Boycott the Israeli embassy sponsored performance of the Maria Kong Dance Company in Delhi on Nov. 4

Don’t let apartheid onstage!

Protest against the ‘Israel in India’ initiative!

Boycott the Israeli embassy sponsored performance of the Maria Kong Dance Company at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi, November 4, 2014

On 4th November, 2014, the Maria Kong Dance Company will perform at the Kamani Auditorium as part of the “Israel in India” initiative, with support from the Israeli embassy in India. This is part of the 8th Delhi International Arts Festival, organised by the Prasiddha Foundation with the support of organisations including the ICCR.

The festival aims to “serve as a significant platform for cultural diplomacy” and “provide a common ground for interaction between the artists and the mass audience” (http://iboblr.in/~diaf/?page_id=84). Is a common ground possible between the Israel and Indians of conscience, whether artists or citizens? Is “cultural diplomacy” possible with Israel when it has attacked Gaza so brutally earlier this year, and held its people to ransom for years? Since Israel does not respect international law and recognize the Palestinian people’s right to freedom, equality and justice, the Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI) demands that Israel be boycotted from the Indian cultural arena.

The ICCR, one of the supporting organisers of the Delhi Arts Festival, says that “Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore — the values that they stood for inspire the ICCR. As do the people of India, the people who believe in and carry forward the best of this country’s traditions.”  (http://www.iccrindia.net/index.html ) Has the ICCR forgotten that Gandhi and Nehru declared that Palestine is for the Palestinians? Would Gandhi or Nehru have approved of India being “close” to Israel, culturally or otherwise?

We appeal to you, as cultural organisers and practitioners of conscience, to boycott all collaboration with representatives of the Israeli state. This is NOT a boycott of Israeli artists and intellectuals, but of official Israeli institutions which, by virtue of being state institutions, help perpetrate the illegal and inhuman occupation of Palestine and the imposition of a state of apartheid there. The logic of the boycott is that we have to add international pressure to put an end to the occupation of Palestine.

Israel’s apartheid policies cannot be whitewashed with “culture”, “art” or “festivals”. This is why InCACBI salutes the decision of the Jaipur Literary Festival to not involve, in any way, the Israeli Embassy in India, or any other Israeli state affiliated body, in their festival. We appeal to all cultural festivals, including the Delhi Arts Festival, to take an equally principled stand. We appeal to members of the theatre and arts world in India, and civil society, to join us in protesting against attempts to push Brand Israel in India. In the spirit of international solidarity and resistance to injustice and oppression, we call upon fellow Indians to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli cultural partnerships between Israel and India.

 

For The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI)

www.incacbi.in

 

N Pushpamala, Convenor (Artist)

Sukumar Muralisharan, Convenor (Journalist)

Githa Hariharan, Convenor (Writer)

Prabir Purkayastha, Convenor (Delhi Science Forum)

Saeed Mirza (Film-maker)

Gargi Sen, (Film-maker)

Amar Kanwar (Film-maker)

Anand  Patwardhan (Film-maker)

Saba Dewan (Film-maker)

Ira Bhaskar (Film-maker)

Ein Lall (Film-maker)

K Satchidanandan (Writer)

Ritu Menon (Publisher)

Achin Vanaik (Academic)

Pamela Philipose (Journalist)

Seema Mustafa (Journalist)

M.K. Raina (Theatre)

Ram Rahman (Artist)

Sheba Chhachhi (Artist)

Vivan Sundaram (Artist)

Ayisha Abraham (Artist)

Brijesh Kumar  (Theatre)

Geeta Kapoor (Art Critic)

Meena Menon (Writer)

Moloyshree Hashmi (Theatre)

Saba Hasan (Artist)

Ayesha Kidwai (Academic)

Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Academic)

Anuradha Chenoy (Academic)

and 200 other members of InCACBI

Link to original: http://incacbi.in/boycott-israeli-embassy-sponsored-performance-maria-kong-dance-company

Gaza Calls! Join the Demonstration in New Delhi on Aug. 9

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PSCI calls on all Indians to join the Day of Rage on August 9 called by the International BDS Movement. Join us at Jantar Mantar between 4 – 8 PM.

he Palestine Solidarity Committee in India (PSCI) and the Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI)  join the world in condemning Israel’s war on Gaza.

