Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Palestinians' War on Art Takes Bigotry to a Whole Different Level - by Bassam Tawil

...Palestinians regularly derail political meetings aimed at peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but this campaign, aimed at allowing both Israelis and Palestinians to express their love for Jerusalem, takes bigotry to a whole different level. If Palestinian and Israeli artists coming together in a festival is being labeled a crime and treacherous act by the Palestinian street and leadership, what is the hope that any Palestinian leader will ever be able to sign a peace agreement with Israel?

Bassam Tawil..
Gatestone Institute..
11 September '17..

Palestinian strong-arm tactics are at it again.

The latest victims are Palestinian artists who are bearing the brunt of a campaign of intimidation to force them to boycott a summer arts festival in Jerusalem under the pretext that the event promotes "normalization" with Israel. The artists have been warned that anyone who participates in the Mekudeshet Festival as part of the Jerusalem Season of Culture will be expelled from the General Union of Palestinian Artists.

The festival, which is taking place in Jerusalem between August 23 and September 15, tries to "take an alternative and more open look at reality" in the city, according to the Mekudeshet Festival website.

"We try to replace fixed, pre-determined ideas with a less judgmental and multifaceted approach to the exact same reality. We try to elevate our gaze, to dissolve boundaries, to generate empathy, and to open our hearts and minds. We try to remember, always, that Jerusalem conquers us, liberates us, and enables us to unite around a common love for the city."

The festival is purely a cultural and artistic event for those who wish to express their love for Jerusalem. The organizers, who do not belong to any political party, are not seeking to make any statement regarding the status of Jerusalem:

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