PACBI Salutes Toronto Declaration

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) salutes the filmmakers, artists and cultural workers who drafted and endorsed the Toronto Declaration.


On 27 August 2009, PACBI issued a public statement [2] calling for a targeted boycott of the Spotlight on Tel Aviv.  Whether intentionally or not, such a “Spotlight” serves to “Rebrand Israel,” whitewashing Israel’s human rights violations against the Palestinian people, including recent atrocities like in Gaza and presenting Tel Aviv as a normal, “Western” city, not the hub of colonial and apartheid Israeli policies that it actually is.  For the record, PACBI’s call to protest and boycott was specific to the Spotlight on Tel Aviv; we have not called for a general boycott of the Toronto International Film Festival.

As usual, instead of rational argumentation and cool-headed debate, Israeli apartheid supporters have reacted by resorting to intimidation, vilification, threats and ugly personal attacks against many of those who signed the Toronto Declaration. Rather than engaging with the well-argued and justified criticisms of the Spotlight, the attacks regurgitated the tired, false and patently misleading mantra that Israel is the “only democracy in the Middle East.” One of the most preposterous characterizations of Israel in defence of TIFF’s celebration of Tel Aviv was: “Israel stands tall as the nation where… fundamental liberties are protected and held sacred.” This statement’s intentional omission of Israel’s occupation, colonization and apartheid against the Palestinian people makes it equivalent to describing South Africa at the height of apartheid as a liberal democracy.

[read complete statement here]

6 Responses to “PACBI Salutes Toronto Declaration”

  1. Leonard Cohen Seeks Reconciliation At Apartheid Bank Discount » Artists Against Apartheid - Witness the True Emancipatory Struggle - September 21, 2009

    [...] has been a difficult year in public relations for Israel (See ‘Toronto Declaration‘), but one trend that has helped normalize the apartheid state are appearances by big artists [...]

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