On Thursday 21st March, in The Teachers Club Dublin, Gaza Action Ireland organised an interview with Dervla Murphy, Ireland’s pre-eminent travel writer on her latest book
“A Month by the Sea. Encounters in Gaza”.
This book gives a vivid picture and insight to the everyday life of Palestinians living in this coastal fragment of self-governing Palestine. Dervla develops an acute eye for the way in which isolation has shaped this society. Bombed and cut off from normal contact with the rest of the world, life in Gaza is beset with structural, medical and mental health problems yet it is also bursting with determination, survival, political engagement and underwritten by an intense enjoyment of family and life.
A full hall of supporters discussed many issues and asked many questions. To boycott Israel in every way possible was big on the agenda. Irish artists have raised this for many years and over 15 years ago Irish Equity passed a resolution at its AGM ( moved by Rynagh O’Grady ) to support the Palestinians by boycotting Israel with their work and performance.
In August 2010, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) launched the following pledge, initially signed by over 140 (now 238) Irish creative and performing artists, whereby they undertook to boycott the Israeli state under present circumstances:
“In response to the call from Palestinian civil society for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge not to avail of any invitation to perform or exhibit in Israel, nor to accept any funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.”
If you are an Irish artist or an artist based in Ireland and would like to add your signature, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A number of people spoke on the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), a broad coalition of the largest Palestinian civil society organisations, trade unions and NGO networks which supports the outcomes of the UN Fact Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements. It also calls for boycotts and sanctions as measures required to end the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise. The BNC calls upon states, members of the Human Rights Council, to adopt the report, and on all governments and business enterprises to implement its recommendations.The BNC also calls upon conscientious citizens and civic organisations worldwide to use this report as a tool to intensify the global civil society BDS Campaign and put pressure on governments to implement its recommendations.
Its supporters aim to develop this campaign in Ireland.
Article by Rynagh O’Grady, Irish Equity member and coordinator of AARO (Association of Artists Representative Organisations)