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JfJfP comments


2016:

06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics

2015:

23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo

2014:

15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014

2013:

29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011

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Posts

UPDATE! Musée de L’Elysée suspends prize because Sansour barred as ”too pro-Palestinian”

Messages of support for this decision should be sent to sam.stourdze@vd.ch
For letter of suport from JfJfP and PSC Press Release, see items 2 and 3 in this posting
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Swiss museum suspends Elysée Prize to protest Lacoste’s exclusion of Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour

By Ali Abunimah, electronic intifada
21. 12.11

The Musée de L’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland has suspended the 2011 Lacoste Elysée Prize, a prestigious international photography contest, over the sponsor’s decision to expel Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour. The following press release was issued by the museum.

Suspension of the Lacoste Elysée Prize 2011

Lausanne, 21 December 2011 – The Musée de l’Elysée has decided to suspend the organisation of the Lacoste Elysée Prize 2011. Introduced in 2010 to sustain young photographers, the prize is worth 25 000 euros.

In the context of the 2011 edition of the prize, eight nominees were selected to take part in the contest. They were asked to produce three photographs on the theme la joie de vivre. With the help of a individual grant of 4 000 euros, each nominee had carte blanche to interpret the theme in which ever way they favoured, in a direct or indirect manner, with authenticity or irony, based upon their existing or as an entirely new creation. An expert jury should have met at the end of January 2012 to select the winner of the Lacoste Elysée Prize 2011.

The Musée de l’Elysée has based its decision on the private partner’s wish to exclude Larissa Sansour, one of the prize nominees. We reaffirm our support to Larissa Sansour for the artistic quality of her work and her dedication. The Musée de l’Elysée has already proposed to her to present at the museum the series of photographs “Nation Estate”, which she submitted in the framework of the contest.

For 25 years, the Musée de l’Elysée has defended with strength artists, their work, freedom of the arts and of speech. With the decision it has taken today, the Musée de l’Elysée repeats its commitment to its fundamental values.

Contact
Sam Stourdzé, Director of the Musée de l’Elysée, +41 21 316 99 10, sam.stourdze@vd.ch


JfJfP letter of support to Director of the Musée de l’Elysée
Friday, 23 December 2011

On behalf of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, a group of British Jews or Jews living in Britain, who support an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories, we would like to record our thanks and admiration for the stand you have taken with respect to the Lacoste Elysee Prize 2011. We were shocked when the company tried to censor Larissa Sansour because they did not wish to show work that was ‘too Palestinian’. We regarded this as an attack on free expression and considered it to be a political action taken to silence the voice of Palestine.

Civil society throughout the world no longer tolerates these acts of discrimination against Palestinians expressing their opinions and together with those who support freedom and justice , we salute the courageous stand of the Musee d’Elysee in withdrawing from the Lacoste Elysée Prize 2011, and in supporting Larissa Sansour in her excellent and honest work.

Yours sincerely

With best wishes,
Diana Neslen
Jews for Justice for Palestinians
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PSC thanks Musee de l’Elysée for standing up for artistic freedom and human rights by suspending Lacoste Elysee Prize
Thursday 22nd December 2011

Palestine Solidarity Campaign welcomes the decision by the Musee de l’Elysée to suspend the Lacoste Elysée Prize after the prize sponsor, Lacoste, asked for Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour to be excluded from the final shortlist.

PSC Campaigns Officer, Sara Apps, said:

‘We are really pleased that the Musee de l’Elysee has made this bold stand to support artistic freedom and human rights, reversing their original decision to allow Lacoste to bar Larissa Sansour from the shortlist.

We are not convinced by Lacoste’s attempt to explain their request for Sansour’s removal by saying that her exhibits were not in the spirit of the theme, ‘joie de vivre’ given that the competition terms stated that each nominee is given “carte blanche to interpret the theme in whichever way they favoured, in a direct or indirect manner, with authenticity or irony”.

Lacoste has been thwarted in its attempt to force the Musee de L’Elysee to bow to political pressure. By standing up against this censorship Musee de L’Eleysee has brought the story of how Palestinian voices are silenced to the world’s attention. We must thank the Museum for that.’


French clothing firm Lacoste censors, expels Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour from prestigious contest

Ali Abuminah, electronic intifada
20.12.11

The high-end French clothing chain Lacoste has demanded the removal of work by Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour from the shortlist for the €25,000 Lacoste Elysee Prize that is awarded by the Swiss Musee de l’Elysee with sponsorship from the firm.

A Palestinian who is “too pro-Palestinian”
Sansour was among eight finalists shortlisted for the 2011 prize. According to a press release issued by Sansour, “Lacoste stated their refusal to support Sansour’s work, labelling it ‘too pro-Palestinian.’”

This latest instance of apparent censorship of Palestinian artists by a cultural institution comes just months after the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland, California censored an exhibit of art by children in Gaza just before its planned opening under pressure from anti-Palestinian Zionist groups.

Sansour refuses to sign statement that she withdrew voluntarily

Sansour, who is based in London, is a native of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. The press release explains:

As a nominee, Sansour was awarded a bursary of €4,000 and given carte blanche to produce a portfolio of images for the final judging. In November 2011, three photos for Sansour’s Nation Estate project were accepted, and she was congratulated by the prize administrators on her work and professionalism. Sansour’s name was included on all the literature relating to the prize and on the website as an official nominee. Her name has since been removed, just as her project has been withdrawn from an upcoming issue of contemporary art magazine ArtReview introducing the nominated artists.

In an attempt to mask the reasons for her dismissal, Sansour was asked to approve a statement saying that she withdrew from her nomination ‘in order to pursue other opportunities’. Sansour has refused.

Søren Lind, Sansour’s assistant, told The Electronic Intifada today that the Lacoste company had yet to give any public response on the matter.

Imagining a Palestinian state as science fiction
Sansour’s multimedia project Nation Estate was “conceived in the wake of the Palestinian bid for UN membership. Nation Estate depicts a science fiction-style Palestinian state in the form of a single skyscraper housing the entire Palestinian population. Inside this new Nation Estate, the residents have recreated their lost cities on separate floors: Jerusalem on 3, Ramallah on 4, Sansour’s own hometown of Bethlehem on 5, etc.”

Sansour was born in Jerusalem and her multimedia work has been exhibited all over the world. The photo above, from the exhibit, is published courtesy of Sansour. More can be seen at her website.

Embedded video of  A Space Exodus. Click on headline to see in original post



LACOSTE: NO ROOM FOR PALESTINIAN ARTIST

Press Release,Larissa Sansour
20.12.11

French fashion brand demands the removal of Bethlehem artist Larissa Sansour from major photographic prize.

The prestigious €25,000 Lacoste Elysée Prize is awarded by the Swiss Musée de l’Elysée with sponsorship from Lacoste, the clothing brand.

Larissa Sansour was among the eight artists shortlisted for the 2011 prize. In December 2011, Lacoste demanded that her nomination be revoked. Lacoste stated their refusal to support Sansour’s work, labelling it ‘too pro-Palestinian’. A special jury will convene in January 2012 to select the winner.

As a nominee, Sansour was awarded a bursary of €4,000 and given carte blanche to produce a portfolio of images for the final judging. In November 2011, three photos for Sansour’s Nation Estate project were accepted, and she was congratulated by the prize administrators on her work and professionalism. Sansour’s name was included on all the literature relating to the prize and on the website as an official nominee. Her name has since been removed, just as her project has been withdrawn from an upcoming issue of contemporary art magazine ArtReview introducing the nominated artists.

In an attempt to mask the reasons for her dismissal, Sansour was asked to approve a statement saying that she withdrew from her nomination ‘in order to pursue other opportunities’. Sansour has refused.

Sansour says: “I am very sad and shocked by this development. This year Palestine was officially admitted to UNESCO, yet we are still being silenced. As a politically involved artist I am no stranger to opposition, but never before have I been censored by the very same people who nominated me in the first place. Lacoste’s prejudice and censorship puts a major dent in the idea of corporate involvement in the arts. It is deeply worrying.”

Sansour’s shortlisted work, Nation Estate, is conceived in the wake of the Palestinian bid for UN membership. Nation Estate depicts a science fiction-style Palestinian state in the form of a single skyscraper housing the entire Palestinian population. Inside this new Nation Estate, the residents have recreated their lost cities on separate floors: Jerusalem on 3, Ramallah on 4, Sansour’s own hometown of Bethlehem on 5, etc.

Regretting Lacoste’s decision to censor Sansour’s work, Musée de l’Elysée has offered to exhibit the Nation Estate project outside of the confines of the Lacoste sponsorship. Musée de l’Elysée is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Lacoste Elysée Prize 2011 is the award’s second edition.

Please find attached three photos from Sansour’s Nation Estate project. [click on headline above]

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Born in Jerusalem, Larissa Sansour studied Fine Art in Copenhagen, London and New York. Her work is interdisciplinary, immersed in the current political dialogue and utilises video art, photography, experimental documentary, the book form and the internet.

