RAMALLAH, Friday, October 04, 2019 (WAFA) – The Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission condemned today the recent attempt by Aachen City Council in Germany to stop US-Lebanese artist Walid Raad from receiving a $10,951 art prize due to his support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Raad was to be awarded by the German city of Aachen, located near the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands, for his work “The Atlas Group” on the history of the civil war in Lebanon between 1989 and 2004.
“It was better for the German government to support this artist and other activists of justice, freedom and peace in the world, honor them and issue statements that condemn the Israeli daily crimes against our people,” the Commission said in a press release.
It said the decision of the Aachen authorities comes at a time when Israel, the occupying power, uses all means of oppression and racism, including arrests and killings of our Palestinians, demolition of houses, land grabs, settlement construction and expansion.
The Commission called upon artist Raad to visit Palestine in order to honor him for his principled position towards the just question of Palestine.
The Aachen Art Prize is given out biannually to one outstanding contemporary artist, and in addition to the cash prize, an exhibition of the winner’s work is held at the Ludwig Forum.
In May, the German Parliament, known as the Bundestag, became the first in the European Union to pass a motion that designates BDS as anti-Semitic.
Last month, the German city of Dortmund withdrew its decision to award Pakistani-British author Kamila Shamsie a literature prize, after finding out that the writer has supported the BDS movement, a decision that was backed by the Association of German Writers.