Poet Fortner Anderson on Artists Against Apartheid

February 24th, 2010 | Posted in Boycott, Canada, Culture, Palestine
    statement by poet Fortner Anderson


    Photo: Israeli tanks in Gaza Strip winter 2009.

I signed the call for sanctions against the state of Israel because of Operation Cast Lead, the incursion and blockade of Gaza, which targeted hospitals, water wells and thousands of Palestinian homes, because of the F-14 and F-16 fighter jets and Apache attack helicopters used against a defenseless civilian population, because of the hundreds of children killed in those attacks, because of the on-going series of targeted assassinations which are extra-judicial killings, which are simply murder, because of the Israeli refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, because of the on-going blockade of the Gaza Strip which deprives 1.5 million people of food, fuel and basic medical supplies,

because of Israel’s refusal to halt the construction of additional settlements in the Occupied Territories and Jerusalem, because of the Second Lebanese War and the use of cluster bomblet munitions against a civilian population and which continue to kill and maim to this day, because of the use of white phosphorus shells against the people of Gaza, because of the targeted destruction of civilian food and water supplies and medicine stockpiles by the Israeli Army, because of Rachel Corrie, crushed by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried to protect Palestinian homes, because of Ariel Sharon former premier who led Israel after having allowed the carnage of Sabra and Shatila, which left uncounted dead including many women and children, because of Avigdor Liberman, current Israeli Foreign Minister who has called for mass drowning of Palestinian prisoners and mass transfer of Arab-Israeli citizens, because of the construction of the separation wall that is used by Israel to acquire vast tracts of land on the West Bank, because of the Israeli policy of systematically destroying the olive and orange groves that provide the livelihood of the Palestinian people, because of the state of Israel’s institutional apartheid that disrupts damages and destroys the lives of the Palestinian people held under its sway, because of the Israeli prisons which hold thousands of Palestinians without trial including hundreds of children, because the government of Israel has committed numerous acts of aggression contrary to international law, because the Israeli armed forces have used weapons and methods of war forbidden by international law, because the Israeli armed forces have deliberately, indiscriminately or recklessly bombarded schools, hospitals, because the Israeli Army has systematically targeted for destruction the cities, towns, villages and refugee camps of the Palestinian people, because it is the moment for those of conscience to speak out, to demand that this violence cease, so that Palestinians may live as free equal citizens in the country of their home and that those Palestinians forced from their homes by generations of violence might return to live in peace.

Fortner Anderson
Montreal, February 21, 2010.


Anyone who does not recognize the extent to which the Palestinians have created their own misery by engaging in war is doing them a disservice by parroting the canard that it’s all Israel’s fault. I lived in Israel prior to the intifadas and the situation on many levels was much improved. It’s gotten worse (separation wall etc. ) completley because of the unfortunate, shortsighted decision by the significant Pal. leadership that violence is the way

Comment by Itchak — March 12th, 2010 @ 7:33 AM

Unfortunately, those who see this conflict only as some sort of irrational cycle of violence for which Palestinians are ultimately to blame not only choose to ignore or minimize Israel’s daily violations of international law and human rights, but also demonstrate their lack of understanding of the historical context of the situation.

Israel was created when armed Zionist forces, with the help of the British, expulsed hundreds of thousands of indigenous Palestinians from their homes and lands. This is called ethnic cleansing and it is well documented by historians such as the Israeli Ilan Pappe. Palestinians call it the Nakba, or “catastrophe.”

This Nakba continues today, and Israel has matured into an apartheid state. Palestinians, whose human rights have been systematically denied for over sixty years, have the right to resist an occupying colonial force which steals their land and makes them into second-class citizens on their own territory and refuses to even let them return to their homes, creating the world’s largest and oldest refugee population.

Comment by Rosa — March 23rd, 2010 @ 12:58 PM

Leave a comment

Upcoming events