reputational damage if L-E-V are not excluded from the programme. We invite you to meet with a delegation of Palestinians living in Edinburgh, who are victims of Israeli violence, to hear why EIF should not collude with Israel's cultural propaganda.
Israel is attacking Jenin, Palestine with missiles, last week with helicopter gunships – the latest savagery in its relentless campaign to drive out or kill all Palestinians and replace them with Zionist Jews. These crimes have full support from the UK Government and the Labour opposition – both agree on sending weapons to Israel and cutting off Palestinians from any form of solidarity.
The Israeli Sate has been condemned as an apartheid state by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and even Israel’s major human rights NGO, B’Tselem. Faced with endless crimes – repeated massacres, mass incarceration, house demolitions, dispossession, burning and destruction of Palestinian farms, attacks on Palestinian cultural life – Palestinian civil society has called on people of conscience to isolate the apartheid state as we did with apartheid South Africa.
Israeli dance company L-E-V are scheduled to perform in the Edinburgh Festival on Sunday 13th and Monday 14th of August. Israel promotes cultural events to draw a veil over its crimes, to claim that it is widely accepted as a normal state. Israeli dance company L-E-V are promoted by Israeli government embassies, most recently by the Israeli Consulate in Toronto last year.
Why should the Edinburgh International Festival take a stand? The world’s biggest arts festival announced last year it was joining the international boycott of Russian conductor Valery Gergiev “in sympathy with and in support of” the citizens of Kiev. This announcement came as UK Culture Minister Nadine Dorries called for cultural boycott as a “third front” against Russia.
Do you think that Palestinians deserve to be left defenceless under Israeli drones and helicopter gunships? Will you receive a delegation of Scottish Palestinians to explain to you how one of them had eleven members of his family, most of them children, were killed by a bomb partly manufactured in Scotland and why they and their supporters will promote the cultural boycott of Israel until the crimes end?
In contrast to the nauseating hypocrisy of UK and Scottish political elites, Scotland has a proud record of supporting the call from Palestinian civil society to boycott and isolate the State of Israel. The Edinburgh International Film Festival returned sponsorship money to the Israeli Embassy, as did the prestigious Stills Gallery. Israeli state-sponsored troupes have been protested out of the Fringe and Israeli daily, Ha’aretz, explained that they well understood how it was solely their links to the Israeli State that made them unwelcome in Edinburgh and Scotland.
The openly murderous nature of the current regime in Israel gives people of conscience no alternative but to intensify efforts in support of boycott. We ask you to disinvite Israeli dance company L-E-V “in sympathy with and in support of” the people of Jenin and all of Palestine.
Chair, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign