International Artists Call to End Israel’s Siege on Gaza
Over 400 artists, musicians, writers and cultural practitioners from across the world support Amnesty International’s call for an arms embargo on Israel.

A Palestinian woman holds an olive tree during land day in the West Bank village of Qalandiya, March 30, 2019. 'Land Day' is held every year to commemorate the six Palestinian protesters who were killed by Israeli police and army during mass demonstrations on March 30, 1976, against governmental plans to confiscate Palestinian lands in the Galilee | Image courtesy : Electronic Intifada

Released marking two years since Israeli forces massacred sixty peaceful protesters at the Great Return March in Gaza, the letter has been signed by artists, musicians, writers and cultural practitioners from across the world. 

The following is the text of the letter:

Long before the global outbreak of COVID-19 threatened to overwhelm the already devastated healthcare system in Gaza, the UN had predicted that the blockaded coastal strip would be unliveable by 2020. With the pandemic, Gaza’s almost two million inhabitants, predominantly refugees, face a mortal threat in the world’s largest open-air prison.

Two years ago on May 14th, Israeli snipers killed sixty Palestinian men, women and children in Gaza, with total impunity. The overwhelmingly peaceful Great March of Return weekly mass demonstrations, currently on hold due to the threat of coronavirus, were met with brutal violence. 

Well before the ongoing crisis, Gaza’s hospitals were already stretched to breaking point through lack of essential resources denied by Israel’s siege. Its healthcare system could not cope with the thousands of gunshot wounds, leading to many amputations. 

Reports of the first cases of coronavirus in densely-populated Gaza are therefore deeply disturbing. As several health professionals recently wrote: “Epidemics (and indeed, pandemics) are disproportionately violent to populations burdened by poverty, military occupation, discrimination & institutionalised oppression.”

Yet Israel’s blockade impedes the flow of medical equipment, personnel and fundamental humanitarian aid. International pressure is urgently needed to make life in Gaza liveable and dignified. Israel’s siege must be ended. And most urgently, a potentially devastating outbreak must be prevented.  

What happens in Gaza is a test for the conscience of humanity. We back Amnesty International’s call on all world governments to impose a military embargo on Israel until it fully complies with its obligations under international law. We recognise that the rights guaranteed to refugees by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights must be upheld for Palestinians as well.

In these times of international crisis, we must stand for justice, peace, freedom, and equal rights for all, regardless of identity or creed. We may be staying at home, but our ethical responsibility shouldn’t.

