Tuesday, December 30, 2008
In the wake of the recent Israeli war crimes in Gaza, the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee has called upon people of conscience around the world "not just to protest and condemn in diverse forms Israel's massacre in Gaza, but also to join and intensify the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel to end its impunity and to hold it accountable for its persistent violation of international law and Palestinian rights." Likewise, Ali Abunimah writes: "what will happen after the demonstrations disperse and the anger dies down? Will we continue to let Palestinians in Gaza die in silence? Palestinians everywhere are asking for solidarity, real solidarity, in the form of sustained, determined political action. The Gaza-based One Democratic State Group reaffirmed this today as it 'called upon all civil society organizations and freedom loving people to act immediately in any possible way to put pressure on their governments to end diplomatic ties with Apartheid Israel and institute sanctions against it.' The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement for Palestine provides the framework for this. Now is the time to channel our raw emotions into a long-term commitment to make sure we do not wake up to 'another Gaza' ever again."
People in southeast Michigan will have a special opportunity to heed this call on February 14-15 when the Batsheva Dance Company of Tel Aviv comes to Ann Arbor, courtesy of the University Musical Society. Now is the time to begin building opposition to the Batsheva Dance Company's performances as part of a sustained BDS campaign. A recipient of public financing since the 1990s, the Batsheva Dance Company is clearly an Israeli apartheid cultural institution that includes Israeli soldiers in its ranks. Writing October 26, 2008, in The Independent of London, Jenny Gilbert reports that the dance company is "funded by Israel's government, its performers include none of Arab extraction, and it is 'proud to be considered Israel's leading ambassador.'" For more information on the Batsheva Dance Company, please see "Organize to stop apartheid dance troupe's North America tour" in The Electronic Intifada
Batsheva Dance Company Boycott Organizing Meeting
When: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 7:30 PM
Where: Memorial Christian Church, 730 Tappan Ave (at Hill), Ann Arbor
What: This is a special meeting sponsored by the Middle East Task Force of Ann Arbor and the Detroit/Ann Arbor Friends of Sabeel -- North America. The purpose of the meeting is see if and how the various Palestinian solidarity groups in Ann Arbor and southeast Michigan can work together to respond to the scheduled performance by the Batsheva Dance Company of Tel Aviv on the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus. This meeting is only for people who support the 2004 Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and the 2005 Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.