We also condemn the Indian government’s continuing military, trade, educational and cultural ties with Israel.

The war Israel is currently waging against the Palestinian civilians in Gaza is a continuation of its occupation and blockade of Gaza over many years; its violation of international laws; its apartheid policies and day-to-day violence against people in Gaza. It has become a truism that Gaza has for long been “an open air prison” for its men, women and children, making it impossible for them to live normal lives, leave alone move forward on the road to self determination.

The international community has responded to the mounting civilian death toll in Gaza with millions of people on the streets to demand that Israel stop its one-sided war. In Berlin and other places, including Israel, Jewish people have joined protests. Palestinian protesters across France have defied a ban on demonstrations. The African National Congress has called on the Israeli ambassador to leave immediately. Latin American countries Brazil, Chile, Ecuador Peru and El Salvador have recalled ambassadors from Tel Aviv. Bolivian president Evo Morales has called Israel a “terrorist state” and revoked their visa exemption agreement. 21,000 noted individuals in London have demanded an immediate arms embargo on Israel. A major shift in international public opinion against Israel is taking place.

In India, citizens have protested against Israel’s actions, as well as the Indian government’s timid response to the ongoing carnage in Gaza. While citizens in Mumbai and other cities have called for a boycott of Israeli products, the Indian government is strengthening its relations with Israel, ignoring our call to stop military ties with Israel—one way in which India subsidises the occupation and violence in Gaza.

We ask you, as Indians of conscience, to

1. Demand that the Indian government respond to our call for a military embargo on Israel;

2. Boycott all direct and indirect collaborations with the Israeli state, and demand that the Indian government, Indian industry, media, educational and cultural institutions do the same;

3. Build afresh our old association with Palestine, beginning with more education and cultural exchanges; and

4. Share information with fellow Indians on the siege and destruction of Gaza.

End the Blockade/Siege on Gaza!

Tear down the Apartheid Walls in West Bank & Gaza!

End the Israeli collective punishment on the Palestinian people!

End the illegal Israeli Occupation of all of Palestine!

Right to Return to their homes and homeland for all Palestinians!

End all U.S. aid to Israel!

End India’s military ties with Israel!

Free Palestine!

 

The Palestine Solidarity Committee in India
http://www.PalSolComIndia.wordpress.com
http://www.facebook.com/PalSolComIndia

The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI)
http://www.incacbi.in
http://www.facebok.com/InCACBI

The Palestine Solidarity Committee in India condemns the MoU between Haryana Government and Israeli water company Mekorot

The Palestine Solidarity Committee in India supports the first international Week Against Mekorot and says NO to water apartheid

Mekorot is Israel’s state-owned water company responsible for implementing “water apartheid” on Palestinians, including the international crime of pillage of natural resources in occupied territory, discrimination against the Palestinian people as an ethnic group and vital support for the illegal settlement enterprise. (See http://stopthewall.org/week-action-against-mekorot)

In 2005, Mekorot established a business arm to begin a process of international expansion. Among the countries where it has signed lucrative contracts is India. The Haryana Government last month signed an MOU with Mekorot for the joint development of a dual pipeline project. (See http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/haryana-govt-signs-mou-with-israel-govt-company-114022601120_1.html)

[Image credit: via www.stopthewall.org]

[ Image credit: via http://www.stopthewall.org ]

This is Mekorot’s record:

