On April 6, 2017, at the office of the Popular Democratic Party in Beirut, representatives of several political parties and organizations opposed to normalization with “Israel” met to discuss the ‘Tomorrowland’ project - which promotes itself under the banner of ‘building bridges with the people of tomorrow.’
On July 29, the “peoples” of Lebanon and ‘Israel’ along 6 other countries are supposed to ‘unite’ in an international musical concert. ‘Entertainers’ company in Jbeil is thus participating in the concert with one of the resorts in Tel Aviv.
As activists who are committed to the Palestinian cause until the liberation of Palestine, we are launching a national campaign against ‘Tomorrowland’ in Lebanon. To us, Tomorrowland is an act of “virtual” normalization with ‘Israel’ and a violation of our national values. We regard “Israel” as a racist colonial entity, and we do not want it to be among the ‘promised land’ of tomorrow.
Entertainers’ allegation that the broadcast between Lebanon and ‘Israel’ will not be available under an agreement with Tomorrowland does not preclude our consideration of the project as one of normalization with the enemy, particularly since the unity of 8 people this year as ‘the unity of the world’ includes the UAE, Lebanon, and the rogue entity. Art should be a means of liberation from occupation, and not a means of normalization with it. If we are to assume that the ban on live broadcast between Lebanon and the rogue entity would take place, will this prevent others, in Berlin, for example, from considering the celebration in Jbeil and Tel Aviv to be a Lebanese approval of coexistence with Israeli occupation and racism? Would this not be a message that the ‘people of Lebanon’ welcome ‘Israel’ in the world of tomorrow.
Confronting normalization with the Zionist enemy is one of the many forms of artistic, cultural and academic resistance. By escalating this confrontation, we strive towards establishing the image of the enemy state as a rogue, racist state, thus preventing any form of embellishment‘. We further seek to isolate ‘Israel’ with all its institutions, particularly the artistic, academic, and media institutions which have always sought to ‘polish’ the Zionist and racist war crimes against Arabs.
We also condemn the attempts to spread the ‘culture of defeat’ to our Arab society, as well as the naive calls to ‘separate art from politics,’ especially in light of the growing quest for official Arab normalization with Israel.
The participants agreed on the following steps:1. Assign a committee of lawyers to prepare a legal report on Tomorrowland’s normalizing activity, and the extent of its conflict with the Lebanese Constitution, the Taif Accord, and Lebanese public opinion. 2. Liaise with political parties, trade unions, cultural clubs and students to raise awareness about the extent of this ‘hidden’ type of normalization with the enemy. 3. Call on the organizers to redress this step, which would polish the image of ‘Israel’ through art, and erase its crimes against the Palestinian and Lebanese people.4. Launch campaign #Boycott_Tomorrowland*
Beirut, April 7, 2017
The signatories:1- Union of Palestinian Democratic Youth2- Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth3- The Popular Nasserist Organization4- The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine5- The People’s Movement6- The Movement of the Independent Nasserists7- The International Campaign for the Release of George Abdullah8- The Palestinian Camps Boycott Campaign9- The Campaign for the Boycott of Supporters of ‘Israel’ in Lebanon10- The Popular Democratic Party11- The Lebanese Communist Party12- The Palestinian Youth Organization13- Dr Hassan Jouny14- Sarkis Abu Zeid
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