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Prominent Queer Artists and Activists Tell Film Festival to Dump Israeli Consulate
by QUIT! ( info [at] quitpalestine.org )
Saturday Apr 6th, 2013 11:39 AM
Authors Alice Walker and Angela Y. Davis, along with prominent filmmakers Kim Klausner and Susan Stryker, have joined the call for Frameline, the LGBT International film festival, to stop partnering with the Israeli government. Palestinian LGBT organizations have demanded that international queer organizations respect the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli institutions until Israel lives up to its international human rights obligations. Join their cry for freedom.

The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, Frameline, is the largest queer cultural event in the world. It has for many years had a partnership with the Israeli consulate, which is aggressive in promoting Israeli filmmakers around the world, including queers. Israel is trying to use its queer-friendly policies for Israeli Jews to pinkwash its continuing denial of Palestinian rights and theft of Palestinian land. For over five years, Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism and other Bay Area queers have been pressuring Frameline to stop accepting money and sponsorship from the Israeli government. We are not asking them not to show Israeli films or bring Israeli filmmakers who actively oppose occupation and support Palestinian equality.

Join this call by forwarding a copy of the letter below to info@frameline.org, kcprice@frameline.org and dbuford@frameline.org.

Dear Board of Directors of Frameline:

We are asking Frameline to discontinue its financial relationship with the state of Israel. After years of conversation behind the scenes, it is time for Frameline to stop taking money from the Israeli government and to join a growing international movement of artists, academics, filmmakers and writers who support the decades-long Palestinian struggle for self-determination and a viable political and economic state.

LGBTQI Palestinians have asked international queers to respect the cultural and academic boycott of Israel called by Palestinian civil society in 2005. Please read their statement. The call of Palestinian civil society makes it clear that any institution sponsored by or partnering with any agency of the Israeli government is a target of boycott by people who support a just peace in the region. Boycott, divestment and sanctions are time-honored nonviolent strategies for political and social change. Queer Palestinian groups and other queer organizations have urged Frameline to take a stand against the injustices suffered by the Palestinians under occupation by Israel.

The Israeli government is specifically targeting the LGBTQI community in a campaign to “rebrand” Israel as a progressive, queer-friendly democracy. We call this a “pinkwashing” of the brutal realities that Palestinians face under an illegal military occupation. In fact, the “pinkwashing” also covers up the fact that LGBTQI Palestinians suffer from injustices of occupation. Despite Israeli marketing tactics, support for the boycott is growing rapidly in the LGBTQI community, especially in San Francisco. Frameline’s continued willingness to use Israeli government money is divisive and counter to the values of freedom that Frameline claims to hold.

We recognize that the struggle for LGBTQI liberation must occur in the context of the liberation of all people, including Palestinians. Working against Israeli apartheid means refusing money or other sponsorship from the Israeli Consulate.

Sincerely,

Alice Walker, author
Angela Y. Davis, author, professor
Barbara Hammer, filmmaker
Blue Murov, activist
Carla Schick, poet, activist
Dalit Baum, activist
Dunya Alwan, artist, activist
Elana Dykewomon, author, educator
Elle Flanders, filmmaker
Eric Stanley, writer, filmmaker, educator, activist
Erica Marcus, filmmaker
Happy/L.A. Hyder, visual artist, writer
Jane Segal, activist
John Greyson, filmmaker
Judy Graboyes, musician/activist
Julie Starobin, activist
Kim Anno, artist, filmmaker
Kim Klausner, filmmaker and archivist
L.A./Happy Hyder, visual artist
lacey johnson, artist, activist
Louise Rafkin, author
Maher Sabry, filmmaker
Matthilda Bernstein Sycamore, writer, filmmaker
Nancy Stoller, professor
Roya Rastegar, filmmaker
Sarah Schulman, author, filmmaker
Sonia DeVries, filmmaker
Susan Stryker, filmmaker, professor
Tommi Avicolli Mecca, author, musician

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by miles
Sunday Apr 7th, 2013 6:12 PM
Anti-Imperialism (tm) for the win! Pro-capitalist boycott tactics for the win! If this is what winning looks like I'll stick with the beautiful losers - you know, the people who stick to their principles no matter what sort of liberal feel-good excuses they can come up with to justify their involvement with statecraft and economic extortion. You want to tackle the issue of the inherently racist Israeli policies toward Palestinians? Excellent, but why choose an economic boycott of the Israeli government? Oh yeah, because the major financial subsidizer of the State of Israel is the US Government, which is a much too difficult target to attack. You want to expose the lies of pro-Israel propaganda? Excellent, but why choose a symbolic gesture in solidarity with "Palestinian civil society" (aka, the Palestinian Authority, another institution engaged in statecraft)? Liberal do-gooders are excellent at making such empty (or worse, counter-revolutionary) gestures because they require nothing more than words. Anti-Imperialists (tm) are excellent at choosing sides in disputes between nation-states because the choice makes perfect sense in a world governed by unscrupulous and unprincipled hacks like they are. Down with Misrael and Paleswine! Long live the grassroots transnational activism of AATW and other anti-government organizations!
Humanity will never be happy until the last nationalist is hanged with the guts of the last statist.