SYDNEY, Sunday, January 09, 2022 (WAFA) – Australian author and stand-up comedian Judith Lucy has declared her pullout of the 2022 Sydney Festival over a sponsorship deal with the Israeli embassy, joining over 23 artists and performers who did so citing ‘art-washing’ of Israeli apartheid.
“I am completely mystified by the behavior of the Sydney Festival board and the position it has put us all in. As has been pointed out by other artists, we’ll be condemned no matter what we do,” Lucy said in a statement on Facebook as she declared her pullout.
She added, “I hate adding my voice to an already polarized situation and I feel terrible about disappointing anyone who’s bought a ticket to the event that I was meant to be a part of but, after sitting with this for days, I’ve decided not to perform. I can’t support the actions of the board, particularly their sponsorship deal with the Israeli Embassy but also leaving their artists in the sh**.”
The mass boycott of the event came after Israel was listed as a partner of the annual festival after its embassy in Australia made a $20,000 donation in support of an Israeli choreographer.
The Palestinian Justice Movement Sydney had earlier pointed out that the deal was orchestrated in May 2021, when Israel launched a major attack on the Gaza Strip in which more than 250 Palestinians were killed.
“Palestine advocates call on all opponents of apartheid to boycott the 2022 Sydney Festival,” it said.
“By partnering with Israel, Sydney festival will … contribute to the normalization of an apartheid regime.”