Singer Stevie Wonder dropped his support for Israeli Apartheid. Will Morgan Freeman do the same?
CANADA is rising in importance for Israeli Fundraising as Canadians get duped into paying for Apartheid
ElectronicIntifada.com – Canadian filmmaker John Greyson has released this short video supporting the Palestinian call on actor Morgan Freeman and Canadian broadcaster and musician Jian Ghomeshi to cancel their participation in a 6 May event hosted by the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University.
The fundraiser, a “Celebration of Excellence” at the Toronto Center for the Arts, honoring Freeman, appears to be another effort by an Israeli institution to use high-profile celebrities to attract audiences while deflecting criticism of Israel’s human rights record.
Freeman is a symbolic catch given that he played Nelson Mandela in the movie Invictus.
In November, legendary musician Stevie Wonder made headlines by pulling out of a Los Angeles fundraiser for “Friends of the IDF,” a group that raises money for the Israeli army.
PACBI, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, issued an appeal to Freeman explaining why supporting an event for Hebrew University is no better than one raising funds for the Israeli army of occupation. The statement calls on Freeman to refuse an award “tarnished with apartheid and colonialism.” Here’s an excerpt:
The intention of the award is to honor your work in ‘combating racism and promoting knowledge and education worldwide.’ Given that Israel practices forms of racism through its system of colonialism, occupation and apartheid, and violates the rights of Palestinians to education and life, it is cynical, and nothing short of a dishonor to your lifelong achievements to be accepting an award from a group that is in deep support of an Israeli University complicit in Israel’s systematic violations of human rights and international law.
The Hebrew University is specifically implicated in serious violations in a number of ways. The University illegally acquired a significant portion of the land on which its Mount Scopus campus and dormitories are built. On 1 September 1968, about one year after Israel’s military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, the Israeli authorities confiscated 3345 dunums of Palestinian land. Part of this land was then used to build the Mount Scopus campus of Hebrew University.
It’s also disappointing to see Jian Ghomeshi, who hosts the excellent CBC arts and culture program Q, hosting the event and appearing in this video promoting it. Ghomeshi is smart enough to know better. He’s also smart enough to understand that he can’t just ignore the Palestinian appeal and claim he’s being apolitical. By participating in this event he’s already taken a political stance, and a really bad one at that. Ignoring the appeal from Palestinians living under an Israeli occupation in which Hebrew University is complicit will only confirm Ghomeshi’s stance.