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Volume 2, Number 9              April 7 - 13, 2002           Quezon City, Philippines

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Statement of Artists for Palestine
April 3, 2002

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 "They would love to see me dead," says the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwsih in one of his poems.

We, undersigned UK writers and artists, categorically declare that we believe in his right and the right of the Palestinian people to live free of the nightmare that is now unfolding at their doorstep--the nightmare of living in a city under curfew and siege, without electricity, telephones, or the needs of daily life, cut off from the rest of the country and the world, cut off even from other parts of Ramallah; free from the fear of having the same nightmare spread to other Palestinian towns, cities and refugee camps; free of the nightmare of having his home broken into, his sons ! rounded up, tagged, and hauled away; free from the fear of crimes against his humanity; free of summary executions whose purpose seems to be to incite further violence; free from the fear of adding yet more names to the list of the over twenty-thousand disabled and the nearly one thousand dead.

We therefore call upon the all people of good conscience all over the world to protest against the current onslaught on the Palestinian people, their institutions, and the very fabric of their society, and to demand the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli army so that the peace process may resume.

We call upon the Government of the United States to adopt an even-hand approach to justice, and not to blame the victim for the crimes of the oppressor. It seems the policy of the current government of Israel is to eradicate the very idea of Palestine. What they have succeeded in doing instead, is creating the grounds for vendettas for generations to come. Is this what the Israeli government wants for its people, and is this what the Israeli people want for themselves?

We hope not, and therefore we call upon them to take to the streets in protest against the inhumane policies of their government. We call upon their writers and artists to take a stand with us.

Let the future be bright for both peoples, so that art and literature may have room to blossom. 

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