Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reverses decision to visit Israel

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was slated to receive an award from the Jerusalem Film Festival for On the Shoulders of Giants, but Abdul-Jabbar cited “concerns arising ‘after the Nakba Day violence‘” as his reason for not attending. As with Alice Walker’s piece about joining the Freedom Flotilla II, Abdul-Jabbar’s boycott stems from long engagement with civil rights. Here’s a paragraph from the statement by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation:

Abdul-Jabbar’s film documents the policies of segregation and racism that characterized the world of basketball in the 1930s. “Ironically,” the signatories told Abdul-Jabbar, “the majority of Muslim and Christian Palestinians could not even have attended such a screening because they are excluded from entering Jerusalem on the basis of their ethnic and religious background.”


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