Letter from PACBI to the EUROPEAid office in Brussels

From the www.monabaker.com archive (legacy material)

PACBI | 25 December 2005

Catherine COLOMB-NANCY Europeaid Office de Cooopération A Rue de la Loi, 200 B-1049 Bruxelles Belgique catherine.colomb-nancy@cec.eu.int Dear Ms. Catherine Colomb-Nancy, It has come to our attention that the Ramallah Film Institute, a Palestinian organization operating in Ramallah, together with the New Foundation for Cinema and Television, an Israeli organization operating in Tel Aviv and founded by the Israeli Ministry of Arts, have submitted a joint proposal to the Euromed Audiovisual II, that has recently been short listed. We in the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) would like to express our concern that such a project/ partnership is sponsored by the EU. As Palestinians, we continue to suffer from a 38 year-old Israeli occupation; we continue to witness on a daily basis Israel’s violation of international law and abuse of our basic human rights. A partnership cannot be one, if one of the partners is occupying the other. It is impossible for Palestinian film makers to produce films that reflect or challenge their reality within a framework that obliges them to work together with Israelis -- who do not take a clear position against the occupation -- ignoring the fact that they themselves are suffering from this occupation. We, as members of the civil society initiative for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS (please see attached Call and list of endorsers), are distressed by such a project that imposes an unrealistic condition on the expression of Palestinian art and culture. We kindly call upon you to freeze such a project or to reformulate it in such a way that allows a trusted Palestinian organization to partner with a country other than Israel in the Euro-Med region. Such a project, if it is allowed to continue with the current partners, will not be well received within the Palestinian community. Various individuals and organizations will be obliged to boycott it as part of a national consensus not to take part in such politically motivated partnerships. We hope that you will take our concerns as well as those we represent into consideration. Respectfully, PACBI Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel Ramallah Palestine info@BoycottIsrael.ps Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights, 9 July 2005 One year after the historic Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which found Israel’s Wall built on occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal, Israel continues its construction of the colonial Wall with total disregard to the Court’s decision. Thirty eight years into Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Gaza Strip and the Syrian Golan Heights, Israel continues to expand Jewish colonies. It has unilaterally annexed occupied East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and is now de facto annexing large parts of the West Bank by means of the Wall. Israel is also preparing - in the shadow of its planned redeployment from the Gaza Strip - to build and expand colonies in the West Bank. Fifty seven years after the state of Israel was built mainly on land ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian owners, a majority of Palestinians are refugees, most of whom are stateless. Moreover, Israel's entrenched system of racial discrimination against its own Arab-Palestinian citizens remains intact. In light of Israel’s persistent violations of international law, and Given that, since 1948, hundreds of UN resolutions have condemned Israel’s colonial and discriminatory policies as illegal and called for immediate, adequate and effective remedies, and Given that all forms of international intervention and peace-making have until now failed to convince or force Israel to comply with humanitarian law, to respect fundamental human rights and to end its occupation and oppression of the people of Palestine, and In view of the fact that people of conscience in the international community have historically shouldered the moral responsibility to fight injustice, as exemplified in the struggle to abolish Apartheid in South Africa through diverse forms of boycott, divestment and sanctions; Inspired by the struggle of South Africans against Apartheid and in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression, We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the Apartheid era. