Ashrawi Calls on NBC to Stop Production of Drama Series "DIG," to Take Place in East Jerusalem

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PNN

PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, called on NBC to halt all of its efforts in the production of a new drama series called "DIG." Most of the series will be filmed in the "City of David National Park," in the Palestinian village of Silwan in Occupied East Jerusalem, PLO's Department of Culture and Information said in a press release Tuesday. 

With the support of Israeli authorities and the Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, the first season will brand Jerusalem's history and heritage as a Jewish city and the capital of Israel. To that end, Barkat has promised to facilitate wide access to the historical areas in the Old City and other landmarks for the filming of the series in order to attract and influence hundreds of millions of viewers globally.

Ashrawi stressed, "Such a production will legitimize the annexation of Jerusalem and the destruction of the authenticity and character of the occupied city. Any business or organization that deals with Israel in Occupied Palestine is in flagrant breach of international law, conventions, and consensus, respectively."

"It is evident that these efforts coincide with Israel's intensive and accelerated efforts to annex and ethnically cleanse Jerusalem. The choice to film the series in Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem is designed to endorse the occupation and the bitter reality experienced by Palestinian Jerusalemites."

Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention "prohibits Israel to commit any acts of hostility directed against historic monuments, works of art or places of worship that constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples."

Moreover, in accordance with a U.S. Letter of Assurances to the Palestinians issued in October 1991, the United States does not recognize Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem and encourages all parties to avoid unilateral actions that may preempt final status negotiations.

Ashrawi added: "We call on NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and its new president and chief content officer, Jeff Wachtel, to withdraw their cooperation and support for this production due to all of the aforementioned legal and ethical considerations. Involvement in such a project amounts to NBC's complicity in Israel's illegal violations of international and humanitarian law and its endorsement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."

"We also call on all members of the international community to boycott this production and to bring Israel to comply with international law and international humanitarian law. We also request that UNESCO provides assurances to not grant legitimacy to any illegal project or initiative in Occupied Jerusalem and to condemn Israeli branding of historical places and areas that do not fall under its sovereignty."

"It is of the utmost importance that we act now to preserve Jerusalem's Palestinian historical and cultural identity and heritage before it is too late," concluded Ashrawi.

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