30th August, 2011.
OPEN LETTER TO THE YARDBIRDS
As ancient geezers ourselves, we support the principle of keeping
going. So, the Yardbirds still playing gigs – excellent. The
Yardbirds playing a gig in Israel, which illegally occupies
Palestinian land and shows no sign of withdrawing – surely not.
Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty, founder members of the band –
when you were enjoying such success during the 1960s, the British
Musicians’ Union had a policy of boycotting apartheid South
Africa. We’ve been looking on-line for evidence that the Yardbirds
broke that ban, and we’re happy to say we can’t find any. The
world famous Yardbirds appear to have respected the South
African liberation movement’s call for artists and musicians to
assist them by denying legitimacy to the racist state.
Have you thought through the implications of your appearance at
the Barby Club in Tel Aviv on October 29? You’re telling
Palestinian civil society organisations that are similarly calling for
a cultural boycott of Israel that their dispossession and their
oppression don’t matter. The Palestinian Teachers’ Federation;
the Writers’ Federation; the League of Palestinian Artists; the
General Union of Palestinian Women; and many others – your
performance at the Barby will in effect tell all of these people that
you side with the Israeli military occupation, that you don’t mind
helping to airbrush the cruelties of racism and ethnic cleansing,
and that you’re happy to behave as if there isn’t a Palestinian
struggle for liberation and justice.
So we’re hoping you might think again.
Here’s Roger Waters talking about why he supports the Boycott,
Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. Here are
Faithless and other musicians singing ‘Freedom for Palestine’.
Here is Elvis Costello explaining why he withdrew from his two
scheduled concerts in Israel.
There’s a wave, Yardbirds – a whole international wave of people
supporting justice for the Palestinians via consumer boycotts,
academic boycotts, cultural boycotts. You can cancel your gig and
ride that wave – or you can let one night at the Barby dash you on
the shore. Please think again. Please don’t go.
Professor Haim Bresheeth
Professor Adah Kay
Professor Jonathan Rosenhead
Please reply to: BRICUP, BM BRICUP, London WC1N3XX
Please Like, Share and write your thoughts on this new boycott page to persuade the Yardbirds to change their mind about playing in apartheid Israel.
Is Israel an Apartheid State?
Defence for Children International Palestine Section report on the violations and atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinian children during July/August 2011