Belgian Academics & Artists For Palestine

Belgian Artists & Cultural Workers For Palestine (BA4P)
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BACBI Culture Newsletter N° 76 (Summer 2023): click here!

Statement of Principles of the Cultural Boycott:
We, artists, writers and cultural workers in Belgium support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS).
With this campaign, we want to express our rejection of the Israeli government's policy of colonization and apartheid. Israeli cultural institutions are part and parcel of the ideological and institutional scaffolding of the regime's disenfranchisement of Palestine's native inhabitants. We assume responsibility for aiming to bring an end in a non-violent way to a policy in which Israel's continuing and repeated violations of international law and human rights remain unpunished. We firmly oppose any form of discrimination and racism, including antisemitism.
Our call and actions are in full compliance with fundamental human rights as formulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Déclaration de principe du boycott culturel:
Nous, artistes, auteurs et travailleurs culturels vivant en Belgique soutenons l'appel palestinien aux Boycott, Désinvestissement et Sanctions (BDS).
Par cette campagne, nous voulons exprimer notre opposition à la politique d'occupation, de colonisation et d'apartheid du gouvernement israélien. Les institutions culturelles israéliennes constituent une composante essentielle de l'infrastructure idéologique et institutionnelle de la puissance d'occupation israélienne. Par cet appel à soutenir les BDS, nous assumons notre responsabilité en vue de hâter de façon non violente la fin d'une politique dans laquelle les violations permanentes des lois internationales et des droits de l'homme demeurent impunies .
Nous nous opposons à toute forme de discrimination et de racisme, y compris l'antisémitisme. Notre appel et nos actions s'inscrivent pleinement dans le cadre des droits humains fondamentaux tels qu'ils sont formulés dans la Déclaration universelle des droits de l'homme.
Beginselverklaring van de Culturele Boycot:
Wij, kunstenaars, schrijvers en culturele werkers in België, steunen de Palestijnse oproep voor Boycot, Desinvestering en Sancties (BDS).
Israëlische culturele instellingen vormen een essentieel onderdeel van de ideologische en institutionele infrastructuur van Israël als bezettingsmacht. Met deze campagne willen wij ons verzet uitdrukken tegen de politiek van bezetting, kolonisatie en apartheid die de Israëlische staat voert. Met onze oproep tot steun voor de BDS nemen we onze verantwoordelijkheid op om op geweldloze manier het einde te bespoedigen van een beleid waarin de voortdurende schendingen van het internationaal recht en de mensenrechten straffeloos blijven.
We verzetten ons tegen elke vorm van haat, racisme en xenofobie, antisemitisme inbegrepen. Onze oproep en acties zijn volledig in overeenstemming met de fundamentele mensenrechten zoals geformuleerd in de Universele Verklaring voor de Rechten van de Mens.

October - November 2023...: Israel's Gaza Genocide

Alain Platel - theatermaker - 9 november 2023:

Al meer dan twintig jaar waarschuwen velen mét mij voor het horrorscenario dat zich voor onze ogen aan het afspelen is in Gaza en de Bezette Gebieden. Wie de voorbije decennia ter plekke is geweest zag hoe met de dag het wederzijds onbegrip en het extremisme aan beide kanten langzaam toenamen. Dit onder andere omwille van het steeds rechtser, ultranationalistisch én gewelddadig beleid van de opeenvolgende Israëlische regeringen en het geweld van illegale settlers, gesteund door het Israel Defence Forces (IDF) geweld ten aanzien van de Palestijnen.

« Living through hell in Gaza’s largest hospital »
Dima Ashour (The Electronic Intifada, November 26, 2023):

Israel’s war on Gaza has actually been a war on Gaza’s hospitals. Just 10 of Gaza’s 35 hospitals are still operational. One in particular has been in the headlines. On 23 November, Israel announced that its military had detained the head of al-Shifa hospital Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya. That followed a week-long siege of the hospital during which the military tried – and failed – to show that al-Shifa had been used as a Hamas headquarters or a command and control center. What it did succeed in doing was take offline yet another hospital in Gaza, and this, the biggest and, by Gazan standards, best equipped.

