Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cultural Divestment

Israeli officials ban a Palestinian literary festival on the grounds that it is a "political event". Even accepting that's true (and it's not like literature is or should be necessarily apolitical), what does it matter? Is or is not Israel a politically free country? Is or is not Israel a culturally free country? Because those qualities are ones I like to brag about, and it pisses me the *$%* off when I'm not allowed to do it anymore.
[T]hose in the diaspora who campaign long and hard against a boycott of Israeli culture should be raging with anger at this latest disgrace. Rafiq Husseini, the chief of staff to the Palestinian president, is right when he says, "They [the Israelis] are creating enemies for themselves."

Oh, I'm raging all right. Somebody has to smack the Netanyahu government upside the head and wake them up, because they seem intent on destroying their country.


chingona said...

Don't know if you've seen this, but YB has proposed legislation making it a crime, punishable by a prison term, to publicly commemorate the Nakba..

Apparently it's passed some sort of preliminary committee or panel.

David Schraub said...

No way it gets past the judiciary, but still. Ugh.

chingona said...

That's what I figure - about the judiciary - but still, to have that come from a party that is a key player in the ruling coalition is ... not good.

The larger point being - and the reason I brought it up here - is there seems to be a lot of signs recently of creeping militarism and authoritarianism in Israel proper - the item you posted about, the proposal to criminalize the Nakba, recent raids on the offices of a leftist Israeli groups - that could, if allowed to continue, really erode the democratic nature of the state. It's one more price of continuing the occupation.

PG said...

Link is back to this blog.

David Schraub said...

This is bizarre -- it's right in the post proper.

David Schraub said...

Okay, finally got it to work. Biz-arre.