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[Boycott - Cultural]

London Protest Asks 'Little Social' Restaurant Not To Participate In Brand Israel #AparthiedRoundTables Propaganda Event


inminds
19 November 2017



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables

On Saturday 14th October 2017 Inminds human rights group protested outside Jason Atherton's Little Social restaurant in Mayfair during the two hour Saturday lunch slot to ask Little Social and its head chef Cary Dockerty, to cancel their scheduled participation in an Israeli government sponsored propaganda culinary event 'Round Tables' in Tel Aviv in November 2017, and to respect the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of apartheid Israel.

BACKGROUND

Between October 29 and November 17, 2017 head chefs from 14 famous restaurants from cities around the world will spend a week cooking in Tel Aviv as part of the Israeli government's Public Relations efforts to distract from its policies of occupation and apartheid by bringing international prestige to Israel’s culinary scene. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs is flying the chefs to Israel and the initiative is sponsored by Dan Hotels, a chain complicit in Israel’s war crimes with a branch built on stolen Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem.

Over 180 civil society groups from across the world, including Inminds, have signed a letter appealing to Jason Atherton's Little Social (and other restaurants) to withdraw from Tel Aviv Round Tables.



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables


VIDEO: Protest Asks Restaurant Not To Participate In Brand Israel
#Aparhtiedroundtables Propaganda








Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables

CULTURE AS PROPAGANDA

Culture has always been an important weapon in the Israeli government's public relations campaign. The Israeli Foreign Ministry's Deputy Director General Nissim Ben-Sheetrit announced in 2005 that "We see culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank, and I do not differentiate between propaganda and culture", and in 2006, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an multi-million dollar initiative called "Brand Israel," whereby culture is used to whitewash an apartheid state founded on the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and occupation of their land. Arye Mekel of Israel's Foreign Ministry explained "We will send well-known novelists and writers overseas, theater companies, exhibits… This way you show Israel's prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war." Round Tables Tel Aviv is part of this Brand Israel propaganda initiative to show case Tel Aviv as a cultural hub, with leading chefs, by their participation, becoming ambassadors of this propaganda.

THE PROTEST

The purpose for this protest was to engage with the restaurant to convince them to do the right thing. With this in mind we were careful to set up our line of banners on the edge of the narrow pavement, away from the entrance of the restaurant so as not to block it or cause disruption to its business or customers. Several of dinners emerging from the restaurant were very sympathetic to our protest. One couple were shocked to learn Little Social was working with the apartheid state in this propaganda event, they said had they known beforehand they would not have eaten there. We respectfully asked to see the head chef but unfortunately Little Social didn't oblige but promised to pass our leaflet on to the head chef and owners.

What did cause disruption was the zionist contingent that had turned up to support apartheid. One of them was permanently glued next to the narrow entrance waving his little zionist flag perilously coming close to poking customers eyes out. He took it upon himself to tout for the restaurant, shouting out their prices as if he was running a vegetable stall in a market. This outside a posh restaurant in Mayfair was comical though judging by the shocked expressions of the restaurant clientele, not everyone was amused. It was not clear if he was getting a commission for his hard work.

We performed a little street theatre in front of the restaurant, with an Israeli occupation soldier with AK45 rifle in hand, holding a chain with a blindfolded Palestinian prisoner at the other end. The soldier had dressed up as a chef to try and hide his war crimes but his apron was blood soaked. The message was clear - Israel cannot hide its war crimes under the guise of culture and Little Social had failed in whitewashing apartheid war crimes with its shameful participation in this cooking fest. The zionist kept trying to disrupt the street theatre, blocking it with their zionist flag, pushing people from behind and getting in between the two performers and the photographers. Rather than fight them we invited them to join the performance, asking them to hold the prisoners chain whilst holding the zionist flag.. suddenly they were screaming - if that chain comes near me I'm calling the police - and their flag that a few seconds ago was being jabbed all over the place suddenly disappeared out of sight.

The protest was a success with the public showing great support for the Palestinian cause. Hundreds of leaflets were given out both on Pollen Street and the busier Brook Street (just of Regent Street). Some passers-by even briefly joined the protest in support.