Arts, Culture, Literature:

« A Race Against Time »: The life and death of Ghassan Kanafani
Louis ALLDAY (Mondoweiss, September 11, 2023):

Acclaimed journalist, novelist, short story writer, and revolutionary Ghassan Kanafani was assassinated in 1972 by agents of the Mossad. His widow, Danish-born Anni Kanafani, published a short biography of his life one year later; in her tribute, she offered readers an inside view of Kanafani’s life as a father, husband, and uncle, as well as his drive and passion to write. In this important and powerful book, Palestine Writes Press re-introduces Anni Kanafani’s writing to the world.
This new volume includes an Arabic translation, as well as a compelling introduction by historian and literary scholar Louis Allday, as well as a moving foreword by Dr. Fadle Naqib, a childhood friend of Ghassan Kanafani. Complete with an updated selective bibliography of Kanafani’s work, this book is an essential addition to the canon of Palestinian literature.

« Nurturing a new home for Palestinian literature »
Vera SAJRAWI (+972, September 6, 2023):

From photos of Gaza postage stamps to fictional stories about Shakira, Fikra magazine aims to be a creative, uncensored platform for writers and artists.

« What role does culture play in Palestinian liberation? »
Mohammed EL-KURD (Mondoweiss, September 5, 2023):

What role does literature play in the Palestinian liberation movement? Though the question itself isn’t subversive, it feels that way. There are many considerations, but it’s hard to imagine what a poem can do in the barrel of a gun.

« The Palestinian Poet Who Never Lamented the Occupied Land »
Sheren Falah Saab (Haaretz, August 31, 2023):

The play ‘Taha’ offers a glimpse into the life of a poet who eschewed politics, preferring to write about personal pain and lost masculinity.

« Paradis perdu : pourquoi l’idéal d’Al-Andalus s’est fait une place dans la poésie arabe »
Bianca Carrera (Middle East Eye, August 27, 2023):

De Nizar Qabbani à Mohamed Iqbal en passant par Adonis et Mahmoud Darwish, les poètes arabes et musulmans se sont inspirés des images de l’Espagne musulmane pour imaginer l’avenir.

« Fikra » is an online Palestinian literary magazine founded in 2022.

We publish essays, short stories, poetry, and visual art in both Arabic and English.

'Fikra Magazine' is a platform for Palestinians and by Palestinians. We don’t accept funding from governments or politically affiliated donors to ensure complete editorial independence.
Fikra Magazine is part of a cultural ecosystem in Palestine that publishes high-quality and uncensored literature and art. We believe in the importance of original and provocative pieces that express different perspectives on Palestine. The occupation has continuously attempted to silence Palestinian voices wherever they can. In the face of apartheid and injustice, a magazine might not seem like much. Still, the ideas, perspectives, and dialogue that Fikra Magazine offers can contribute to the resistance and resilience that are part and parcel of Palestine.

Fiction ─ Essays ─ Art/Photos ─ About Fikra ─ Our Contributors

« "Palestine Writes" returns to celebrate Palestinian literature and culture and
end the silencing of Palestinian cultural workers »

Bill V. Mullen & Malini Johar Schueller (Mondoweiss, July 18, 2023):

The "Palestine Writes Literature Festival" opens September 22 at the University of Pennsylvania.
Program: click here! Press release, July 28, 2023: click here!

Today, Palestinians write in Arabic, English, French, German, Dutch, and many other languages; their literature speaks to the diversity of Palestinians and yet, their shared experiences of the rich culture of the homeland, loss, yearning, and resistance. Yet for too long, the story of Palestinians has been told by others, and Palestinian voices have been excluded or tokenized. 'Palestine Writes 2023', a global celebration of Palestinian literature and culture, seeks to reverse this isolation and silencing of Palestinian cultural workers.
Novelist Susan Abulhawa, the executive director of the festival, explains: “We are an indigenous people with an ancient past that is mostly untold (or rather, unheard), and only we can tell her native stories. So we are, and will always be. 'Palestine Writes' is about radical truth-telling; about community and agency and joy; about friendship and the redemption of history; it is about gathering our shattered family on a terrain of our glorious heritage, and our collective anguish.”

