• U Penn Houston Hall (map)
  • 3417 Spruce Street
  • Philadelphia, PA, 19104
  • United States

Teach in on Cultural Boycott.
Hosted by Philly BDS
May 5 from 4-6PM at UPENN (Houston Hall, Bodek Lounge)

Despite Israel’s decades-long documented suppression of Palestinian voices and Palestinian human rights the Philadelphia Orchestra has made plans to perform in Israel this June. Despite the calls from the local community calling for the boycott of this trip, the Philadelphia Orchestra is claiming that their performance in Israel is a form “cultural diplomacy,” and not “a political mission.”

Inspired by the global cultural boycott that helped end Apartheid in South Africa, Palestinian civil society has called on the international cultural institutions to not perform in Israel. This cultural boycott is used as a means of popular non-violent activism to pressure Israel to end their occupation and apartheid policies. 

Over 100 musicians, artists, scholars, union members and activists, as well as 33 social justice organizations have called on the Philadelphia Orchestra to cancel their planned June tour in Israel. Citing that such a tour would be regarded as the orchestra’s participation in what’s considered as the Israeli government’s, “Brand Israel propaganda strategy.” 

Philly BDS invites you to learn about “Philly, Don’t Orchestrate Apartheid.”

What is a cultural boycott? How and why do they work?
What are some strategies for an effective cultural boycott campaign?

How to involve more Palestinians in the movement.

Dr. Lawrence Davidson, retired professor of Middle East history at West Chester University. He is an Advisory Board member of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. 

Hannah Mermelstein is a school librarian and Palestine solidarity activist based in Brooklyn, NY. She is an active member of Adalah-NY: Campaign for the Boycott of Israel and a founder of Librarians and Archivists with Palestine. She has led more than 25 delegations to Palestine and has been involved in many BDS campaigns in the US. 

Karima Saab, a Palestinian American representing Philly BDS will talk about the group’s current campaign--demanding The Philadelphia Orchestra to cancel their upcoming performance in Israel. In addition, Karima will discuss the apparent misconnection present in the Palestinian-American community regarding activism as it is compared to non-Palestinian Activism in the Philadelphia area.

A moderated discussion will follow.