In a letter sent to the mayor of the municipality of Las Condes, Joaquin Lavin, various organizations demand
the suspension of the presentation of the Symphony Orchestra of Jerusalem to be held at the Municipal Theater of that commune on August 27th. They call for “not normalizing Israeli apartheid.”
In the communication they warn him that the performance of this orchestra “responds to a strategy of image whitewashing financed by the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel, which seeks to divert public attention from the crimes against humanity that are committed daily, and to normalize this way the relations that this State maintains with the International Community, favoring its total and absolute impunity, this is the true role that its presentation plays.”
Next, the complete communication:
Santiago, August 22, 2018
Mr. JOAQUÍN LAVIN INFANTE
Commune of Las Condes
Along with greeting, we would like to express our deep concern and rejection of the performance of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra at the Las Condes Theater, scheduled for Monday, August 27.
As is public knowledge, Palestine lives under a regime of Apartheid and illegal military occupation, the longest of modern times, in which all the basic human rights of the Palestinian population are violated: destruction of Palestinian homes and neighborhoods to make way to the construction of colonial settlements; a wall 8 meters high and more than 700 kilometers long, that cuts and strips the natural resources for the life of the Palestinian towns; checkpoints, which impede freedom of movement; 6,000 Palestinian prisoners kidnapped in Israeli prisons, including about 300 children, 7 deputies and dozens of artists and journalists; continuous massacres and killings of civilians; among other crimes against humanity, which maintain the humanitarian crisis of the Palestinian people.
These practices are not new, but are part of an ongoing ethnic cleansing plan, which has been in place since 1948, the year in which Israel invades the historic territory of Palestine, displacing 70% of its population, who today are 6 million and counting of refugees recognized by the United Nations, the largest displaced population in the world. Since then, colonization has not stopped: Israel maintains a recognized and flagrant violation of International Humanitarian Law, as a result of the recognition by the International Community of an institution in defense of human rights, due to the tragic events that occurred in Europe during the twentieth century.
On the contrary, today, at 70 years, Israel has intensified its repressive policies; pressured countries to move their Embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in defiance of United Nations resolutions; added to the recent enactment of the Israeli law declaring itself as a “Nation State of the Jewish People”, thus institutionalizing the Apartheid regime, recognizing that Jerusalem is its “unique and indivisible capital” and as a “national value” advancing with the Jewish settlements; all acts constituting war crimes according to the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Therefore, Mr. Mayor, it is not casual or peaceful the visit of the “Symphony Orchestra of Jerusalem”, just weeks after the approval of the aforementioned Israeli law, and in the year in which the entire world condemns the arbitrary decision of Donald Trump , which aims to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, a fact rejected 38 years ago by the Law and the International Community through resolution 478 of the Security Council of the United Nations.
All of the above has been recognized in various United Nations resolutions 70 years ago; thus, as summarized in UN Security Council resolution 2334, dated December 23, 2016, what Israel is seeking is “to alter the demographic composition, character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, among other things, the construction and expansion of settlements, the transfer of Israeli settlers, the confiscation of land, the demolition of houses and the displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions. ” In that resolution, which Chile voted favorably on, it is called to “immediately and completely end all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to fully respect all its legal obligations in that regard”.
In this context, we must warn you that the performance of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra responds to a strategy of image whitewashing financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State in question, which seeks to divert public attention from the crimes against humanity that are committed daily, and normalize the relations that this State maintains with the International Community, favoring its total and absolute impunity. This is the true role that its presentation plays.
With the presentation, it is intended, through culture, to install and make Israel look like a normal participant in the diplomatic, cultural and commercial world, without asserting responsibility for their crimes.
Furthermore, on the level of culture, Israel has leveled, destroyed and bombed Palestinian exhibition centers, theaters and cultural centers, as well as forbidding and repressing Palestinian art and culture. As an example, in 2009 Israel closed the Palestinian National Theater in Jerusalem, and its acts had to be transferred to the French Cultural Center; Just last week, Israel bombed the Said Al-Meshal Cultural Center in Gaza, leaving it completely in ruins, in a clear attempt against the Palestinian cultural and historical legacy.
Mr. Mayor, for all the above, echoing the voices that – like Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize – call not to normalize Israeli apartheid, and also knowing the twinning signed in October of 2017 with the Palestinian city of Bethlehem , we call for canceling the performance of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, thus not contributing to impunity or the washing of the image of apartheid and the illegal Israeli occupation.
- Comunidad Palestina de Chile
- Unión General de Estudiantes Palestinos (UGEP – Chile)
- Centro Árabe de Valdivia
- Juventud Árabe por Palestina de Valdivia
- Unión Árabe por Palestina de Temuco
- Centro Árabe de Temuco
- Centro Árabe de Concepción
- Centro Árabe Palestino de Los Ángeles
- Club Unión Árabe de Valparaíso y Viña del Mar
- Conjunto Folclórico Chileno-Árabe Quwat Al Janoub
- BDS – Chile
- BDS desde el Sur
- Coordinadora Ciudadana NO Alto Maipo
- Comisión Chilena Pro-Derechos Juveniles (CODEJU)
- La Savia
- Comité de Defensa del Borde Costero de Ancud
- Red Sindical de Atacama
- Movimiento de Defensa del Agua, la Tierra y el Medio Ambiente (MODATIMA – Chile)
- Observadores de Derechos Humanos Sutra Chile
- Agua y Soberanía
- Secretaria de Derechos Humanos, Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de Chile
- Rodrigo Rivera, presidente de la Federación de Estudiantes de la Universidad Diego Portales
- Cesar Luna, coordinador para Latinoamérica del Consejo Internacional de Trabajadores Portuarios
- Corporación de Desarrollo Catrico