HILTON ARTS FESTIVAL


The Israeli Embassy in Pretoria is unashamedly trying to use the upcoming Hilton Arts Festival (16-18 September 2011) to further its own propaganda agenda. 

The Israeli Foreign Ministry's involvement in the Hilton Arts Festival can only be interpreted as an attempt to distract from Israel's abuse of human rights, contravention of international law and disregard for UN resolutions. In fact, the deputy director-general for cultural affairs at Israel's Foreign Ministry has said: “We will send well-known novelists and writers overseas, theater companies, exhibits [and in] this way show Israel's prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war." (www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/world/middleeast/19israel.html). 

As South African students, lead by the SA Students Congress (SASCO), recently put it: "Israel’s image needs no changing; its policies do!" (www.bdssouthafrica.com/2011/08/blog-post.html

On Thursday the 9th of September, at a meeting of the Pietermartizburg based organization, Church Land Program, this statement (and call to action) was issued: www.southafricanartistsagainstapartheid.com/2011/09/church-land-program-dismayed-and.html

The drafters of the statement call on all South Africans of good conscience to engage with the Hilton Arts Festival and appeal to the festival not to be used by the Israeli state to further its propaganda agenda. The statement has been signed by well known academics and land rights activists, both from South Africa and abroad.

FUTHER INFORMATION AND MEDIA COVERAGE:

- BREAKING NEWS: Hip Hop performer cancels Hilton Arts Festival gig – in protest [16_09_2011]
- The Mercury Newspaper: Hilton Arts Festival criticism [21_09_2011]
COSATU: Salutes Iain EWOK Robinson for Israeli boycott [16_09_2011]  
- PACBI Salutes Iain EWOK Robinson’s Principled Stance [17_09_2011]
- DAILY NEWS: Artist opposes Israeli plays [16_09_2011]
- AFRICA'S GATEWAY: EWOK withdraws from Hilton Arts Fest [16_09_2011]
- THE NEW AGE: Call to boycott arts festival over Israeli plays [15_09_2011]
- TIMES LIVE: Artist group slams Hilton Festival for Israeli association [14_09_2011]
DAILY NEWS (cover story): Row over Hilton's staging Israeli plays [13_09_2011]
- THE WITNESS: Protesters threaten to boycott Hilton arts week [11_09_2011]

- PRESS RELEASES: List of related press statements