Samidoun joins civil society groups from across the world to call on international chefs to cancel participation in Brand Israel culinary event.

Take Apartheid off the menu

To the attention of:

7132 Silver, Swiss Alps
Chef Sven WassmerAndreu Genestra, Mallorca
Chef Andreu Genestra Garcia

Xemei, Barcelona
Chefs Stefano & Max Colombo

L’Air du Temps, Éghezée
Chef Sang Hoon Degeimbre

Maido, Lima
Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura

El Sud 777, Mexico City
Chef Edgar Nuñez

Il Desco, Verona
Chefs Elia & Matteo Rizzo

Ricard Camarena Restaurant, Valencia
Chef Ricard CamarenaLittle Social, London
Chef Jason Atherton, Head-chef Cary Docherty

Aniar, Galway
Chef JP McMahon, restaurateur Drigin Gaffey

The Elephant, Torquay
Chef Simon Hulstone

Loch Bay, Stein, Isle of Skye
Chefs Michael and Laurence Smith

Kadeau, Copenhagen
Chef Nicolai Nørregaard

Pok Pok, New York
Chef Andy Ricker

We, the undersigned civil society groups, are writing to you regarding your planned participation in the Round Tables Tour culinary event taking place in Tel Aviv from October 29 to November 17, 2017. We urge you to reconsider your involvement in this initiative aimed at using haute cuisine to mask Israel’s denial of Palestinian basic rights.

While Round Tables claims to advocate “cultural, economic and political dialogue through gastronomy,” it instead uses the time-honored tradition of sharing culinary experiences as a means for whitewashing widespread violation of Palestinian fundamental rights, including the right to food.

Among the partners of the event is the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has for years been leading the Brand Israel” project, aimed at using culture and the arts as a way of distracting from its poor human rights record in order to create a positive image. Partner Dan Hotels, which is also one of the hosts of the festival, has a settlement hotel built on stolen Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem.

Only 35 per cent of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation are food secure. Israeli military attacks destroy farms, greenhouses, water wells, crops and livestock and Israeli army snipers regularly fire upon Palestinian farmers in Gaza. Israel uses agriculture as a means for wholesale theft of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and used cynical calorie calculations to deliberately keep Palestinians in Gaza on a starvation diet. Palestinian citizens of Israel are being forced off their land through repeated house demolitions and denial of basic services, including water.

This past summer, more than one thousand Palestinian political prisoners being held in Israeli prisons sustained a 40-day hunger strike over inhumane conditions including torture, denial of medical care and routine solitary confinement.

And though you will have no problem traveling to Tel Aviv, roughly 7 million Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons resulting from Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing are denied the right to return to their lands as guaranteed under International Law.

In 2005, over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations called for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as a means for putting pressure on Israel until it ends its human rights violations, which have continued undeterred and in complete impunity for decades. As part of this call, international artists, performers, academics, and even chefs, are urged not to participate in events in Israel. The list of those heeding the call continues to grow.

By choosing to cook in the privileged bubble of Tel Aviv, surrounded by millions of Palestinians living under Israeli oppression, not only will you be knowingly disregarding this principled call from the oppressed, you will also help the Israeli government mask its oppression of Palestinians by giving the country a veneer of prestige with your presence.

Respecting the Palestinian BDS call is the best way to ensure that Palestinians, in the words of famed South African anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, are not reduced to “picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself [their] master,” but rather have “the full menu of rights.”

We urge you not to lend your culinary talents to mask Israel’s crimes. Please cancel your participation in the Round Tables event until everyone has a place at the table.

