A lot of hot Eire as Irish do boycott gig

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign launching their boycott

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign launching their boycott

Irish creative and performing artists have launched a cultural boycott of Israel, saying they will not perform or exhibit in the Jewish state "until it respects international law".

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign launched the boycott with a concert in Dublin, declaring that performers "should not be used as propaganda tools by the Israeli apartheid state".

In response, the Israeli Embassy in Dublin said the move was "regrettable and ill-informed".

The IPSC pledge states: "In response to the call from Palestinian civil society for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge not to avail ourselves of any invitation to perform or exhibit in Israel, nor to accept any funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights." Ireland-based Israel supporters said around 100 of the boycotters were well-known "troublemakers", but that another 50 were "unknowns".

Few of the signatories are household names. They include poets, playwrights, singers and musicians. Actress Sinéad Cusack, folk singer Christy Moore and artist Robert Ballagh are among the better-known boycotters.

Classical composer Raymond Deane said: "We have set an example here that will be followed in every part of the world by thousands of artists who will refuse to allow themselves to be used as propaganda tools by the Israeli apartheid state."

A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Dublin said: "These artists are lending their names to an ongoing propaganda war against Israel, rather than lending their talents to the far

more important and practical effort of building peace and understanding between peoples.

"Vilifying and ostracising Israel and promoting a lose-lose programme of boycotts is not the way to secure legitimate Palestinian rights."

The spokesman said people must work together to extend dialogue and co-operation in order to bring peace to the region.

Tom Carew, chairman of the Ireland-Israel Friendship League, said: "How odd that any Irish artist can condemn and boycott Israel, but not even mention Hamas.

"What Irish voices could constructively tell the Arab world, in the light of our own historic achievement, is that peace is not achievable by demonising or boycotting your neighbours."

Last updated: 1:09pm, August 20 2010