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Palestinian institutions condemn participation in joint Palestinian-Israeli arts festival in Jerusalem

Headline: "Palestinian calls to boycott the Mekudeshet normalization festival in Jerusalem"
     "While preparations are being made for the opening of the Mekudeshet [Art] Festival in occupied Jerusalem this evening, Thursday [Sept. 7, 2017], the voices demanding to boycott the festival because it is considered normalization are growing stronger.

The [Palestinian] Artists' Union: Whoever is proven to have participated will be expelled
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 Artists' Union Musa Al-Hafez said to [the independent Palestinian news agency] Wattan that ‘The union rejects the participation of any Palestinian artist in the rally, and it will distance any artist who is proven to have participated in any ceremony or festival whose goal is to create normalization with the occupation.'
He noted that the union grants membership to Palestinians within the Green Line (i.e., Palestinian term for Israel; the Green Line is the ceasefire line between Israel and the neighboring Arab countries, 1949-1967), but it will need to distance any artist that participates in the festival's events.

The Season of Culture is not registered with the [PA] Ministry of Culture
Wattan was notified by the [PA] Ministry of Culture that the Season of Culture institution, which is organizing the festival (an institution formed for the sole purpose of producing the Mekudeshet Festival –Ed.) and whose headquarters are in Jerusalem, is not listed with the Palestinian Ministry of Culture.
The ministry announced that they were not notified about the rally at all and learned about it from the media outlets, and it rejects the existence of any event whose purpose is to create normalization with the Israeli occupation.

Boycott the Jerusalem Festival!
Surfers on social media launched the hashtag #Boycott_the_Mekudeshet_Festival and demanded that the Palestinian and international artists and bands that are participating immediately revoke their decision [to do so].
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott [of Israel] PACBI called on singers to cancel their participation in the cultural evening that will be held as part of the festival in occupied Jerusalem.
The campaign called in its notice to 'all of the following Palestinian bands and singers: Kamel Suleiman, Muhammad Al-Mughrabi, Muhammad Hindi, Salameh Barham, Firas Salameh, and Raed Bassam Jabid to cancel their participation in the [cultural] evening that will be held on Thursday with the participation of Israelis and Palestinians under the name All Of Us as part of the Israeli Mekudeshet Festival that will be held in the neighborhoods of occupied Jerusalem.'
The BDS [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 Mekudeshet Festival in Jerusalem, organized by Jerusalem Season of Culture, describes itself as "a series of artistic experiences that emanate from the city’s reality and seek to inspire that reality in turn."

Green Line - 1949-1967 ceasefire line between Israel and the neighboring Arab countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) following Israel's War of Independence (1948-1949). Land within the Green Line is all part of the State of Israel since 1949. Land outside the Green Line includes East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights.

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