« ‘Palestine is the Andalus of the possible’: Palestinian poetry as a form of struggle »
Bianca Carrera (Mondoweiss, August 6, 2023):

While Palestinian and Arab poets once likened the Fall of Granada to the loss of Palestine, a newer generation is recasting "al-Andalus" as the Palestine yet to come ─ In 1992, just after Palestinian Liberation Organization officials shook hands with Israeli representatives in Madrid, paving the way to Oslo, Mahmoud Darwish would publish his series of poems, "Eleven Planets in the Last Andalusian Sky"....

« A Pompei in Gaza: Major Archeological Discovery Announced »
(The Palestine Chronicle, July 28, 2023) :

Archaeologists working on a 2,000-year-old Roman cemetery discovered in Gaza last year have found at least 125 tombs, most with skeletons still largely intact, and two rare lead sarcophaguses, Reuters news agency reported... “This is unprecedented,” said Jamal Abu Reida, General-Director of Gaza’s Antiquities Ministry, adding: “It deepens Palestinian roots on this land and shows they date back thousands of years.” Palestine was an important trading post for civilizations. In the past, local archaeologists re-buried findings for lack of funding but French organizations have helped excavate this site, discovered in February last year by a construction crew working on an Egyptian-funded housing project.

« Library restores Palestinian history one manuscript at a time »
Hiba Aslan (Al-Monitor, July 23, 2023):

A library in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem offers a rare glimpse into Palestinian history with its treasure trove of manuscripts dating back hundreds of years before the creation of Israel. At the Khalidi Library in the walled Old City, Rami Salameh expertly inspects a damaged manuscript as part of the effort to restore and digitise historical Palestinian documents.

« A Palestinian Poet's Visions of Peace Still Ring True »
Sheren Falah Saab (Haaretz, July 13, 2023):

‘The late poet and politician Tawfiq Zayyad riled the Israeli public and believed in the Oslo Accords. 'The Optimist' by Tamir Sorek, now available in Hebrew,
paints a picture of a man who balanced pragmatism and revolutionary zeal.

« The Palestinian Visionary Who Warned Jews That Fascism Would Target Them, Too »
Tamir Sorek (Haaretz, June 12, 2023):

Poet-politician Tawfiq Zayyad warned decades ago that the occupation and authoritarianism within Israel were inseparable –
that Israel's injustice against Palestinians would become injustice against Jews. Israel's pro-democracy protest movement should heed his call.

« New Israeli-Palestinian Artistic Movement Digs Through the Country's Explosive Archives »
Sheren Falah Saab (Haaretz, May 28, 2023):

‘We try to reveal the subconscious of the dry, bureaucratic document,’ says the movement's founder.

« Theater as politics: an interview with Einat Weizman »
Jonathan Ofir (Mondoweiss, April 24, 2023):

Jonathan Ofir interviews Israeli playwright Einat Weizman about her play "Prisoners of the Occupation" and how theater can become a vehicle for political mobilization and change.

« Liberté, justice, Palestine : cinq poètes arabes révolutionnaires »
Nadda Osman (Middle East Eye, 21 mars, 2023) :

Dans le monde arabe, la poésie est considérée comme l'une des plus éminentes formes d'art et le patrimoine poétique remonte à l’ère pré-islamique et aux odes épiques d'Imru al-Qais et Antarah ibn Shaddad. La poésie continue d'occuper une place centrale dans les sociétés arabes et pour de nombreux enfants qui grandissent dans la région, l’étude de l’arabe est associée à celle de la poésie classique.

« One Palestinian film and the colonizer’s endless anxiety »
Shaul Magid (+972, February 2, 2023):

"Farha" holds up a mirror to Israelis and their victimless narrative about the 1948 war — and they don't like what they see. Who gets to tell the story of their oppression? The question arguably goes back to imperial times when kings ruled their subjects with impunity and sold the victims of their conquests into slavery. The answer, in those days, was fairly simple: the oppressed did not get to narrate their own story. History was written by the victors; the losers often disappeared and were forgotten, only occasionally to be discovered much later by historians, if at all.