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace. These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by: 1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall; 2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and 3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194. Endorsed by: The Palestinian political parties, unions, associations, coalitions and organizations below represent the three integral parts of the people of Palestine: Palestinian refugees, Palestinians under occupation and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Unions, Associations, Campaigns Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine (coordinating body for the major political parties in the Occupied Palestinian Territory) Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizen's Rights (PICCR) Union of Arab Community Based Associations (ITTIJAH), Haifa Forum of Palestinian NGOs in Lebanon Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW) General Union of Palestinian Teachers (GUPT) Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities’ Professors and Employees Consortium of Professional Associations Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC) Health Work Committees – West Bank Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) Union of Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) Union of Health Work Committees – Gaza (UHWC) Union of Palestinian Farmers Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI) General Union of Disabled Palestinians Palestinian Federation of Women's Action Committees (PFWAC) Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign Union of Teachers of Private Schools Union of Women's Work Committees, Tulkarem (UWWC) Dentists' Association – Jerusalem Center Palestinian Engineers Association Lawyers' Association Network for the Eradication of Illiteracy and Adult Education, Ramallah Coordinating Committee of Rehabilitation Centers – West Bank Coalition of Lebanese Civil Society Organizations (150 organizations) Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), Network of Student-based Canadian University Associations Refugee Rights Associations/Organizations Al-Ard Committees for the Defense of the Right of Return, Syria Al-Awda Charitable Society, Beit Jala Al Awda - Palestine Right-to-Return Coalition, U.S.A Al-Awda Toronto Aidun Group – Lebanon Aidun Group – Syria Alrowwad Cultural and Theatre Training Center, Aida refugee camp Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced (ADRID), Nazareth BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Bethlehem Committee for Definite Return, Syria Committee for the Defense of Palestinian Refugee Rights, Nablus Consortium of the Displaced Inhabitants of Destroyed Palestinian Villages and Towns Filastinuna – Commission for the Defense of the Right of Return, Syria Handala Center, 'Azza (Beit Jibreen) refugee camp, Bethlehem High Committee for the Defense of the Right of Return, Jordan (including personal endorsement of 71 members of parliament, political parties and unions in Jordan) High National Committee for the Defense of the Right of Return , Ramallah International Right of Return Congress (RORC) Jermana Youth Forum for the Defense of the Right of Return, Syria Laji Center, Aida camp, Bethlehem Local Committee for Rehabilitation, Qalandia refugee camp, Jerusalem Local Committee for Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Deheishe refugee camp, Bethlehem Palestinian National Committee for the Defense of the Right of Return, Syria Palestinian Return Association, Syria Palestinian Return Forum, Syria Palestine Right-of-Return Coalition (Palestine, Arab host countries, Europe, North America) Palestine Right-of-Return Confederation-Europe (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden) Palestinian Youth Forum for the Right of Return, Syria PLO Popular Committees – West Bank refugee camps PLO Popular Committees – Gaza Strip refugee camps Popular Committee – al-'Azza (Beit Jibreen) refugee camp, Bethlehem Popular Committee – Deheishe refugee camp, Bethlehem Shaml - Palestinian Diaspora and Refugee Center, Ramallah Union of Women's Activity Centers – West Bank Refugee Camps Union of Youth Activity Centers – Palestine Refugee Camps, West Bank and Gaza Women's Activity Center – Deheishe refugee camp, Bethlehem Yafa Cultural Center, Balata refugee camp, Nablus Organizations Abna' al-Balad Society, Nablus , Addameer Center for Human Rights, Gaza , Addameer Prisoners' Support and Human Rights Association, Ramallah Alanqa' Cultural Association, Hebron Al-Awda Palestinian Folklore Society, Hebron Al-Doha