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Karate Boogaloo To Boycott Sydney Festival Over Israeli Embassy Funding

Melbourne instrumental funk crew Karate Boogaloo have announced their withdrawal from this year’s Sydney Festival, which begins on Thursday, 6th January.

Karate Boogaloo’s announcement follows similarly motivated withdrawals from Indigenous rappers Barkaa and Nooky and comedian Nazeem Hussain, which relate to a $20,000 sponsorship deal between Sydney Festival and the Israeli Embassy in Canberra.

Karate Boogaloo shared this statement on social media:

In response to the Sydney Festival’s decision to accept money from the Israeli Embassy, Karate Boogaloo are choosing to boycott the 2022 Sydney Festival and not perform. Boycotts and divestments have a strong track record of holding governments and corporations accountable for their actions which is why Karate Boogaloo is standing in solidarity with Palestinian people and boycotting the Sydney Festival as a result of it accepting money from the human rights abusing regime that is the Israeli Government.

We apologise to the Boogers in Sydney who were coming, we will make it to Sydney soon. Ticket holders will be contacted by Sydney Festival.

Malyangapa and Barkindji rapper Barkaa announced her withdrawal a couple of days before Christmas, explaining, “I stand with Palestine ALWAYS and I’m pulling out of all events associated with [Sydney Festival].” Barkaa also said that “as a nation” Australia “should know better” and “should do better.”

The Israeli Embassy’s $20,000 injection is to going towards the dance performance, Decadence, a collaboration between Sydney Dance Company and Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin of Tel Aviv’s Batsheva Dance Company.

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