ETHNIC CLEANSING

Little Social restaurant's head chef Cary Docherty is flying to Tel Aviv courtesy of the Israeli foreign ministry's propaganda Brand Israel project, there he will cook at Tel Aviv's plush Blue Rooster restaurant which is built exactly on the location of the destroyed Palestinian village of Al-Jammasin al-Gharbi whose population of 1,253 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed by the Haganah, the zionist terrorist organisation headed by infamous war criminals like Ariel Sharon. The survivors of that ethnically cleansed village, today numbering some 10,000 Palestinian refugees, will not be permitted under Israel's apartheid system from entering let alone eating at The Blue Rooster.

GAZA

Cary Docherty will be cooking in the shadow of starving Gaza, which is less than 40 miles away. Israel has imposed an illegal 10 year land, sea and air blockade on Gaza. Documents from Israel's defence ministry revealed that Israel uses a meticulously calculated cold-blooded calorie count to limit food entering Gaza to enforce a starvation diet on Gaza where people are always starving but not quiet dead from starvation. Over half of the people of Gaza are children under 15 years old. When hungry Gazaan's go fishing in their own waters, their boats are attacked by the Israeli navy and their fishermen are abducted. Israel sprays toxins over Gaza farm land to ensure no crops grow; and has imposed a 'no-go zone' across 17% of Gaza , much of it farm land - farmers are shot if caught farming their land. Oxfam reports that 96% of fresh water in Gaza is unfit for human consumption; and the United Nations reports that 72% of the households are food insecure, that by 2020 Gaza will become uninhabitable.

It is shameful that Jason Atherton's Little Social restaurant and its head chef Cary Docherty seem to ignore the plight of the oppressed people of Gaza and instead attend a culinary festival hosted by an apartheid regime that is responsible for starving these children in Gaza.




Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables

APPEALS

Prominent chefs from Palestine and nine other countries have written to Little Social urging them to reconsider.
Thaer Shaheen, a Palestinian chef at Darna, one of Ramallah's most well-known restaurants, wrote:
"This year's edition of the Round Tables festival features farm-to-table food. Whose farms, and whose tables? Israel has systematically destroyed Palestinian farms and farming as a whole and continues to deny farmers access to their lands. This is evident in Israel's persistent attacks on the annual olive harvest which is taking place now. We, the indigenous people of the land, cannot access our lands and farms. If the chefs really care about the values of the farm-to-table movement, including Palestinian farms and tables, they will withdraw from this event."


Over 180 civil society groups from across the world including Palestinian farmers unions have written to Little Social asking it to pull out of Round Tables and not let itself be used for propaganda by an apartheid regime. Their letter reads:


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:
180 civil society groups including
Palestinian Farmers Union (PFU),
Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network/Friends of the Earth-Palestine
...

To see full up to date list of over 180 signatories please visit:
https://bdsmovement.net/news/180-civil-society-groups-urge-international-chefs-withdraw-tel-aviv-round-tables

Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "Jason Atherton's Little Social restaurant's head chef Cary Docherty is flying to Tel Aviv courtesy of the Israeli foreign ministry's propaganda Brand Israel project, there he will cook in the shadow of starving Gaza - where according to Oxfam more than 96% of fresh water is unfit for human consumption, at Tel Aviv's plush Blue Rooster restaurant which is built exactly on the location of the destroyed Palestinian village of Al-Jammasin al-Gharbi whose population of 1,253 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed by the zionist terrorist group the Haganah, and whose survivors today are not permitted under Israel's apartheid system from entering let alone eating at The Blue Rooster.

"In the 1980s the United Nations compiled a black list of celebrities - from artists, performers to sportsmen who appeased the apartheid regime in South Africa by ignoring the call of the oppressed to boycott apartheid. Their names are forever reviled as supporters of racism and oppression. Last month the United Nations Human Rights Council announced the compilation of a black list of companies that appease the apartheid regime in Israel starting with those complicit in Israel's illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land, the list will be published by the end of the year. We urge Jason Atherton and Cary Dockerty to stand on the right side of history and be remembered as honourable men who put humanity before profit and stood up for the oppressed."



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables


Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables




Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables



Protest asks 'Little Social' restaurant not to participate in 'Brand Israel' propaganda event #ApartheidRoundTables


Source: www.inminds.com


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