Signed:

Land Defense coalition (LDC), Palestine
Palestinian Farmers Union (PFU), Palestine
Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network/Friends of the Earth-Palestine, Palestine
Stop the Wall Campaign, Palestine
Alternative Information Center (AIC), Palestine/Israel
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from within, Israel
Frauen in Schwarz (Wien), Austria
Association belgo-palestinienne, Belgium
Käthe Kollwitz Peace run, Belgium
Palestina Solidariteit vzw, Belgium
Plate-forme Charleroi-Palestine, Belgium
Vlaams-Socialistische Beweging (V-SB), Belgium
Vrede vzw, Belgium
Grupo de acción por palestina, Chile
Grupo de Acción por Palestina, Chile
Juventud Árabe por Palestina de Valdivia, Chile
BDS Colombia, Colombia
Boykot Israel, Denmark
Comité de Solidaridad Permanente EcuadorXPalestina, Ecuador
Abna Philistine (Enfants de la Palestine), France
BDS France Campaign, France
Association France Palestine Solidarité 63, France
Collectif Judeo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine, France
Collectif 69 de soutien au peuple palestinien, France
Coordination Bds37 (Tours), France
CSPRN, France
Comité solidarité Palestine région nazairienne, France
Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour l’Amitié entre les Peuples – Gironde (MRAP33), France
Collectif BDS Metz, France
Comité BDS France 34 – Montpellier, France
Bds France Marseille, France
AK Nahost Berlin, Germany
AKtion Gerechter Frieden Nahost, Germany
BDS Berlin, Germany
BDS Hamburg, Germany
Deutsch-palästinensische Gesellschaft , Germany
Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost, Germany
Justice for Palestine, Germany
Palästinakomitee Stuttgart, Germany
Gaza Action Ireland , Ireland
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Ireland
ACS – Associazione di Cooperazione e Solidarietà, Italy
Associazione Casale Podere Rosa (Rome), Italy
Associazione Culturale Sogni di un Mondo Diverso, Italy
Associazione senza paura – Genova, Italy
Associazione Stelle Cadenti, artisti per la pace, Italy
Assopace Palestina, Italy
BDS Italia, Italy
BDS Sardegna, Italy
Comitato per non dimenticare Sabra e Chatila, Italy
Comitato Pistoiese per la Palestina, Italy
Comitato varesino per la Palestina, Italy
Confederazione Cobas, Italy
Coordinamento BDS Roma e Provincia, Italy
Coordinamento Nord Sud del Mondo, Italy
Donne in Nero / Women in Black, Italy
Forum Italiano dei Movimenti per l’Acqua, Italy
Forum Palestina, Italy
Friends of the Palestinian Red Crescent, Italy
Gruppo Ibriq per la cultura e la causa palestinese, Italy
Italian Communist Party, Italy
Italian Jews against Israeli Occupation, Italy
Lo Sguardo di Handala (Rome), Italy
Luisa Morgantini, former VP European Parliament, Italy
Rete Radiè Resch – Gruppo di Salerno, Italy
Rete Radié Resch di solidarietà internazionale, Italy
Rete Radié Resch Varese, Italy
Rete Romana di Solidarietà con il Popolo Palestinese, Italy
Salaam Ragazzi dell’Olivo Comitato di Trieste, Italy
Servizio Civile Internazionale, Italy
U.S. Citizens Against War – Florence, Italy
U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice – Rome, Italy
ULAIA ArteSud onlus, Italy
Un ponte per…, Italy
Coordinadora de Solidaridad con Palestina, México
Movimiento BDS Mexico, México
Article 1 Collective, Netherlands
docP, Netherlands
Nederlands Palestina Komitee (NPK), Netherlands
AKULBI (Academic and Cultural Boicott of the State of Israel), Norway
Federación Palestina del Perú, Peru
Associação Abril, Portugal
Colectivo Mumia Abu Jamal, Portugal
Comité de Solidariedade com a Palestina, Portugal
Conselho Português para a Paz e Cooperação, Portugal
Grupo Acção Palestina, Portugal
MPPM – Movimento pelos Direitos do Povo Palestino e pela Paz no Médio Oriente, Portugal
Panteras Rosa – Frente de Combate à Lesbigaytransfobia, Portugal
SOS Racismo, Portugal
San Ghanny Choir, Scotland
Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland, Scotland
Scottish Friends of Palestine, Scotland
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Scotland
Strathclyde Students for Palestine, Scotland
BDS Slovenia, Slovenia
Gibanje za pravice Plestincev, Slovenia
Red Solidaria contra la Ocupación de Palestina (RESCOP), Spain

