Long Division

racist brands take a stand
with oppression hand in hand
capitalist charities affirm disparities
freedom and the bantustans
the moneygoround grinds
in sordid imperial embrace
and your silence is assent
your bullying, self-defence
while others realise dreams
resist the Beast’s foul schemes
and your wall’s stacked
solid with sycophancy
praising white supremacy
your struggle, your sacrifice
brandished wares to sell
a Great Man or two
say they’re worth a look
have you read the book?
on besieged Gaza beach
a young boy flies a kite
unseen above, Israel tests
new drones for the US
and its predatory National Interest

July 2015

#JeSuisWanker

Why is it that the utter wanker
casts opprobrium like an anchor,
weighing on unwary minds,
what makes the wanker so unkind?

Are they bitter, untimely ripped
from cold mother’s sullen tit,
or revisiting rage they often felt
with vicious father’s lashing belt?

Around the net they prance and rant
and none can trump their pious cant
or measure up to righteous gall
the world’s an ass, they know it all.

Backstabbers, zionists, liberals, preachers,
dictators, imperialists, loathsome creatures,
racists, conservatives, merchant bankers,
a howling horde of complete wankers.

January 2015

The Three Rings of Hell Downunder

first,
i wrote because it felt like singing
without music, even if only
i heard the unsung tune
yet Quadrant had CIA instructions
to keep their sacred staid tomes
cleansed of profane experiments,
these rebellions of mine –
still i versed, a contrary Australian.

then,
i found no royalties were due to
the spoken word unless it had a tune
a musician I’d be to live by art alone
sneaking in poems like thieves
at the start of raucous sets
while composers of minimalist scrapings
would earn a decent crust –
still i versed, lest words rust.

finally,
the Grabbits cut through the ABC
and what do they dump first? it’s poetry
for Poetica has died upon the vine
what is left to placate my mind
all is accompaniment to this thirst
and all have forgotten what came first,
the subtle taste of language’s dream –
still i verse, and curse the regime.

January 2015

BDS Attacked by the Deir Yassin Remembered

Musician and self-professed propagandist for Israel, Idan Raichel is scheduled to play in New York at the World Music Institute on November 18. More than 4000 individuals and 50 groups have called on the WMI for Raichel’s concert to be cancelled due to his role as a ‘cultural ambassador for Israel who provides “uncritical support for the Israeli military and government.”’

The Adalah-NY petition to the WMI states:

Idan Raichel has publicly endorsed torture and explicitly describes his role as an artist in terms of uncritical support for the Israeli military and government. He wrote in the Jerusalem Post in June 2014 that “In creating this musical project we feel as if we are cultural ambassadors for Israel.” He added, “When I look back over the past few years, I see an Israel I am happy with … Raichel summarized his views in 2012, saying, “I believe that our role as artists is to enlist in the Israeli propaganda campaign [Hasbara]… I would like to encourage our soldiers, yes, who are so moral, and encourage the IDF, a more moral army you will not find in the entire world.”’

Palestinian Campaign for Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel (PACBI) representative, Samia Botmeh commented:

PACBI calls for boycotting Idan Raichel’s performances because he is a cultural ambassador of Israel, as both he and the Israeli foreign ministry have boasted. Raichel is willingly lending his name to the Israeli government to re-brand itself and perform damage control after its latest massacre in Gaza. No matter how hard Raichel and other cultural, scientific and academic ambassadors of Israel try to whitewash Israel’s horrific crimes against humanity, people of conscience can see right through their propaganda.’

DYR emailUsually it is proud Zionists and Israel right-or-wrong supporters who malign actions for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). However, responding by email on 1 November 2014 to a request for support for a petition against Raichel’s culture-washing performance, the Deir Yassin Remembered Board labelled the Raichel boycott campaign as “gatekeeping”, ‘a tactic used often by Zionists and by people like Ali Abunimah. Hence we would oppose DYR gatekeeping anyone, including this fellow.

BDS, a Palestinian-led human rights-based movement with overwhelming support from Palestinian civil society, is aimed at applying pressure on the Israeli regime in order to achieve justice and rights for Palestinians living under Israeli rule, whether in Israel or in the territories it occupied in 1967, as well as the refugees scattered around the globe. Scurrilously, the DYR is attacking both the BDS tactic chosen by oppressed Palestinians themselves, in effect making Palestinians superfluous to their own liberation movement, and more specifically Ali Abunimah, well-known Palestinian journalist and activist.

The DYR organisation, a 501c3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization (EIN 20-2681812), has been described by one ex-Board member as a one man show, the work of Daniel McGowan, a retired professor of economics, who set it up in 1995. McGowan expressed his rightwing views on the boycott of apartheid South Africa in 1995.

As a conservative professor of economics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, I disagreed with such prohibitions and political obstructions to the free flow of capital.

In 2009, McGowan blatantly defends Holocaust denial and trumpets noxious pro-imperialist apologetics: ‘The Holocaust narrative of systematic, industrialized extermination was an important neo-conservative tool to drive the United States into Iraq.

For McGowan, DYR Board Director Paul Eisen, Board Advisor Paul Findley, Board Advisor Henry Herskowitz, ex DYR Board Advisor Israel Shamir and supporters Alison Weir and Gilad Atzmon, “Jewish power” causes the US to misbehave – if it weren’t for “Jewish power”, somehow the US empire would be benevolent. This imperialist, white supremacist trope is refuted by the consistent behaviour of the US empire elsewhere. As Gabriel Ash writes:

Overarching strategic doctrines issued by successive administrations articulate how the U.S. government conceives its long term maintenance and aggrandisement. It is here that one locates the basic imperatives driving U.S. foreign policy: containing rival imperial powers, advancing the powers of markets through pro-U.S. and pro-capitalist regimes and defeating indigenous and popular challenges to capitalism in general and to friendly regimes in particular. It is at this level that Israel fits in to U.S. foreign policy. Israel is part of a network of states under U.S. hegemony. It must be defended not only for what it does for the U.S., but primarily for what it is, namely, an element of the global assertion of western power. The strategic importance of the Middle East and Israel’s own lack of alternatives further make it one of the U.S.’s safest allies.

Both Findley and McGowan are involved with Weir’s Council for the National Interest – Weir’s If Americans Knew and CNI organisations both endorse a paid September 2014 oped from DYR in the New York Times.

According to its site, DYR ostensibly was organised to build a memorial to Palestinians massacred by Zionists in 1948 at Deir Yassin. Three memorial sculptures and plaques have been established elsewhere – in Geneva (New York), Glasgow and East Jerusalem.

Although the main purpose of Deir Yassin Remembered is to build a suitable memorial, the organisation also has a broader, more humanitarian objective. It will work to eliminate prejudice against Palestinians and to promote the human side of a people who have been the victims of the Zionist colonisation of their land and of the apartheid conditions under which they now live.

From its email dated 1 November 2014 above, however, it appears the current Board Directors believe DYR can fulfill its goals by attempting, as do Zionists, to tarnish the chosen BDS tactic of Palestinian civil society and dehumanise Palestinian activists like Ali Abunimah who critique white supremacist opportunism posturing as solidarity. This phenomenon demonstrates the nexus between white supremacism, zionism and imperialism.

While for a few years from 2007, the organisation began to provide educational scholarships for Palestinians, this was abandoned in 2011. Around 8 scholarships were delivered through donations received by the organisation.

The advisors of the DYR Board have changed over the years yet the names of people who have left often remain on the site for many years after their departure, despite requests to remove them. Human rights lawyer Lea Tsemel left the board in 2005 along with Michael Warschawski. Lea’s name remains on the board list to this day.

To the Directors of DYR
We have been supporters of DYR from its very first days, and identified fully with its goals and objectives. During a recent tour in the US, we discovered that Israel Shamir has been included in the advisory board of DYR.

There is no room for a racist in an institution aimed to fight for the memory of the Deir Yassin victims of Ethnic cleansing and massacre. We therefore ask you to clarify whether or not Israel Shamir is indeed part of DYR. If it is the case and you have no intention to exclude him in order to keep the moral integrity of DYR, we will have to disconect ourselves from it.

Please forward this letter to all the members of the Advisory board.

Lea Tsemel, Michael Warschawski

Norman Finkelstein, Marc Ellis, Neta Golan and Jeff Halper also resigned from DYR around that time. Neta’s name was not removed until 2008. As Gabriel Ash commented wryly, “The Deir Yassin Remembered board is like Hotel California, you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave).

In his 2005 letter of resignation, Jeff Halper wrote of Israel Shamir, who was invited to the Board in 2004:

‘First, he deflects the discussion from the essentials of Deir Yassin onto the supposed characteristics of the perpetrators. To cast all “Jews” as perpetrators of such heinous crimes, which is exactly how the discussion has been going for the past number of months, is racist, absolutely unacceptable – and deflects entirely from the issue of Deir Yassin itself. Just look at his response to Uri Davis: “a Jew is called upon by his religious law to do utmost damage to one who accepted Christ …” Anyone who knows Uri Davis would know that such a statement is beyond absurd, but the bigger question is: Who in the hell is “a Jew”? Paul’s comment about “Jewish Power” is also outrageous. “THE Jews” is a construct just as false, simplistic, racist (biologically so, it seems) and unacceptable as any other ethnic label used to tar all members of that group with – inevitably negative – characteristics. (I know our “fully human” psychotherapist from Australia will read into this primordial “Jewish loyalty.”)

The inane discussion that has come to characterize the DYR discourse is not even sophisticated racism; its just plain old-fashioned stupid racism. That’s enough to get me to leave.

When I hear diatribes of non-Palestinians against the Palestinian Ali Abunimah because he raises concerns over Shamir’s racism and the entire tone of the DYR discussion, a red light goes off. Has Deir Yassin been hijacked by a cult more intent on pursuing hate campaigns against the fictive “Jews” than in searching for the humanistic, universal, critical and truly relevant elements of the Deir Yassin story? Is Deir Yassin’s memory being sullied by those who claim to honor it?

The resignation of any one of the people who left DYR, Jewish or not, should be a cause of soul-searching, especially among the non-Palestinian “gatekeepers” of Deir Yassin who may be finishing off the job – massacring the memory of Deir Yassin by making it synonymous with racism and anti-Semitism. ‘

Although he was never actually on the Board, Uri Davis’s name appears there as a consultant during 2005 and is removed by 2006. Our source relays that Davis said he would accept the invitation to the Board if he could then argue for the removal of Shamir.

Our sources tell us that in 2005, the late Hanna Braun complained that McGowan had placed her name on his list of “Righteous Jews” on his DYR partner website, without her consent although she made it clear that she found the whole concept racist and offensive. McGowan also placed Braun’s memoirs on the DYR site without asking her let alone her consent.

Full blog
2012 Withdrawn blog post by Paul Eisen

In 2005, Mark Elf at Jews Sans Frontieres relates that Holocaust denier and Board Director Paul Eisen: ‘has finally come out as, or at least gone over to, supporting a full-blown neo-nazi take on Hitler and the holocaust. … Shamir seems to take the view that Jews should renounce being Jewish or forever take the rap for killing Jesus. Jazz saxophonist, Gilad Atzmon, takes the view that if you do not renounce being Jewish then you are a crypto- or under-cover zionist.

Tony Greenstein recounted in 2012: Over a decade ago, Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish issued a statement ‘Serious Concerns About Israel Shamir’ concerning the virulent anti-semitism of Shamir. Like Atzmon, Shamir too traded on his Israeli connections, yet his language about Jews as ‘a virus form of a human being’ set alarms bells ringing. His cause was not support of the Palestinians and anti-Zionism but anti-Semitism and holocaust denial. Yet in an e-mail to me (12th June 2005) Atzmon described Shamir as a ‘unique and advanced thinker’.

In 2011 Eisen reproduced emails to ex-board member Robert Green whose name disappeared from the Board in 2006: The Palestinian people are, above all, suffering under Jewish power and the only guy I know successfully confronting that power is Israel Shamir. Shamir’s name is no longer on the list of Board Advisors by February, 2010. Both Eisen and McGowan have applauded neo-Nazi and convicted Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel. McGowan visited Zündel in prison in Germany in 2006.

In October 2012, Eisen published an antisemitic blog post which was later removed in which he attacked the Free Gaza Movement. After becoming aware of this article, Avigail Arbananel, a director of the Board since 2004, “resigned from DYR because of Paul Eisen”. On the Board since 2007, Palestinian writer Susan Abulhawa also left at this point.

Another name which remains on the Board despite having left is Ilan Pappé. Our source informs us that in 2012 during a visit to Sydney, Pappe was asked ‘if it is the case that they are a current member or whether DYR need to update their website’ and he replied that ‘DYR needs to update their website‘.

2017 Board2016 DYR Board2015 DYR Board2014 DYR Board2013 DYR Board2012 DYR Board2011 DYR Board2010 DYR Board2009 DYR Board2008 DYR Board2007 DYR Board2006 DYR Board2005 DYR Board2004 DYR Board2003 DYR Board2002 DYR Board

Exposed thoroughly in 2012 and despite Eisen’s attack on her in his withdrawn blog post above, Greta Berlin became a DYR Board Advisor early in 2014. In 2012, Bekah Wolf commented on Berlin:

I have seen her engage, accept, and encourage anti-Semitic rhetoric, and this is incredibly damaging to the Palestine solidarity movement. What she, and this group, represents is dangerous to our movement in solidarity with Palestinians: a complete disregard for the basic principles of anti-racism and anti-bigotry most of us hold dear.

At that time, Professor As’ad Abukhalil emphasised: “Anti-Semites belong to the Zionist side, and not to our side.” Along with a declaration by leading Palestinians, the BDS movement has made a strong statement affirming its “rights-based approach and an anti-racist platform that rejects all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism“. The 1 November 2014 DYR email represents a full frontal assault against human rights-based BDS, a principled Palestinian-led movement for justice which seeks to educate people away from racism, to end the human wrongs of colonialism and apartheid inflicted on Palestinians.

Toxic white supremacist ideology – including Zionism – underpins current and past colonial, imperial oppression. Palestinians require better than to have the 1948 genocide at Deir Yassin (perpetrated by Zionists and facilitated by imperial powers) hijacked as a front for DYR white supremacists, in the same manner as settler colonial Zionists appropriate and utilise the Holocaust.

OTHER LINKS

Tony Greenstein (2008): Time to say goodbye – Why does the SWP not break its links with holocaust-denier Gilad Atzmon? (contains more info and links about the DYR Board)

DYR declared a hate group (2017): “Deir Yassin Remembered, a local group famous for its weekly protests outside Temple Beth Israel in Ann Arbor, has been placed on a list of hate groups compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center under the subcategory of Holocaust denial.”

Through a Cage Lightly … Icke is proved wrong

Sulphur crested cockatooFrom their burgeoning colonies in the outer solar system, the Zenoids inflicted a complete blockade on Earth. A fleet of these ancient feathered beings had arrived without warning six centuries ago searching for a vulnerable region to establish their arboreal colonies. With their leaders refusing on the grounds of self-defence to set clear borders, the Zenoid colonies moved closer and closer to Earth, establishing permanent lofty fortresses as they advanced. The Zenoids promised the Earthians a planet of their own only if they would renounce resistance and accept Zenoid needs for numerical superiority and security. The colonists laid claim to one planet after another.

In vain, the Earthians struggled to confront the Zenoid occupation and gain freedom to travel the universe. Whenever the Zenoids commenced their regular assaults on Earth’s meagre defences, the Earthians fired rockets toward the gravitic force field which imprisoned them and at the invading Zenoid colonies themselves. The Earth rockets’ guidance systems and payloads were primitive and pitiful compared to the powerful Zenoid arsenal which scorched the Earth in catastrophic reprisals when the Earthian rockets retaliated against Zenoid attacks. Ingeniously, the Earthians developed communication wormholes to breach the force field and now and then pleas for assistance sped across the spacenet. As soon as they were detected, the wormholes were imploded by the Zenoids with great loss of life at the tunnel entrances on Earth.

The Zenoids shook their feathers and shrugged.

Our security is sacred and Zenoid colonies have a right to defend themselves!” their leaders trumpeted, “Did not the Supreme Feathered Being promise us a solar system? we can only be safe in a solar system of our own! it is ours and we have a right to it all, this space without beings for beings without space. We shall kill and kill and kill until the Earthians submit to our domination. With our superior technology, we will acquire these savages’ planet. Their rockets are sent to kill us. It is us or them.

With nothing to lose and nowhere else to go, the Earthians did not surrender. In desperate resistance, they fired even more rockets at the expanding Zenoid fortresses, signalling to the rest of the galaxy that support was needed urgently. Yet noone came except a few dignitaries from the Full Galactic Spectrum empire who promised sincere dialogue and peace negotiations whilst affirming the empire’s unbreakable primary relationship with the Zenoids. Earth had never been admitted into the Grand Galactic Council. Year after weary year, the Zenoids proclaimed to the Council and its sponsors that any alteration to the status quo would damage their self-evident right to self-defence and security.

With its involvement conveniently blamed on Zenoid machinations or ignored, the opportunistic Spectrum Empire armed and enabled the Zenoid colonisers in return for new weapons pretested on the Earthians and a swag of promising asteroid mining leases. As usual when there were unidollars to be harvested, the Full Galactic Spectrum empire distanced itself and its own genocidal expansionist record from the Zenoid colonists’ gross being rights violations and universal war crimes, exonerating itself and its feathered friends, always insisting on the dominant right of the Zenoids for security. In neighbouring solar systems, the Empire contentedly conducted lucrative brutal interventions and development projects while horrified beings elsewhere were distracted by devastating Zenoid crimes against the Earthians.

Powerful planets with long, dastardly histories of galactic colonisation and veiled schemes of their own supported the Zenoid invaders openly. In the Grand Galactic Council, however, some decolonised members recoiled from the actions of the Zenoids, summoned their legal advisors, ejected Zenoid diplomats and refused to trade with the colonisers. Across the galaxy, while planetary elites plotted advantage and convoluted Zenoid propaganda enveloped the newspacenet, prescient beings with consciences mobilised around the call of the Earthians to boycott the Zenoid colonies, to isolate and pressure the Zenoid rulers into changing their belligerent ways, for this tactic worked before when invaders attempted planetocide and systematic oppression of hapless pre-existing inhabitants.

As pressures mounted upon them, the Zenoids decided to strike – it was time to crush the annoying Earthians completely and conquer the final frontier. A new pretext was devised whereby the Earthians would be blamed for the coming Zenoid attack. Soon the Zenoid droneships were pummelling the bright blue planet, obliterating Earthians and their homes with abandon and impunity. From the rest of the universe, the Zenoids demanded sympathy.

Do not the rockets come from this planet Earth to attack us?” they cried. “These Earthians are using Earth and themselves as a shield! have they not sworn to drive us from the Galaxy?

In the branches of their colonies, indignant Zenoids flapped luminous wings and shrieked to each other, “We must pulverise these ground dwellers, destroy their homes, power supplies, factories, food and water! They teach their children to hate us! Kill them all, or they will breed to outnumber us! did not these Earthians use rockets, tunnels and security as excuses to murder their own colonised beings several centuries ago? Let them taste their own poison.

… TBC, or not

Related Links

Icke is a proponent of a super-duper grand unified conspiracy theory

Neil Young, Please Respect the Boycott of Israel

Dear Neil Young,
Neil Young

Many of your fans, including our organization DPAI, are concerned about the recent announcement that you plan to perform to a segregated audience in July 2014 in what is an apartheid state: Israel.

We sincerely ask that you reconsider your commitment to promoter Shuki Weiss who serves the interests of the state of Israel, providing select Israeli officials with VIP tickets to concerts he promotes.(1)

Israel truly stands apart on the world stage as an exclusivist, ethnocentric, settler-colonial state, with a powerful military and extensive political reach. Backed unconditionally and delivered impunity by the USA, Canada and the EU, Israel continues with its slow, gradual genocide against the Palestinian people who are indigenous to the land. Palestinian land has not only been stolen, but water resources pillaged, olive trees burned, and families separated from each other by a system of military sniper towers, checkpoints, walls and laws preventing family reunification (as you’ll read below). When the Indigenous people of the land, the Palestinians, protest the theft of their farms and destruction of their livelihoods, they are met with tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets and foul smelling ‘skunk water’ and arbitrary arrest by the Israeli military.

People of conscience, including musicians, are feeling the substantial, persuasive moral weight to act urgently, ethically – and clearly, BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is an effective, powerful means to end Israel’s impunity and make it accountable for its illegal actions.

At this time, we ask you to not cross the Palestinian picket line. We sincerely hope that soon, you will perform in a state that offers total equality in citizenship to both Palestinians (refugees included) and Jews in Israel. Sadly, that state does not exist, yet.

Your support for the Indigenous nationhood of Canada and the environment is commendable. We hope you will show similar concern for the Indigenous Palestinian people. With regard to Palestinian Indigeneity, Palestinian leader, MK Haneen Zoabi had this to say at the Capetown Russell Tribunal hearings in November 2011:

Israel has confiscated my land and has started to define me as the invader of the land. They call us in the Knesset, in the courts, in the media the invaders of the land … when they confiscate our land in the Galilee and the Negev, they said they are going to redeem the land, redeem, I don’t know this word, I ask about it – salvation from me, the indigenous people, there. It is not about stealing the land, it is about stealing my homeland, my relation with my homeland. They are trying to transmit, to rewrite history, they don’t like history, they don’t like to read history, what happened before 1948 and that means we were there, the Palestinian people … they like more to write history. And they say I am a risk, they must reserve the land. So the crime is not really just to steal my land, they are trying to redefine my relation with my homeland. It is not my homeland anymore. I cannot claim it. They rewrite history and I am the invader of the land.”(2)

Israel goes to great lengths to cover up its crimes, claiming itself to be a leader in green technology and environmentalism. Greenwashing is a tactic used by Israel to shift the focus away from shocking facts such as:

