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BDS Movement marks demise of Israel’s culinary propaganda initiative

March 4, 2020 at 11:56 am

Demonstrators hold a placard urging the international community to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign [Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images]

A four-year-long Israeli culinary propaganda drive has apparently come to an end, according to the Palestinian-led BDS Movement, in a statement “celebrat[ing] the impact of the four-year BDS campaign and its many milestones”.

The “Round Tables” festival, an international propaganda initiative sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took place in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, but failed to materialise in 2019.

According to campaigners, the propaganda festival was dogged its entire time by a “cross-continental BDS campaign”.

“While there has been no official announcement of the demise of the apartheid festival,” the BDS Movement noted, “campaigners had been told by previous participants that the 2018 edition would be its last.”

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Since its inception in 2015, the BDS Movement described, “Palestinian civil society organisations – unions of farmers and farm workers, women’s unions, environmental groups and grassroots campaign groups – had called on international chefs to boycott the festival.”

In addition to the support offered to “Round Tables” from the Israeli government, the initiative also received sponsorship from “Israeli companies complicit in violations of Palestinian human rights”.

The boycott call “was echoed by scores of civil society organisations and human rights activist groups around the world, including in Austria, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the UK, and the US.”

Furthermore, the BDS Movement statement continued, “at least six top international chefs heeded the call across the multi-year campaign, and cancelled their participation.”

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