Irish artists' call to boycott Israel meets with mockery

Irish government says it is "firmly opposed to any proposals for an academic or cultural boycott against Israel."

By JONNY PAUL JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
April 8, 2007 02:24
2 minute read.
Irish artists' call to boycott Israel meets with mockery

boycott Israel 88. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Irish government has condemned an attempt by an artists' organization to boycott Israeli cultural events and institutions. Aosdana, Ireland's state-sponsored academy of creative artists, voted last week on a motion to "back the call from Palestinian filmmakers, artists and cultural workers to end all cooperation with Israeli state-sponsored cultural events and institutions." The proposal - put to a motion by composer Raymond Deane, founder of the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, and seconded by playwright Margaretta D'Arcy - was defeated in the organization's general assembly. However, a second motion, sponsored by D'Arcy and seconded by Deane, was passed calling for Irish artists and institutions to "reflect deeply" before working with Israeli cultural institutions. D'Arcy wrote last week in The Irish Times that she was convinced that a cultural boycott was necessary, "if only as an act of solidarity with those in Israel who seek to remove the inequality, discrimination and segregation of their society." The Irish government responded to the Aosdana motion by saying it was "firmly opposed to any proposals for an academic or cultural boycott against Israel." John O'Donoghue, minister for arts, sport and tourism, said he was happy the motion had been voted down. "The only way forward is through an inclusive approach of dialogue with and between Israelis and Palestinians. The government is working directly with the parties, and with our partners in the EU, for the revival of a credible peace process with the clear objective of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he said. Prior to the vote by Aosdana members, journalist Ian O'Doherty mocked the motion in the Evening Herald newspaper, saying that Israelis were hardly likely to feel threatened by the "stern lecturing of a bunch of state-subsidized artists who mostly reside in well-deserved obscurity." "In fairness to Aosdana," O'Doherty wrote, "the call for a boycott seem to have been led by a hardcore group." "The fact that Israel is the least segregated society in the region, and that Israeli Arabs enjoy more freedom than their counterparts in other, Arab-run, countries is something that tends to be conveniently forgotten," O'Doherty said. An Aosdana member who did not wish to be named, said: "The move is being largely derided here, being seen as a bunch of dial-a-cause artists taking sides in a complex foreign situation they know little about." "What is more concerning is that by being elected to Aosdana as an artist, you get an annual salary from the state," the member explained. "As it is state-funded, it is surprising that [Aosdana] took this stance, given that political matters are not their remit." Israel's embassy in Dublin released a statement condemning the motion as "wrong, unjust, biased and based on misunderstanding and misinformation." Ambassador Zion Evrony said, "It appears that a very small number of Aosdana members... have misled others and imposed their views on the whole organization." D'Arcy, for her part, wrote an open letter to the ambassador attacking his views: "Mr. Ambassador, who the hell do you think you are, interfering with Irish artists, prescribing what we may or may not reflect upon?" she fumed. "I wonder that the Irish government does not immediately break off diplomatic relations with Israel for your absurd violation of those articles in the UN Charter of Human Rights that guarantee free expression," D'Arcy declared.

Related Content

France's Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates, July 15, 2018
July 15, 2018
France overpowers Croatia to win World Cup

By REUTERS