Children’s Cultural Center, Bethlehem Al-Huda Islamic Center, Bethlehem Al-Jeel al-Jadid Society, Haifa Al-Karameh Cultural Society, Um al-Fahm Al-Maghazi Cultural Center, Gaza Al-Marsad Al-Arabi, occupied Syrian Golan Heights Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Gaza Al-Nahda Cultural Forum, Hebron Al-Taghrid Society for Culture and Arts, Gaza Alternative Tourism Group, Beit Sahour (ATG) Al-Wafa' Charitable Society, Gaza Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) Arab Association for Human Rights, Nazareth (HRA) Arab Center for Agricultural Development (ACAD) Arab Center for Agricultural Development-Gaza Arab Education Institute (AEI) – Pax Christie Bethlehem Arab Orthodox Charitable Society – Beit Sahour Arab Orthodox Charity – Beit Jala Arab Orthodox Club – Beit Jala Arab Orthodox Club – Beit Sahour Arab Students' Collective, University of Toronto Arab Thought Forum, Jerusalem (AFT) Association for Cultural Exchange Hebron - France Association Najdeh, Lebanon Authority for Environmental Quality, Jenin Bader Society for Development and Reconstruction, Gaza Canadian Palestine Foundation of Quebec, Montreal Center for the Defense of Freedoms, Ramallah Center for Science and Culture, Gaza Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ramallah- Al-Bireh District Child Development and Entertainment Center, Tulkarem Committee for Popular Participation, Tulkarem Defense for Children International-Palestine Section, Ramallah (DCI/PS) El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe Ensan Center for Democracy and Human Rights, Bethlehem Environmental Education Center, Bethlehem FARAH – Palestinian Center for Children, Syria Ghassan Kanafani Society for Development, Gaza Ghassan Kanafani Forum, Syria Gaza Community Mental Health Program, Gaza (GCMHP) Golan for Development, occupied Syrian Golan Heights Halhoul Cultural Forum, Hebron Himayeh Society for Human Rights, Um al-Fahm Holy Land Trust – Bethlehem Home of Saint Nicholas for Old Ages – Beit Jala Human Rights Protection Center, Lebanon In'ash al-Usrah Society, Ramallah International Center of Bethlehem (Dar An-Nadweh) Islah Charitable Society-Bethlehem Jafra Youth Center, Syria Jander Center, al-Azza (Beit Jibreen) refugee camp, Bethlehem Jerusalem Center for Women, Jerusalem (JCW) Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC ) Khalil Al Sakakini Cultural Center, Ramallah Land Research Center, Jerusalem (LRC) Liberated Prisoners' Society, Palestine Local Committee for Social Development, Nablus Local Committee for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Nablus MA'AN TV Network, Bethlehem Medical Aid for Palestine, Canada MIFTAH-Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, Ramallah Muwatin-The Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy National Forum of Martyr's Families, Palestine Near East Council of Churches Committee for Refugee Work – Gaza Area Network of Christian Organizations – Bethlehem (NCOB) Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace, Jerusalem Palestinian Counseling Center, Jerusalem (PCC) Palestinian Democratic Youth Union, Lebanon Palestinian Farmers' Society, Gaza Palestinian Hydrology Group for Water and Environment Resources Development-Gaza Palestinian Prisoners' Society-West Bank Palestinian Society for Consumer Protection, Gaza Palestinian University Students' Forum for Peace and Democracy, Hebron Palestinian Women's Struggle Committees Palestinian Working Women Society for Development (PWWSD) Popular Art Centre, Al-Bireh Prisoner's Friends Association – Ansar Al-Sajeen, Majd al-Krum Public Aid Association, Gaza Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies Saint Afram Association – Bethlehem Saint Vincent De Paule – Beit Jala Senior Citizen Society – Beit Jala Social Development Center, Nablus Society for Self-Development, Hebron Society for Social Work, Tulkarem Society for Voluntary Work and Culture, Um al-Fahm Society of Friends of Prisoners and Detainees, Um al-Fahm Sumoud-Political Prisoners Solidarity Group, Toronto Tamer Institute for Community Education, Ramallah TCC – Teacher's Creativity Center, Ramallah Wi'am Center, Bethlehem Women's Affairs Technical Committee, Ramallah and Gaza (WATC) Women's Studies Center, Jerusalem (WSC) Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, Jerusalem (WCLAC) Yafa for Education and Culture, Nablus Yazour Charitable Society, Nablus YMCA-East Jerusalem Youth Cooperation Forum, Hebron YWCA-Palestine Zakat Committee-al-Khader, Bethlehen Zakat Committee-Deheishe camp, Bethlehem