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Hilton Arts Festival Staging Israeli Plays

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Media Review Network is deeply perturbed that ‘The Witness Hilton Arts Festival’ scheduled for Pietermaritzburg during 16 to 18 September, 2011 will be staging three Israeli plays.

This is in clear violation of an international call by Palestinian victims of Israeli oppression to enforce a boycott regime against the apartheid state.

We are dismayed too that despite calls by South African civil society on the organisers and sponsors of the event to heed the plea for a cultural boycott of Israel, they have opted to dismiss these.

We wish to remind Mr Iain McMillan, the Chairman of ‘The Witness Hilton Arts Festival’ that by staging plays by Israel, they would be seen to be endorsing the right wing regime and its policies of Occupation, Colonialism and Apartheid.

We call on Mr Iain McMillan as the Chairman of this event to urgently undertake a review of the merits of incorporating Israeli plays against the backdrop of life-threatening daily violations of human rights by Israel.

If the Hilton Festival is serious about its commitment to deal with human issues, we respectfully urge them to not turn a blind eye to the pain and suffering resulting from decades of human rights violations such as settlement activity, the siege of Gaza, military checkpoints, the Wall, home demolitions and land confiscation – all illegal under International Law!

Unlike these plays, real life drama affects every single Palestinian whose voices are stifled each time Israel attempts to breach the boycott campaign.

Issued by:

Iqbal Jassat – Chairman,Media Review Network

Cell: 083 594 3749