“How many lives can they take, till we break?”
“How many homes set alight, till we fight?”
We, a group of Israeli citizens, are writing to you today, as your words of protest resonate with their relevance in light of the deadly raid on a flotilla attempting to break the illegal siege and packed with humanitarian aid, bound for the suffocating Gaza Strip. That same strip of land, overpopulated and besieged for the past 3 years, is the place which Israel chose to brutally attack during its December 2009 onslaught.
The siege on demolished Gaza is only a part of a bigger and longer-lasting colonisation enterprise. Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, including many in refugee camps, live in a reality of violent Israeli military oppression which is present all around – even at home or in the middle of the night. They are deprived of basic human rights, such as the freedom of movement, or the right to an equal share of elementary resources, such as water and electricity. Those who may try to oppose this condition, be it in a purely non-violent manner, will suffer oppression in the form of political arrests. Palestinian citizens of Israel are also being subjected to intensifying political persecution and systematic discrimination. Palestinians in the Diaspora are still denied entry and return, after Israel confiscated their houses and property.
How many visions will they burn, till we learn?!
We are Jews and Palestinians, Israeli citizens, who enjoy your music and respect your message of justice. We believe it is time to forsake the “Business as usual” approach, and take a stand against our government’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinians, which are threat to the entire region.
In the hope of contributing to the growing effort to pressure Israel and its privileged Jewish citizens to comply with universal principles of human rights – we write to you today, urging you to postpone your planned concert in Israel this summer indefinitely.
Artists, from musicians to filmmakers, academics, authors as well as various organizations and groups, have said NO to the violation and attack on the Palestinians People’s basic human rights and necessities, by joining the Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).
Performing in Israel nowadays means crossing an international picket line. Your visit here will be construed as a vote of confidence in Israel’s oppressive policies. Moreover, it is likely that you will be performing with Israeli flags waved by your audience, as a nationalist act of defiance.
Raising awareness to the injustices practiced against the Palestinian People has affected a great number of artists such as Roger Waters, Santana, John Williams, Sting, Bono, Snoop Dog, Juan Manuel Serrat, Gil Scott Heron, Elvis Costello and most recently The Gorillaz Sound System, The Klaxons and The Pixies. We’re calling on you to postpone your concert in Israel indefinitely, and add your voice to these brave people. Israeli peace groups will not be able to change the reality of occupation and apartheid without your help from the outside.
Dr Dalit Baum
On behalf of Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian Call for BDS from within