THE Liverpool Biennial Art festival has been urged to end its links with Israel by a local Palestinian support group.
The Bold Street-based Liverpool Friends of Palestine has sent a letter to the trustees of the festival, which opened last weekend, after noting that the Embassey of Israel was listed among its "Funders and Supporters" in official publicity material.
LFOP says it has asked the Biennial for clarification on the precise nature of the deal but has so far received no reply.
Nevertheless it is urging the festival o cut its ties, warning that "those who accept such sponsorship risk appearing to endorse the maltreatment of Palestinians".
Liverpool Biennial's funders and supporters
In a letter sent to Paula Ridley, chair of the board of Biennial trustees, LFOP Chairman Colin McKean says that even before the events of this week such sponsorship was inappropriate: "Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is oppressive...Now as the festival begins, many Palestinians lie dead, several hundred are in overstretched hospitals and even more are detained in prison".
The letter concludes with an invitation to terminate the Funder/Supporter relationship and to return any money that may have been received.
LFOP, which says it is not affiliated to any political party, will also on Sunday call on Neil Young - who plays the Echo Arena that day - to cancel his scheduled performance in Tel-Aviv.
Liverpool Confidential has also asked the Liverpool Biennial for a comment but so far none has been forthcoming.