Festival international Nuits d’Afrique is once again marred in controversy over its 2022 edition. Not only did the organizers fail by naming a white Quebecois to be the spokesperson of the events, they also promote Israeli apartheid by inviting the Israeli music group PULKES BAND. The band is well known for cultural appropriation, promotion and whitewashing of Israeli Apartheid and colonial tactics.
Israel overtly uses culture as a form of propaganda to whitewash or justify its regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid over the Palestinian people. Just as South African anti-apartheid activists had called on international artists, writers and cultural institutions to culturally boycott South Africa, Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU) stands in solidarity with the Palestinian civil society in urging international cultural workers and cultural organizations, including unions and associations, to boycott and/or work towards the cancellation of events, activities, agreements, or projects involving Israel, its lobby groups or its cultural institutions.
International venues and festivals are asked to reject funding and any form of sponsorship from the Israeli government. Thousands of artists across the world now refuse to perform in Israel, including a host of global superstars such as Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, Lauryn Hill and Chuck D.
Earlier this year, multiple international organizations (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied) took the unprecedented step of declaring Israel an Apartheid regime.
“Israel’s regime of apartheid and occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end this regime, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights; democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.”B’Tselem
B’Tselem declared “Israel’s regime of apartheid and occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end this regime, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights; democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.”
We, in Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU), are shocked to hear that Festival international Nuits d’Afrique has engaged in the promotion of Apartheid and colonialism.
In a 1997 speech on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Mandela reaffirmed his support for Palestinian rights.
“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
Desmond Tutu stated in April 2010 “I have been to the occupied territories of Palestine, and I have seen there the racial segregation of roads and housing. It reminded me of what we had known in South Africa under the racist Apartheid regime. I have witnessed the humiliation suffered by Palestinian men, women and children who have to wait for hours at Israeli military checkpoints each time they travel to see their families, go to school or college — this humiliation is a familiar feeling to me and to the many black people in South Africa who were regularly harassed and insulted by the security forces of the apartheid government. In South Africa, we could not have won freedom and peace without the help of those around the world who have pressured their government and private businesses through non-violent means such as boycott and divestment, to convince them to end decades of support for the Apartheid regime.”
With that, we call on the organizers of the Festival international Nuits d’Afrique to immediately cease their promotion of Israeli Apartheid and take immediate steps to insure that such mistakes don’t happen anymore.
Chadi Marouf, co-president PAJU
Bruce Katz co-oresident PAJU
To contact the festival organizers: