Boycott Divest Zabludowicz (BDZ) condemns the Israeli State’s attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, which left over 300 wounded. Likewise, we condemn the recent and continued illegal expulsions of Palestinian families, designed to pave the ground for further Israeli settlements in Sheikh Jarrah, in East Jerusalem. We also condemn the airstrikes on Gaza, which have already killed 83 Palestinians, and the newly launched ground invasion.
This recent violence is not an anomalous occurrence, but a continuation of the Israeli state’s project of territorial expansion and ethnic dominance. When not erupting in the mass killing of Palestinians with the flimsy pretext of national defence, this project is maintained, structurally, by an apartheid system contravening human rights law which oppresses Palestinians living under the de facto governance of Israel, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Under this regime, the Palestinian people are subjected to forced expulsions; extreme limitation of free movement; the deprivation of access to basic resources necessary for survival – including medical supplies, electricity and clean water; daily harassment, provocations and humiliations from the Israeli military; mass impoverishment, with industrial growth, trade and employment inhibited; oppressive policing; illegal mass imprisonment including the mass incarceration of children; and targeted executions of political representatives.
We call on all cultural workers, art institutions and arts press to join us in taking action in solidarity with all Palestinians who are forced to endure horrific daily acts of violent oppression by the Israeli state. We reiterate our demands to boycott the Zabludowicz Arts Trust* and its subsidiaries: the Zabludowicz Collection, Daata Editions, Daata Art Fair, Times Square Space Gallery and the Zabludowicz’ residency programmes. All contracts drawn up with the Zabludowicz Arts Trust are simultaneously contracts drawn up with Tamares Group. All cultural engagement with the Zabludowicz Arts Trust – from artistic sales to gallery visits, from online promotion to project commissions – are complicit with structural oppression.
We stress the increasing urgency, in the face of Israel’s current escalations, for collective international solidarity, resistance and active opposition to Israel’s apartheid regime. This regime consistently and flagrantly contravenes international human rights laws, and continues to commit the slow ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. It justifies this ongoing violence by conflating Judaism with Zionism (which in itself is anti-Semitic) in order to render all opposition to, and criticism of, Israel as necessarily anti-Semitic; anti-Semitism in this instance is weaponised as means to block accountability, justify ethnic cleansing and destroy all active international resistance to the atrocities that the state repetitively commits on a daily basis.
It is imperative that all who can take action do so, through whatever means they can. We urge all those working in the cultural sector to join the BDS movement, commit to boycotting the Zabludowicz Trust and sign our pledge. Help us to gain new signatories. Attend the upcoming demonstrations. Come to BDZ meetings and take direct action. Support and get involved in BDS campaigns. Call for institutions to sever all cultural and economic ties to the Israeli state. We implore people to show solidarity with all suffering these ongoing relentless and unbearable atrocities at the hands of the Israeli state – through participating in acts of collective resistance, through active opposition, and by refusing all collaboration and compliance with the state of Israel.
*Zabludowicz Arts Trust was founded by Poju Zabludowicz, the founder, major funder, and former director of BICOM. BICOM lobbies the UK government, the main political parties in the UK and the British mainstream media on behalf of Israel. Poju is also founder and director of Tamares Group, a global private investment group with real estate interests that in the past have included illegal settlements on Palestinian land. In 1994, Poju inherited his family arms dealing business and most of the defence interests were sold. Today, it is now controlled through Tamares Group. Though Tamares Group recently sold their investments in Knafaim Holdings Ltd, (offering ‘military aircraft maintenance services’ to the Israeli Air Force via various maintenance contracts), in 2017, Tamares became the first outside investor and remains a major investor in Peter Thiel’s secretive US tech company, Palantir. According to the Palantir SEC S1 filing in 2020, Zabludowicz Trust is listed as one of the principal investors. Zabludowicz Arts Projects trustee and director Fabio Botterini De Pelosi listed as a signatory on the filing. Palantir’s technology plays a direct role in cyber security and predictive policing of Palestinians. A report by Privacy International states that since 2014 Palantir had contracts with the Israeli government. Palantir also ‘powers ICE immigration raids, the defence sector and police surveillance.’ (The Guardian).
The next BDZ online open meeting is on Sunday the 23rd of May at 7.30pm. Please join us and get involved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for a registration link.
Further groups to support include:
https://bdsmovement.net / @BDSmovement
https://www.pacbi.org / @PACBI
https://www.palestinecampaign.org / @PSCupdates
https://londonpalestineaction.tumblr.com / @Pal_action
https://www.map.org.uk / @MedicalAidPal
https://artistsforpalestine.org.uk / @Art4PalestineUK
A list of upcoming nationwide demonstrations on Sat 15th of May, and registration links for online international rallies, can be found here. We urge all to attend: