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Danny Glover calls for cultural boycott of Israel

May 14, 2014 10:57 P.M. (Updated: May 16, 2014 12:28 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Danny Glover and other actors featured in a US documentary on a prominent social justice activist protested the film's screening at a Tel Aviv festival this week, announcing their support for the cultural boycott of Israel.

In a statement released on Monday, the group said they "stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, and support their call for cultural and academic boycott of Israel" and were "shocked to find the film slated to be screened" at an Israeli festival.

"We immediately took action to have the film withdrawn from the festival," the statement added, but highlighted that festival organizers say it was not "possible" to change the schedule that they would "move forward with the screening, over our objections."

The film "American Revolutionary: the Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs," is scheduled to be shown in Tel Aviv at DocAviv, a festival dedicated to documentary film which runs through May 17 and purports to be the largest film festival in Israel.

The group, however, stressed their support for the Palestinian call for Academic and Cultural Boycott, which was launched in 2004 as part of the global campaign to boycott, sanction, and divest from the state of Israel in order to pressure it to end its long-standing occupation of the Palestinian territories and history of human rights abuses against Palestinians.

Grace Lee Boggs, the subject of the documentary film, also added her name to the statement supporting the cultural boycott.

As a long-time advocate of social and racial justice in the United States, the statement highlighted that she said that screening the film in Israel "is in direct contradiction to her legacy and ongoing work as a revolutionary."

"We will pursue opportunities for this film and the ideas within it to be made available in Palestine in a way that supports the movement," the statement added.

The campaign has scored a number of notable successes in recent years, with leading US academic and cultural figures coming out in support despite widespread pro-Israel sentiment in North America.

Supporters of the boycott believe that after decades of occupation and ethnic cleansing, international pressure is one of the few ways left to force Israel to respect Palestinian rights.
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