Network composed by 43 organisations: Asociación Al-Quds de Solidaridad con los Pueblos del Mundo Árabe (Málaga), Asociación Andaluza por la Solidaridad y la Paz – ASPA, Asociación de Amistad Palestina-Granada «Turab», Asociación Hispano Palestina Jerusalén (Madrid), Asociación Pro-Derechos Humanos de Andalucía, Asociación Unadikum, BDS Catalunya, BDS Madrid, BDS País Valencià, Castelló per Palestina, Comité de Solidaridad con la Causa Árabe Madrid, Asturias), Comité de Solidaridad con los Pueblos – Interpueblos (Cantabria), Comunidad Palestina en Canarias, Comunitat Palestina de Catalunya, Comunitat Palestina de València, Coordinadora de apoyo a Palestina (La Rioja), Ecologistas en Acción (Confederal), Fundación IEPALA, Fundación Mundubat, Asociación Palestina Biladi, Anticapitalistas, Komite Internazionalistak (Euskal Herria), MEWANDO (Euskadi), Movimiento Solidaridad Internacional Catalunya – ISM Cataluña / Valencia, Mujeres en Zona de Conflicto – M.Z.C., Mujeres por la Paz – Acción Solidaria con Palestina (Canarias), Paz Ahora, Paz con Dignidad, Plataforma de Solidaridad con Palestina (Sevilla), Plataforma Palestina Ibiza, Plataforma Solidaria con Palestina de Valladolid, Red de Jóvenes Palestinos, Red Judía Antisionista Internacional -IJAN, Sodepau, Sodepaz, Sodepaz Balamil, Taula per Palestina (Illes Balears), UJCE (Unión de Juventudes Comunistas de España), Grupo de Cooperación Sevilla Palestina, CERAI (Centro de Estudios Rurales y de Agricultura Internacional), BDS Alacant (dentro de BDS País Valencià), Palestina Toma la Calle, Coalició Prou Complicitat amb Israel

Coalició Prou Complicitat amb Israel (CPCI), Catalonia, Spain

Network composed by 14 organisations: Rumbo a Gaza, Junts-Associació Catalana de Jueus I Palestins, Comunitat Palestina de Catalunya, NOVACT, BDS Catalunya, Pau Sempre, SUDS, Servei Civil Internacional de Catalunya (SCI-Cat), Centre Euro Àrab de Catalunya, En Lluita, Unadikum, Pallasos en Rebeldía, Asociación Cultural Arte & Maña and International Solidarity Movement BDS Galicia

(ISM) Catalunya
Red Antisionista de Sevilla, Spain
Centro Cultural Palestino Biladi, Basque Country, Spain
Revolta Global-Esquerra Anticapitalista, Catalonia, Spain
Unadikum, Spain
Vent, associació cultural, Spain
BDS Switzerland, Switzerland
BDS Zürich, Switzerland
Bernese Vigil for a just peace in Israel / Palestine, Switzerland
Palestine Solidarity Campagn, Thailand
BDS Thailand, Thailand
Artists for Palestine UK, United Kingdom
Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP), United Kingdom
Cambridge Palestine Solidarity Campaign, United Kingdom
Camden Palestine Solidarity Campaign, United Kingdom
Camden Palestine Solidarity Campaign, United Kingdom
Inminds, UK
Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, United Kingdom
Leeds Palestine Solidarity Campaign, United Kingdom
Lewisham Friends of Palestine, United Kingdom
London Palestine Action (LPA), United Kingdom
Merton PSC, United Kingdom
Northern Women for Palestine, United Kingdom
Palestine Solidarity Campaign, United Kingdom
Stop G4S, United Kingdom
York Palestine Solidarity Campaign, United Kingdom
UK-Palestine Mental Health Network, United Kingdom
Adalah-NY; the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, United States
CODEPINK Women for Peace, United States
Harvest & Revel, United States
Jewish Voice for Peace, United States
Jewish Voice for Peace, Tacoma chapter, United States
Jewish Voice for Peace – Syracuse, United States
Kairos Puget Sound Coalition, United States
Labor for Palestine, United States
Northwest BDS Coalition, United States
Palestine Solidarity Collective, United States
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, United States
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, United States
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network