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Israel’s not so international Oud Festival

How the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement worked against white-washing.

Jerusalem24 – The Israeli International Oud Festival in Jerusalem was founded by the Confederation House in 2000. The organizers claim the festival celebrates the rich and varied Arab musical heritage that crossed borders and enriched other cultures.

Over the years, the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel has been working to call for boycotts of the Israeli festival. Calling it cultural appropriation and quoting Edward Said’s term of “cultural imperialism.” In 2021, the BDS movement has claimed that there is little international participation in the festival.

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel issued a statement regarding the 2021 Oud Festival. The statement read:

“Following a decade-long campaign alongside partners, including Boycott from Within, the Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and many others, PACBI notes with gratitude that this year’s so-called Jerusalem International Oud Festival, which shamelessly appropriates Palestinian and Arab Culture, once again has virtually no international participation.”

In this episode of Coffee in Palestine, we speak with Mahmoud Nawaja’a, the general coordinator of the Palestinian National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee (BDS), to speak about the efforts made to boycott the festival.

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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