Palestinian Union Threatens Artists With Expulsion Over Performance at Israeli Culture Festival

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AP/Seth Wenig

JERUSALEM – In keeping with the Palestinian Authority’s “anti-normalization” policy – in which taking part in any joint activity with Israelis is perceived as fraternizing with the enemy – an artists’ union threatened expulsion for any Palestinians who took up an invitation to participate in last month’s prestigious Mekudeshet Festival in Jerusalem. 

“The General Union of Palestinian Expressionist Artists has demanded that all artists not participate in the festival as it is a normalization festival that serves the Israeli agendas” Secretary of the Union Musa Al-Hafez told independent Palestinian Authority news agency Wattan according to a translation by Palestinian Media Watch.

“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.”

Wattan also reported that “The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott [of Israel] PACBI called on singers to cancel their participation in the cultural evening” at the Mekudeshet festival in “occupied Jerusalem.” The article continued by declaring that the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement described this participation 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.’”

The PA routinely penalizes Palestinian artists and athletes for taking part in games with their Israeli counterparts. A joint soccer game between Palestinians and Israelis was described by PA sports chief Jibril Rajoub as “a crime against humanity.”

“Any activity of normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy is a crime against humanity,” Rajoub said according to official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.

As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, a Sudanese minister who recently advocated his country’s normalization with Israel was slammed by Palestinian leadership.

“The Palestinian factions condemned the harmful statements of Sudanese Minister of Investment Mubarak Al-Mahdi against the Palestinian people,” an August 24 article from the PA’s news wire Wattan read.

In an interview on Sudanese television, Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi, Sudan’s minister for investment, declared that a move to establish ties with Israel should be based “on the interests of Sudan” and not on emotions. Al-Mahdi added that the “Palestinians themselves have normalized their relations with Israel.”

“The entire issue is very complex. It’s not black and white. The Palestinians themselves meet with the Israelis. They coexist with the Israelis, earn their living there and get their electricity from them. These people live together,” he said, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

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