Italian activists demanded and were granted the opportunity to to speak
prior to the presentation by Hanan Kaminski, director of the school
of animation of the Bezalel Academy of Jerusalem. The BDS activists
informed the audience that the participation of Bezalel, with the sponsorship
and financial support of the Israeli Embassy in Italy, represents one
of many attempts by Israel to use culture to rebrand its image and divert
attention from policies of occupation, colonialism and apartheid.

In 2005, Nissim Ben-Sheetrit of Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated: “We
see culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank, and we do not differentiate
between propaganda and culture.”

The
standard Israeli sponsorship contract states
: “The service
provider [or in English, the artist] is aware that the purpose of ordering
services from him is to promote the policy interests of the State of
Israel via culture and art, including contributing to creating a positive
image for Israel.

Rome,
Italy: Boycott Action Condemning the Use of Culture to Cover Israeli
Crimes
in Stop Agrexco Italia