Days of Palestine – Gaza
Hamas Movement hailed the Sydney festival boycott by a group of artists over a sponsorship deal with the Israeli embassy in a statement issued on Thursday.
The statement was issued after more than 20 acts have pulled out of the 2022 Sydney festival, just 48 hours before the opening night, boycotting the festival over a sponsorship deal with the Israeli embassy.
“We commend and appreciate this decision that came in solidarity with the Palestinians’ legitimate rights, and in opposition to the Israeli crimes against our Palestinian people,” the statement read.
“We declare our solidarity with the participants who have withdrawn from the festival, and we call on all participants to raise their voices in face of oppression and injustice,” it added.
The comedian Tom Ballard, the Beauvoir theater production of Black Brass, former NSW politician Meredith Burgmann, First Nations dance company Marrugeku, and commentator Yumi Stynes are just some of the festival participants who have either canceled or distanced themselves in protest, joining a growing number of Arab, pro-Palestinian, First Nations and Greens groups spearheading the call for a boycott.
Among the other artists and organizations withdrawing are the comedian Nazeem Hussain, visual artist Khaled Sabsabi, burlesque performer Betty Grumble, Malyangapa, and Barkindji hip-hop artist Barkaa, as well as the Bankstown poetry slam, and musician Marcus Whale.
On Instagram, Melbourne band Karate Boogaloo – who have also pulled out – said the act of boycotts and divestments had a strong track record of holding governments and corporations accountable for their actions.
According to a statement released on 22 December by the Palestinian Justice Movement Sydney, the sponsorship deal was sealed in May, the same month Israeli armed forces launched a series of air attacks on Gaza, killing a number of Palestinian civilians.
“Palestine advocates call on all opponents of apartheid to boycott the 2022 Sydney Festival,” that statement said. “By partnering with Israel, Sydney festival will … contribute to the normalization of an apartheid state.”