European Jewish Congress
BDS supporting artists boycott Berlin culture festival
United Kingdom
BDS supporting artists boycott Berlin culture festival

Several participants pulled out of a Berlin music festival this week after it accepted 500 Euros in funding from the Israeli Embassy in Germany.

The Pop-Kultur festival ran from August 23-25 in the German capital, and featured live music, exhibits, talks and readings. According to its official website, over 70 events took place over the three days.

Last week, though, the festival organizers released a statement, noting that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement had put "immense pressure on all Arab artists in our line-up" to withdraw.

It noted that four artists from Arab countries had cancelled, including Abu Hajar, Emel Mathlouthi and Hello Psychaleppo.

The festival noted that it had Israeli artists in the program, just as it had artists from "Tunisia, Syria, Russia, Poland, the U.K. and other countries." It also noted that the "cultural department of the Israeli Embassy gave us 500 Euros as travel costs for artists, and is therefore listed on our website, like all other cultural partners."

This week, European artists also announced their withdrawal, citing the Israeli Embassy donation.

Scottish band Young Fathers tweeted on Wednesday: "Due to the addition of the Israeli governments [sic] logo to the list of partners and in solidarity with the Palestinian people, Young Fathers regrettably will not be performing at Pop Kultur festival in Berlin this week (25th August).

"Young Fathers have a long history of opposing any form of hatred including racism and antisemitism and we support the principle of a peaceful solution that allows Palestinians the right to return to a safe homeland and that allows Israelis and Palestinians of all faiths (and none) to live together in peace.

Artist Annie Goh also cancelled her scheduled appearance on a panel discussion. She wrote on her Facebook page on Sunday: "As an artist and academic, I am taking a stand against participating in the festival due to its partial sponsorship by the Israeli embassy, in solidarity with Palestinians who have called for a boycott of Israeli state institutions until they adhere to international law."

Finnish black metal group Oranssi Pazuzu also dropped out of the festival on Tuesday.

Friday, August 25, 2017
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