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05

Stop appropriating and stealing Palestinian culture and return books, artefacts and all objects that have been taken.

STOP STEALING & RETURN PALESTINIAN CULTURE

A BRIEF CONTEXT 

     As well as stealing and occupying land both the British Mandate and Israeli State have stolen books, artefacts, art and cultural objects. 

THEFT UNDER THE BRITISH MANDATE

     If you search Palestine on the British Museum website, over 5074 objects appear. Often listed as “found or acquired”, as with many of the artefacts in the museum, they were most likely stolen or taken under duress.

 

UNDER THE ISRAELI STATE

     In 1948, the newly established State of Israel systematically looted 60,000 Palestinian books. The drive to “collect” the books came from Israel’s National Library – a leading cultural institution of the Zionist movement and the state of Israel. Many of the stolen books are still held there to this day.

     Since 1948 until this day, Israel has continued to loot and steal Palestinian books, artefacts and cultural heritage. Recent examples of Israel stealing Palestinian artefacts include in January 2023 when the army took artefacts from the town of Sebastia, northwest of Nablus, after Palestinians discovered ancient burials. In 2024, artefacts stolen from Gaza in the months previously were displayed in the Israeli parliament.

 

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION

     From food to clothing to music, Israel and other countries normally in the West, systematically take and then appropriate Palestinian culture, presenting it as their own or as the latest fashion to sell. Examples include falafel, which has become Israel's “national” dish, and the Kuffiyeh, made into a fashion item without acknowledging its origins in Iraq or its symbolism for Palestinians.

WAR CRIME

Under international law, deliberately targeting or stealing from religious, historical, and cultural sites is prohibited

READ MORE IN DEMAND 6 >>

EXAMPLES OF ACTION TO INSPIRE YOUR OWN

CREATE AN ALTERNATIVE TOUR AT YOUR LOCAL MUSEUM

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Activist group BP OR NOT BP created an alternative tour of the British Museum, educating people on the origins of many of the exhibits and how the were stolen including from Palestine

DEMAND THE RETURN
OF STOLEN ARTIFACTS

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Join local activists or group demanding the return of stolen artefacts and culture.

REJECT ISRAELI
FUNDED FACT FINDING MISSIONS

Join the B.D.S. movements call that includes boycotting fact finding missions that are sponsored by Israel, Israeli institutions or lobby groups.

BOYCOTT ISRAELI DATES

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As Israel cultural appropriates Palestinian food, their theft of land and water stops Palestinians being able to  grow their own. Boycott Isreali products and instead buy Palestinian ones including dates.

RECLAIM
PALESTINIAN SYMBOLS

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From the Kuffiyeh to the watermelon learn about Palestinian symbols, and help reclaim there origins and meanings.

THEFT OF PALESTINIAN CULTURAL HERITAGE

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