Coexistence campaign marks first Israel trip

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Coexistence campaign marks first Israel trip

'Culture for Coexistence' delegation included heads of six of the UK’s top art museums and galleries

The Rana choir: Jewish and Arab women from Jaffa, who entertained guests at the residence of the British Ambassador.
The Rana choir: Jewish and Arab women from Jaffa, who entertained guests at the residence of the British Ambassador.

A coexistence group set up in 2015 after a group of high-profile figures from the world of arts and literature spoke out against boycotts this week celebrated its first delegation to Israel and the West Bank.

Culture for Coexistence said it took a “top-level” arts delegation to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ramallah at the end of March.

In 2015 around 150 prominent personalities penned an open letter in The Guardian which called for greater understanding and coexistence, as opposed to a cultural boycott of Israel or the settlements.

 Ambassador David Quarrey addresses Culture for Coexistence delegates who he hosted at his residence in Israel.
Ambassador David Quarrey addresses Culture for Coexistence delegates hosted at his residence in Israel.

The delegation included the heads of six of the UK’s top art museums and galleries, who met counterparts to “develop an understanding of Israeli and Palestinian society and culture, and look at how art and culture could help build bridges and contribute to conflict resolution”.

The group visited the Israel Museum, Tel Aviv Museum and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Designs, where they met directors, curators and artists, and where they were presented with co-existence projects by Israeli and Palestinian students.

They were later hosted by the British Ambassador H.E. David Quarrey at his residence, where they met senior figures in Israeli cultural society.

“We hope it gave our delegation an insight into Israeli and Palestinian society and culture,” said Culture for Coexistence co-Founder Loraine Da Costa. “They experienced the multi-cultural demographic of Israel through meeting art directors and artists who come from the different strands of Israeli society.”

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