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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Portuguese director cancels attendance at Israel festival over Gaza violence 

Tiago Rodrigues said he will not show up to Israel Festival because his work will not 'condone and promote a government that deliberately violates human rights'

Tiago Rodrigues attends the Mal Nascida photocall in Venice during day 8 of the 64th Venice Film Festival on September 5, 2007 in Venice, Italy. Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images
Tiago Rodrigues attends the Mal Nascida photocall in Venice during day 8 of the 64th Venice Film Festival on September 5, 2007 in Venice, Italy. Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

A Portuguese theatre director cancelled his attendance at a cultural festival in Jerusalem over Israel’s treatment of Palestinian.

Sixty-two Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire last week, when thousands of people protested as the US officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after recognising the disputed city as the capital of Israel.

Tiago Rodrigues said he will not show up to Israel Festival because his work will not “condone and promote a government that deliberately violates human rights”.

He announced in a post on Facebook on Thursday that he will be joining the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement, which has seen many artists and musicians refuse to perform in the country.

"I have also decided to join the cultural boycott of Israel, convinced that global and collective pressure might produce similar results to the boycott of South Africa during apartheid,” the 41-year-old director wrote.

Rodrigues said he rejected the fact that the festival was not openly critical of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians while working in cooperation with Israeli government ministries. Festival officials said they were disappointed by the artist's decision.