Halls of Justice Painted Green
Power Wolves Beset Your Door
Hear Them Stalking
Soon You’ll Please Their Appetite
Hammer of Justice Crushes You
(“…And Justice for All”, Metallica)
Now that the opportunity to truly promote justice for all is in your hands – will you let the money do the talking, or will you advance change?
We are Jews and Palestinians, Israeli citizens, who enjoy your music and respect your ideas about justice. Due to the prolonged Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people; and, in the hope of contributing to the growing effort to pressure Israel and its privileged Jewish citizens to comply with universal human rights and principles – we write to you today, urging you to cancel your planned concert in Israel.
After Israel’s brutal military attack on Gaza in December 2008-January 2009 and in light of the years-long siege on Gaza, the Palestinian-initiated global BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) movement has gained world-wide recognition and increasing support. Artists, from musicians to filmmakers, academics, authors as well as various organizations and groups have said NO to the violation and attack on Palestinians’ basic human rights and necessities by joining the call for BDS.
It could not be clearer today that staying neutral in the face of the ruthless, criminal oppression of the Palestinians, is not an option. Performing in Israel sends a message of normalization to the racist, violent and unjust Israeli regime, that has been rightfully described by many as apartheid.
The Israeli apartheid is favoring Jews over all Palestinians, including those who are Palestinian citizens and residents of Israel. Palestinians inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders are continually excluded and discriminated in every aspect of social life, such as land ownership, housing, education, health, citizenship eligibility and the legal system.
Throughout Palestine\Israel and in the Diaspora, millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants are still blocked from returning to their homes, or even homeland, and refused compensation for the enormous loss inflicted upon them by Israel. Most of the Palestinians are stateless and many live in refugee camps.
The reluctance of most of the world’s governments to truly pressure Israel continues to embolden successive Israeli governments to commit more violent acts and violate numerous international laws. It is up to us, citizens of the world, to lead the struggle against Israeli crimes and atrocities. Dissociating ourselves from Israel’s oppressive policies is a non-violent way to avoid becoming complicit in the killing, wounding, maiming, and robbing of Palestinians, and to object to it.
Unfortunately, for the majority of Israelis to recognize Palestinian rights, a fundamental shift in Israeli mentality is required. After years of attempts to change the minds and hearts of the Israeli public, we believe that this change can now only be achieved through substantial external pressure. We see, as time passes, our society becoming more and more callous, institutionally racist and economically oppressive towards the Palestinians.
Given your longstanding, vocal commitment to ideas of true justice for all, we cannot envision you cooperating with continued Israeli defiance of justice and morality and playing a part in the Israeli charade of self-righteousness. The least one can do in such a situation is to avoid indifference and a “business as usual” attitude. We appeal to you to add your voice to those brave people, the world over, who boycott Israel, such as musicians Roger Waters and John Williams. We urge you to cancel your planned performance in Israel and say no to apartheid.