Signed,

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, artist

Taha Adnan, poet

Giannis Aggelakas, singer, songwriter, poet

Mania Akbari, film director

Fatiha al Ghorri, comedian

Pau Alabajos, singer, songwriter

Senad Alic, visual artist

Simon Allemeersch, theatre maker

Candace Allen, author

Udi Aloni, filmmaker

Rafael Alvarez, choreographer, dancer

Miren Amuriza, writer, versolari

Lisa Appignanesi, writer

Ariane Ascaride, actor

Austra, solo artist

Ariella Azoulay, writer, filmmaker

Kobe Baeyens, classical singer

Balkan Bomba, band

Sibaji Bandyopadhyay, author, performer

Kevin Barry, writer

Kevin Beasley, artist

Patrick Bebi, theatre maker, actor, teacher

Nacera Belaza, choreographer

Yacine Belhacene, singer

Bella Cuts, DJ, producer

Ronan Bennett, screenwriter

Rimli Bhattacharya, writer, academic

Akeel Bilgrami, philosopher

Mary Black, singer

Bruno Boussagol, theatre director

Tove Bøygard, singer, composer, writer

Howard Brenton, playwright

Adam Broomberg, artist

Pankaj Butalia, filmmaker

Teresa Cabral, painter

Burt Caesar, actor, film director

Paulo Caetano, author, photographer

Carmen Callil, publisher, writer, critic

Dayana Cata, writer, artist

Oliver Chanarin, artist

Pascal Chardome, musician, composer

Sheba Chhachhi, photographer

Régine Chopinot, choreographer

Julie Christie, actor

Chullage, rapper

Ciel, DJ, producer

Luís Cília, musician, singer

Céline Condorelli, artist

Steve Coogan, comedian, actor

Molly Crabapple, writer

Crisis de los 40, band

Darren Cullen, artist

Liam Cunningham, actor

Sinéad Cusack, actor

Bruna Cusí, actor

Alain Damasio, writer

Jesse Darling, artist

Eva De Roovere, singer-songwriter

Foivos Delivorias, singer, songwriter

Rokhaya Diallo, writer, filmmaker

Doctor Prats, band

Mark Donne, filmmaker

Geoff Dyer, writer

Galit Eilat, curator, writer

Radhouane El Medebb, choreographer

Fons Elders, writer

Brian Eno, musican

Anne Enright, writer

Annie Ernaux, writer

Charles Esche, museum director, professor

Marcelo Evelin, choreographer

Tristan Faes, classical singer

Shepard Fairey, artist

David Farr, screenwriter

Isabel Fazenda, writer

Mark Fell, electronic musician

Simon Fisher Turner, composer, producer, actor

Annar Follestø, violinist, artistic director

Cesk Freixas, singer, songwriter

Peter Gabriel, musician, music festival founder

Dimitra Galani, singer, composer

Rashna Gandhy, author, psychologist

Sylvain George, filmmaker

Katia Gerou, actor, writer

Gigakoops, electronic musician

Jordi Ginesta, singer

Thea Glenton Raknes, musician

Sérgio Godinho, musician, singer

Priyamvada Gopal, writer, scholar

Antony Gormley, artist

Gossos, band

Øyvind Grande, composer

Andre Gregory, actor, theatre director

Ohal Grietzer, composer, mixed-media performer

Trevor Griffiths, playwright

Probir Gupta, artist

Gwenno, musician, songwriter

Ella Maria Hætta Isaksen, artist, singer

Maysaloun Hamoud, film director

Nir Harel, artist

Githa Hariharan, writer

Tobi Haslett, writer, art critic

Justin Hayward-Young, musician

Charles Hayward, musician

Tzion Abraham Hazan, artist

Kristien Hemmerechts, writer

Dalilla Hermans, writer, columnist

Claire Hilger, visual artist, graphic designer

Hiro Kone, DJ, producer

Martin Horntveth, musician, composer, artist

Gemma Hummet, singer

Asad Hussain, writer, film editor

Emmanuelle Huynh, dancer

Trond Ingebretsen, musician, singer

Marc Isaacs, documentary filmmaker

Vanessa Jackson, artist

Julie Jaroszewski, singer, filmmaker, actress

Terry Johnson, playwright, director

Filip Jordens, singer, actor

Em Joseph, artist

Embla Karidotter, musician

Ioanna Karystianni, writer

Kyriakos Katzourakis, artist, film director

Patrick Keiller, artist, filmmaker

A.L. Kennedy, author

Chris Keulemans, writer

Naomi Klein, writer

La Kruel band

Lágrimas de Sangre, band

Lankum, band

Mike Leigh, screenwriter, director

Leo Leonhardsen, musician

Faustin Linyekula, choreographer

Lluís Llach, singer, songwriter

Ken Loach, film director

Jen Long, artist manager, DJ

Josie Long, comedian

Los Castos, band

Los Chikos del Maíz, rap group

Dónal Lunny, musician

Nightmare Lyre, musician

Mammút, band

Esther Manito, comedian

Kika Markham, actor

Yann Martel, author

Helen Marten, artist

Emer Martin, writer

Raoul Martinez, artist, writer

Marwan, singer, songwriter, poet

Massive Attack, band

Tom McCarthy, author

Vic Mensa, rap artist

Marc Mercier, artistic director

China Miéville, author

Luc Mishalle, musician

Thurston Moore, musician

Christy Moore, singer

Gérard Mordillat, filmmaker

Viggo Mortensen Jr., actor, musician, author

Junior Mthombeni, theater director, actor, musician

Peter Mullan, actor, director

Rita Natálio, artist, researcher

Nel Tardiu, band

Jef Neve, pianist, composer

Courttia Newland, author

Bernard Noël, writer

Object Blue, DJ

Joff Oddie, musician

Joan Miquel Oliver, singer, songwriter

Ragnar Olsen, singer

Susie Orbach, psychoanalyst, writer

Jørn Simen Øverli, singer, artist

Ruth Padel, poet

Carmen París, singer, songwriter

Melissa Parmenter, composer, film producer, pianist

Anand Patwardhan, documentary filmmaker

Maxine Peake, actor