Sansour’s work features in galleries, museums, film festivals and art publications worldwide. Recent solo shows include exhibitions at Kulturhuset in Stockholm, Depo in Istanbul, Galerie La BANK in Paris and Jack the Pelican in New York.

She has participated in the biennials in Istanbul, Busan and Liverpool. Her work has appeared at venues such as Tate Modern, London; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Third Guangzhou Triennial, China; Alternative Space LOOP, Seoul; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Iniva, London; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Al Hoash, Jerusalem; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; MOCA, Hiroshima; PhotoCairo4, Egypt.

Sansour’s short film A Space Exodus was nominated in the Best Short category at the Dubai International Film Festival.

She lives and works in London.


Lacoste requests removal of Palestinian artist from photographic prize

Bi-Me [Business Intelligence, Middle East]
20.12.11

INTERNATIONAL. The prestigious €25,000 Lacoste Elysée Prize is awarded by the Swiss Musée de l’Elysée with sponsorship from Lacoste, the clothing brand.

Larissa Sansour was among the eight artists shortlisted for the 2011 prize. In December 2011, Lacoste demanded that her nomination be revoked. Lacoste stated their refusal to support Sansour’s work, labelling it ‘too pro-Palestinian’. A special jury will convene in January 2012 to select the winner.

As a nominee, Sansour was awarded a bursary of €4,000 and given carte blanche to produce a portfolio of images for the final judging. In November 2011, three photos for Sansour’s Nation Estate project were accepted, and she was congratulated by the prize administrators on her work and professionalism.

Sansour’s name was included on all the literature relating to the prize and on the website as an official nominee. Her name has since been removed, just as her project has been withdrawn from an upcoming issue of contemporary art magazine ArtReview introducing the nominated artists.

In an attempt to mask the reasons for her dismissal, Sansour was asked to approve a statement saying that she withdrew from her nomination ‘in order to pursue other opportunities’. Sansour has refused.

Sansour says: “I am very sad and shocked by this development. This year Palestine was officially admitted to UNESCO, yet we are still being silenced. As a politically involved artist I am no stranger to opposition, but never before have I been censored by the very same people who nominated me in the first place.

Lacoste’s prejudice and censorship puts a major dent in the idea of corporate involvement in the arts. It is deeply worrying.”

Sansour’s shortlisted work, Nation Estate, is conceived in the wake of the Palestinian bid for UN membership. Nation Estate depicts a science fiction-style Palestinian state in the form of a single skyscraper housing the entire Palestinian population.

Inside this new Nation Estate, the residents have recreated their lost cities on separate floors: Jerusalem on 3, Ramallah on 4, Sansour’s own hometown of Bethlehem on 5, etc. [Click here to see]

Regretting Lacoste’s decision to censor Sansour’s work, Musée de l’Elysée has offered to exhibit the Nation Estate project outside of the confines of the Lacoste sponsorship. Musée de l’Elysée is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Lacoste Elysée Prize 2011 is the award’s second edition.


Lacoste brand ‘seeking Anders Breivik clothes ban’
BBC News
09.11.11

Lacoste has reportedly asked Norwegian police to prevent mass killer Anders Breivik wearing the brand in court.

The French clothing label wrote to Norway’s police authorities to make the request, Dagbladet newspaper reports.

Far-right extremist Breivik has admitted killing 77 people during bomb and gun attacks in July.

Breivik – who has reportedly said Lacoste is his favourite brand – has been pictured wearing the label since his arrest.

Lacoste has not yet commented on the reports that they are worried by the association with their brand.

On his way to be questioned over the killings, Breivik was pictured wearing a red Lacoste jumper.

In addition, he was wearing a black Lacoste sweater in other publicly available images.

According to Dagbladet, police prosecutor Christian Hatlo has confirmed that Lacoste has contacted the police.

“Yes, we have been contacted by Lacoste, but what they have asked remains between us,” Mr Hatlo is reported as telling the newspaper.

The move by the clothing company follows that of US brand Abercrombie and Fitch, which offered to pay the rowdy, hard-partying cast of an MTV reality show not to wear its clothes.

It said their association with the clothing was contrary to the “aspirational nature” of its brand and might be “distressing” to the brand’s fans.

It singled out one cast member’s penchant for the label as particularly damaging, and said it had also offered money to MTV producers to encourage the cast to wear different brands.

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