We call upon the International community to join us in the boycott of Israeli film festivals, Israeli public venues, and Israeli institutions supported by the government, and to end all cooperation with these cultural and artistic institutions that to date have refused to take a stand against the Occupation, the root cause for this colonial conflict.
I was going to dissent from this. But perhaps I should embrace it instead. Yes! Israel is doing evil things -- so let's boycott Israeli writers and artists!
But why stop there?
The U.S., of course, is brutally occupying Iraq. Are Iraqi lives worth less than Palestinian ones? Clearly not. So we have to boycott the U.S., too. This might be difficult for those of us who live in the U.S. -- we could go to no cultural events at all -- but morality is morality.
But, of course, Britain is occupying Iraq too. So add it to the list.
Then there's China. China has been brutally occupying Tibet for longer than Israel has been occupying Palestine. So obviously Chinese artists and writers are out. And many people say that India has no right to occupy Kashmir. Better to be on the safe side; so India's out, too.
But why stop at occupying states? Surely states which do other evil or criminal things should be subject to boycott, too. For instance, countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran brutally oppress women and gays, killing the former for crimes such as getting raped, and the latter for crimes such as existing at all. Those countries will have to be boycotted.
For that matter, I just saw the other day that Iran's fatwa against Salman Rushdie is still in effect. Calling for the murder of writers -- can't have that. But oh, wait -- Rushdie is British. Or does he live in America now? Or should we consider him Indian? Doesn't matter: one way or another, we won't be reading The Satanic Verses any time soon. Fortunately, Iran's already on the list, so no worries there.
It's getting to be a long list. People may worry that there will be no writers or artists left at all. But do not fear! There is an out! If institutions, or specific writers and artists, speak out against the occupation, they're exempt. (At least according to most versions of this idea.) So all we need to do is make sure that writers and artists speak out against the various atrocities in their countries -- but wait, isn't the whole idea here human solidarity? Better make that speak out against all the various atrocities. In fact, what if they miss one, or speak out in insufficiently outraged terms? To be on the safe side, we should prepare a statement for every artist and writer to sign. Hell, to read outloud: let them give their literal voices to the cause.
In fact, isn't it wrong to speak of anything else while such cruelties go on? Perhaps artists and writers should be allowed to read only our prepared statement until the cruelties of the world are ended.
The question of whether artists and writers are allowed to use personalized expressions in their readings, to highlight certain passages, is still in committee. Stay tuned.
I know this sounds extreme. But oppression is oppression, after all. If we let artists and writers speak on whatever they choose, despite whatever evils they may be associated with, how can we ever be free?
(Update: For more serious discussion, a commentator and I exchange views in the comment section.)