Berger's manifesto in the Guardian tells us boycotting Israel will bring peace. Coincidentally, Ehud Olmert told the BBC he is striving for peace talks. How is boycotting Israel going to bring peace, when the major obstacle to peace is currently Hamas intransigence and unwillingness to recognize Israel?
John Berger rallies artists for cultural boycott of Israel
Supporters include Brian Eno and Arundhati Roy
Critics say sanctions will be counter-productive
Charlotte Higgins, arts correspondent
Friday December 15, 2006
The celebrated novelist, critic and artist John Berger today calls on British writers and artists to undertake a "cultural boycott" of Israel. In a letter to the Guardian, co-signed by, among others, the artist Cornelia Parker, the musician Brian Eno, and writers Arundhati Roy and Ahdaf Soueif, Berger calls for support for "our Palestinian and Israeli colleagues". He suggests boycott tactics; in his case it meant declining to be published by a large mainstream Israeli publisher, he says.
Richard Eyre, the theatre director, said: "I would have said during apartheid in South Africa sanctions ... were effective, but so many people since then have said they were counterproductive. It's not cut and dried. Anything that boycotts Israel means we are in danger of cutting off access to [those] we should be speaking to."
The playwright Mark Ravenhill said it was good to keep a dialogue open with those challenging the government. "A cultural boycott runs the risk of stopping that dialogue and support." Michael Berkeley, the composer, said: "Sometimes it is only through the arts that a link remains open."
John Berger, novelist, painter, art critic and philosopher
Brian Eno, electronic musician, music theorist and record producer
Sophie Fiennes, film director
Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan writer
Reem Kelani, Palestinian singer
Leon Rosselson, musician and writer
Steven Rose, scientist
Ahdaf Soueif, author
Arundhati Roy, Booker Prize winner
Elia Suleiman, film director and actor, and 85 others.
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