  • Mekorot operates a system of water apartheid: Mekorot has been responsible for water rights violations and discrimination since the 1950s when it built Israel’s national water carrier, which is diverting the Jordan River from the West Bank and Jordan to serve Israeli communities. At the same time it deprives the Palestinian communities from access to water. Palestinian consumption in the OPT is about 70 litres a day per person – well below the 100 litres per capita daily recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) – whereas Israeli daily per capita consumption, at about 300 litres, is about four times as much. Mekorot has refused to supply water to Palestinian communities inside Israel, despite an Israeli high court ruling recognizing their right to water.
  • Mekorot’s vital support for the illegal settlement enterprise: Mekorot support for colonial settlement has continued since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights. The company took monopoly control over all water sources in the occupied territories, implementing policies that bolster Israeli settlements at the expense of Palestinian communities.
  • Mekorot participates in the international crime of pillage of natural resources and wanton destruction of water infrastructure: Mekorot operates some 42 wells in the West Bank, mainly in the Jordan Valley region, which mostly supply the Israeli settlements. Mekorot works in close partnership with the Israeli military, confiscating irrigation pipes from Palestinian farmers and destroying the water supply sources of Palestinian communities. In 2012 alone the Israeli army demolished 60 water and sanitation structures belonging to Palestinians.
  • Mekorot denies Palestinians the human right to water as a tool for the Israeli policy of displacement: In the summer Mekorot, escourted by the army, turns off the tap on Palestinian West Bank communities, leaving them to dry. Mekorot is a proud partner of the JNF’s “Negev Blueprint” plan, which will see 40 000 Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel uprooted from their homes into reservations and their land used for Jewish-only settlement in the Negev.
  • Mekorot’s purported ‘expertise’ on water is plain ‘bluewashing’: The construction of water myths intended to bolster Israel’s image abroad. Israel did not “make the desert bloom”. The area of historic Palestine is rich in water and Palestinians have a centuries-old agriculture tradition. Israel exploited this myth to justify its misguided diversion of the Jordan River waters, turning the historic river into a sewage pit, and to justify aggression against neighboring countries. The reality is that Israel is a water waster, its citizens consume water double the European average and its agriculture sector is ecologically unsustainable, with government subsidized farmers growing water thirsty crops.

It is clear that all cooperation with Mekorot inherently benefits from or contributes to the illegal settlement enterprise.

Campaigns have been established to kick Mekorot out in Argentina, Italy, Greece and Portugal. In Argentina, activists recently announced they succeeded in suspending the construction of a US$170 million water regeneration plant – a project which would have financed not only water apartheid in Palestine but exported it transforming access to water in Buenos Aires from a human right to a luxury item for the rich.

By doing business with Mekorot, India would, in effect, be supporting its illegal and unjust practices with regard to water against the Palestinian people.  

The Palestine Solidarity Committee in India demands that the government and business establishment in India eschew business as usual with Israel and support the international movement to exclude Mekorot from public contracts and hold the company accountable for its water apartheid. The First International Week Against Mekorot is between 22 March 2014, World Water Day, and 30 March 2014, when Palestinians mark Land Day.

The Palestine Solidarity Committee in India appeals to all Indians of conscience to take a stand for water justice and support the International Week against Mekorot, 22-30 March 2014.

Prabir Purkayastha

Pallab Sengupta

Palestine Solidarity Committee in India

Subhashini Ali (President, AIDWA), Shyam Benegal (Filmmaker), Syeda Hameed (Member, Planning Commission), Githa Hariharan (Writer), Meena Menon (Activist), Saeed Mirza (Filmmaker), Maimoona Mollah (Janwadi Mahila Samiti), Seema Mustafa (Journalist), Saeed Naqvi (Journalist), Anand Patwardhan (Filmmaker), Prabir Purkayastha (DSF), Annie Raja (General Secretary, NFIW), D. Raja (Member, Rajya Sabha and National Secretary, CPI), N. Ram (Journalist), Nayantara Sahgal (Writer), Pallab Sengupta (AIPSO), S.P. Shukla (Former Secretary, Min. of Finance), Vivan Sundaram (Artist), Achin Vanaik (Academic), Sitaram Yechury (Member, Rajya Sabha and Member, CPI-M Politburo)