RAMALLAH, March 27 (JMCC) - A Palestinian boycott committee has responded to charges that it mistakenly called for a ban on the orchestra founded by the conductor Daniel Barenboim and the late Edward Said.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel says that the West-Eastern Diwan Orchestra promotes cultural understanding without addressing the issue of Israel's ongoing military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
By promoting this false symmetry or balance between the two sides, WEDO is indeed promoting normalization. The Divan refuses to even recognize, let alone oppose, Israel's ethnic cleansing, occupation and system of racial discrimination as the root causes of the Arab-Israeli colonial conflict, sanitizing the very real oppressive reality on the ground with benign terms that are intended to project symmetry between oppressor and oppressed and moral parity between colonizer and colonized. This conforms to the definition of normalization, a term used across the Arab World, especially in Palestine, to describe joint Arab-Israeli projects that ignore or bypass the reality of oppression altogether, and/or fail to contribute to the struggle to end it, hence presenting to the world a deceptive image of civilized coexistence despite Israel's patently uncivilized colonization and apartheid system.
The campaign was responding to a letter of protest
written by Edward Said's widow. Read
the entire statement at the Electronic Intifada...