Eddie Peake, artist

Mireille Perrier, actor

Dimitris Piatas, actor, writer

Ernest Pignon-Ernest, artist

Marijke Pinoy, actress

Alain Platel, choreographer

Jocelyn Pook, composer

Patrícia Portela, writer, playwright

Aaron Porter, solo artist

Charlotte Prodger, artist

Philip Pullman, author

Pupil·les, band

Michael Radford, film director

Roland Ramade, singer

RAVI, artist, composer

Stephen Rea, actor

Ian Rickson, theatre director

Tiago Rodrigues, national theatre director, playwright

Luz Room for Resistance, DJ

Rrose, musician

Liv Runesdatter, singer, composer

Pilar Salamanca, writer

Xavi Sarrià, musician

K. Satchidanandan, writer

Aura Satz, artist

James Schamus, director, producer

Noémie Schellens, classical singer, actress

Gaea Schoeters, writer, journalist, scenarist

Mim Shaikh, broadcaster, writer, actor

Tai Shani, artist

Alia Shawkat, actor, artist

Sindicat de Músics Activistes de Catalunya – SMAC musicians’ union

Robyn Slovo, film producer

John Smith, artist filmmaker

Smoking souls, band

Patrick Staff, artist

Stay at Homas, band

Janneke Stegeman, theologian, writer

DAAN Stuyven, singer-songwriter, composer

Vivan Sundaram, artist

BV Suresh, artist

Nick J. Swarth, poet, performer, musician, visual artist

Guy Swinnen, singer

Jakob Thonander Glans, composer, musician, conductor

Colm Tóibín, author

Sílvia Tomàs, singer, songwriter

Ricky Tomlinson, actor

Tudanca, band

Dirk Tuypens, actor

Merlijn Twaalfhoven, composer

Txarango, band

Adil Tyabji, editor

V (formerly Eve Ensler), playwright, activist

Myriam Van Imschoot, performance, theatre, music

Michiel Vandevelde, choreographer

Judith Vanistendael, graphic novelist

David Verdaguer, actor

Violet, DJ, producer

Erik Vlaminck, author

Pantelis Voulgaris, film director

Naomi Wallace, playwright

Mark Wallinger, artist

Harriet Walter, actor

Roger Waters, musician

Einat Weizman, director, writer, actor

Irvine Welsh, author

Michael Wiehe, singer, musician

Unni Wilhelmsen, musician, composer, writer

Jeanette Winterson, writer

Bent Wold, singer

XY, band

Luke Younger, experimental musician

Zoo, band

Tulika Aasma, Visual Artist

Majed Abusalama, Journalist, Producer

Hamja Ahsan, Artist, writer, curator

Nathaniel Andrews, Musician

Zaina Arekat, Musician

Mert Bagcan, musician

Matthew Barnes , Artist

Bernardo Barro, musician

Vinod Bhardwaj, Art Critic and Writer

Ira Bhaskar, Cinema Scholar

Daria Birang, Artist

Tove Bornhøft, artistic theatre director

Jen Brister, comedian

Melanie E L Bush, Academic

Indira Chandrasekhar, Publisher

Jesper Christensen, Actor

Simon Coates, artist

Maggie Cronin, Actor

Lebuïn D’Haese, sculptor, visual artist

Dror Dayan, Filmmaker and Lecturer

Corrado Maria De Santis, Musician

Raymond Deane, Composer, author

Satish Deshpande, Academic

Sudhanva Deshpande, Theatre Director, Actor

Dreamtrip, Music Producer ,DJ

Madhusree Dutta, Filmmaker, Artistic Director

Electric Litany, band

Tina Enghoff, Visuel artist

Naima Fatima, Filmmaker

Samuel Francis, Filmmaker

Sabeena Gadihoke, Photography and Cinema Scholar

Munishwar Nath Ashish Ganju, Sustainable Architect

Tim Garratt, Musician

Lena Ghannam, artist

Arundhati Ghosh, Curator

Sanchayan Ghosh, Professor of Fine Arts

Nida Ghouse, Writer, Curator

Shanta Gokhale, Writer and Theatre Critic

Lalitha Gopalan, Film Scholar

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, visual artist

Spyros Grammenos, musician

Cathy Gulkin, Filmmaker

Latika Gupta, Curator

Parul Gupta, Artist

Síomha Hennessy, Sisterix (band)

Trevor Joyce, Poet

Susanne Kahlil Yusef, artist

Geeta Kapur, Art Curator

Anuradha Kapur, Theatre Director

Sam Karam, Musician/DJ

Nuzhat Kazmi, Art Historian

Judith Knight, Arts producer

Thanos Kois, musician

Billie Koppel, Singer

Ashish Kothari, Environmentalist

R. Siva Kumar, Art Historian

Vicky Langan, Artist

Paul Laughlin, Poet

Britta Lillesøe, Actress, Cultural Coordinator, Event Maker

Ben Lunn, Composer

Mafalda, band

Alessandro Magania, performer, choreographer, visual artist

Jim Maginn, Photographer

Harsh Mander, Author and Columnist

Marinah, singer

Niall McDevitt, Poet

Hugh McFadden, Poet/ writer

Cahal McLaughlin, filmmaker

Wency Mendes, Filmmaker

Stamatis Morfonios, Musician

Danny Morrison, Writer

Benjamin Moser, Writer

Jimmy Murphy, Playwright

Pushpamala N, Artist

Marco Ormas, musician

Chitra Ravi, Pedagogy Expert

Gauhar Raza, Poet and Scientist

Luigi Rizzo, Film editor

Andrew Ross, Writer

Shermine Sawalha, Producer

Zachary Seely, Musician

Jai Sen, Academic

Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Artist, Curator

Refqa Shaqoor, Docent

David Shock, Artist

SB Stokes, poet

Nandini Sundar, Academic

Susie Tharu, Writer

Kirsten Thorup, novelist

Joëlle Tuerlinckx, visual artist

Uzramma, Artisanal Textile Manufacturer

Niall Vallely, Musician, composer

Jaap van der Vinne, Fotographer

Achin Vanaik, Academic

Pramila Vasudevan, Choreographer, Interdisciplinary Artist

Nils Vest, Film director

Sonia Wickham, Visual artist

Karina Willumsen, Musician

Wolf Alice, band

Arne Würgler, Musician

Christoforos Zaralikos, comedian

First published in Lift the Siege