« Filmmakers withdraw from apartheid Israel's Jerusalem Film Festival »
BDS Movement, July 22, 2023:

Jane Campion, Estíbaliz Urresola Solaguren and other filmmakers asked for their films to be withdrawn from the festival, which is partnered with the Israeli ministry of culture.

« American Anthropological Association - AAA Votes by 71% to Boycott Complicit Israeli Universities »
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), July 24, 2023.

The historic vote makes the AAA the largest academic association to endorse the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli academic institutions complicit in Israel’s regime of military occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.

« Landmark 1,500th artist signs the “Irish Artists’ Pledge to Boycott Israel” »
The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), May 4, 2023:

The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) is proud to announce that our ‘Irish Artists’ Pledge to Boycott Israel’ has just passed the 1,500 signatory mark, a hugely significant milestone in support for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. After reaching 1,000 signatories in early 2021, more than 500 new cultural workers have added their names over the past two years alone. See the full list at: Continue...


« Judea vs ‘Fantasy Israel': Ilan Pappe on the Collapse of Israeli Pillars, and the Opportunities for Palestine »
Ilan Pappé (The Palestine Chronicle, July 31, 2023):

The future liberated and de-Zionised Palestine may look now as a fantasy, but unlike Fantasy Israel, it has the best chance to galvanize locally, regionally and globally every person with a modicum of decency.

« The Palestinian photographer who's been shot 11 times: 'I hate blood and war' »
Peter Oborne (Middle East Eye, July 16, 2023):

Nasser Ishtayeh has been documenting the occupation for so long even the Israeli soldiers he meets at checkpoints are incredulous he is still alive.

« La criminalisation de la solidarité avec la Palestine gagne du terrain en Europe »
Baudouin Loos (OrientXXI, 11 juillet, 2023):

Le Parlement britannique vient d’adopter le 3 juillet 2023 une loi qui sanctionne le boycott et cible au premier chef les opposants à la politique d’Israël. Et il n’est pas le seul, car le phénomène a pris de l’ampleur en Allemagne, au Royaume-Uni et en France : par divers biais, la solidarité active avec la cause palestinienne devient la cible de législations répressives.

« Ilan Pappé on the Socio-Political Formations behind Israel’s Neo-Zionist Government »
Ilan Pappé (The Palestine Chronicle, January 6, 2023):

Two months after the election of the new government of Israel, the blurred picture is becoming more transparent, and it seems one can offer some more informed insights about its composition, personalities, and possible future policies and reaction to them.


« We Even Destroy Their Water Wells »
Gideon LEVY (Haaretz, July 30, 2023, via Jewish Voice for Labour):

The cement mixer vomited out the grayish liquid, which made a noise as it flowed noisily into the water wells, clogging them. Standing there were the soldiers who served as guards, the Civil Administration employees who devised this evil plan, the laborers who carried it out and the peasants who saw their sustenance snuffed out for eternity.

« Shut out and under fire, Palestinian journalists struggle to cover Jenin assault »
Vera Sajrawi (+972, July 4, 2023):

After Israeli snipers fire directly at Palestinian camera crews, journalists fear entering the refugee camp on the second day of Israel's invasion.

« The Cultural Looting of Gaza »
Miko Peled (Mint Press, May 30, 2023):

Israel exploits the suffering of Gazans in order to recruit collaborators and garner whatever intelligence they may be able to provide. It is well known that people in Gaza who are in need of permits for medical care for themselves or their children are often asked to work for the Israeli authorities as informants. While all of these are expressions of cruelty, brutality and racism, here we are actually discussing another issue, one of unimaginable historic value. For years, Gaza has been robbed of priceless archaeological treasures that will very likely end up in an Israeli museum or in the private collections of the wealthy.

Contact (Culture): click here!

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