A Palestinian artists union threatened Palestinians with expulsion if they engaged in “normalization” with Israel.
The General Union of Palestinian Expressionist Artists last month threatened to expel Palestinian artists from the organization if they participate in an Israeli cultural festival in Jerusalem, which the union deems “normalization” of relations with Israelis.
Acting in accordance with the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) policy of rejecting any joint event or peace building activity with Israel, referred to as “normalization,” the union demanded that Palestinian artists not participate in the “Mekudeshet” Festival in Jerusalem last month, because it “serves the Israeli agendas.”
Secretary of the artists’ union, Musa Al-Hafez, told the Palestinian Wattan news agency last month that the union “rejects the participation of any Palestinian artist in the rally, and it will expel any artist who is proven to have participated in any ceremony or festival whose goal is to create normalization with the occupation,” the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported.
The Union’s actions fall in line with those of the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement which described participation in the event as “a new attempt to use Palestinian artists as fig leaves in order to beautify the occupation’s image before the world and to cover its crimes against our people everywhere, and in occupied Jerusalem in particular.”
Normalization – A Crime Against Humanity
PMW, a media watchdog that monitors Palestinian incitement, has previously documented similar examples of the PA’s rejection of joint events between Palestinians and Israelis.
A now famous example of such belligerent conduct occurred after Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014 when Palestinian boys met with Israeli boys to play soccer. This bridge building activity was described by PA sports official Jibril Rajoub as “a crime against humanity.”
“Any activity of normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy is a crime against humanity,” said Rajoub, then Deputy Secretary of Fatah’s Central Committee and Head of the Palestinian Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs.
The Palestinian factions condemned “the harmful statements” made by Al-Mahdi “against the Palestinian people.”
In contrast, Al-Mahdi noted that “the Palestinian cause has held the Arab world back greatly,” and that “some of the Arab regimes have used it as an excuse and trafficked in it.'”
By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from PMW)
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