  • According to the OECD, Israeli “water quality” is ranked 35 out of 36 countries, better only than the Russian Federation. Israel’s water score “is much lower than the OECD average” according to the OECD, “and suggests Israel still faces difficulties in providing good quality water to its inhabitants.”
  • Similar problems face air quality: Israel is ranked 27 out of 36 for harmful particulate matter in the air and, “Particulate matter and ground-level ozone concentrations frequently exceed limit values for the protection of human health.”
  • Because of Israeli discrimination, Palestinians face severe shortages of water, a report from Amnesty International found. Palestinians are systematically denied water for basic needs, and hundreds of thousands don’t even have running water. Israel appropriates 80 percent of the water from the occupied West Bank’s main aquifer, while allowing Palestinians a mere 20 percent. In the West Bank, 450,000 settlers use as much or more water than the Palestinian population of some 2.3 million.
  • The fact that 95 percent of Gaza’s water is unfit for human consumption due to Israel’s siege and military attacks, and the use of desalination technology as a means to further isolate Gaza.
  • The frequent contamination of Palestinian villages by flows of raw sewage from Israeli settlements;
  • The systematic destruction of trees to facilitate settler takeover of land, such as in Wadi Qana, an area of rare natural beauty that is now also awash in settler sewage.
  • The threat of destruction of the West Bank village of Battir’s ancient irrigation and ecosystem by Israel’s colonization and apartheid wall – which has led to an emergency application to UNESCO to try to save the area.
  • Israel’s further entrenchment in the occupied West Bank under the guise of supposedly environmental companies like Better Place, which build settlement infrastructure. (3)

Here are more stark facts which no doubt Mr. Weiss has not made known to you:

Israel was established in 1948, as an exclusively Jewish state, after over 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homes and land. For over 65 years, the Israeli government has used both ‘legal’ and arbitrary force against the indigenous people who still remained in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and who now comprise almost half (5 million) of the population which Israel controls.(4) Today, Palestinians are the largest and longest suffering group of refugees in the world. One in three refugees world wide is Palestinian, making up a 7.2 million refugee population worldwide.(5)

Jewish Israeli citizens enjoy systemic, institutionalized privileges such as legal advantage, well funded schools, universal healthcare, modern separate roads and high status in society, with full protection from the Israeli Army. A full 20% of the population (over 1.2 million) in Israel is comprised of Palestinians who carry an Israeli ID card. These people are subject to “Jim Crow”-style laws that enforce housing restrictions, discrimination, underfunded schools, and restrictive marriage laws. More than 50 Israeli laws discriminate against non-Jews.(6)

Approximately 2.4 million Palestinians live in the Israeli-controlled West Bank. Within this area, Israel has constructed an intricate matrix of sectors. Hundreds of Palestinian ghettos are isolated from each other using a system of sniper towers, patrol roads, cement walls, layers of barbed wire, electric fencing and arbitrary and permanent military checkpoints. Manless drones and frequent night raids inflict constant fear on a population where around half are children. From the International Court of Justice to the Red Cross, the apartheid wall has been deemed illegal. Its disastrous impact is felt on Palestinian farmers, villages, cities, families, schoolchildren, students and the entire people. From Jenin to Bethlehem, through the concrete-split streets of East Jerusalem, the wall has become another element of Israel’s colonization of Palestine, one more link in the apartheid chain.(7)

In Gaza, Israel’s collective punishment of 1.6 million people includes bulldozing once-productive farmland, shooting at fishermen as they try to make a living and bombing buildings that held preschools and universities. As the borders have been sealed shut, Gaza has been forced to depend on UN schools, and to subsist on what food and medical supplies Israel capriciously decides to let in.

Israel blatantly admits using cultural events to create a false image of itself as a progressive, artistic nation with a Western European flavor (8). Having big name bands from the USA play in Tel Aviv is a part of this larger, duplicitous effort to brand the state. Getting artists known for being true to their consciences and for working in solidarity with oppressed people, artists such as you, would be a real coup for Israel’s branding of itself, and we really hope that you refuse to allow your image to be used thus. Already the state is using your planned performance as propaganda, with the official Israeli Embassies of Canada and the US tweeting about it.

The call to boycott was made in 2005 and enjoys overwhelming support from Palestinian Civil Society. The boycott is an urgent call to people of conscience to act to hold Israel accountable for how it treats the Palestinian people. The international community has failed to act, and, in fact, has instead enabled some of Israel’s most violent aggression.

In late 2008 and early 2009, Israel implemented a brutal attack on the civilian population of Gaza. Over three hundred children were left dead, with a total of 1,400 people killed, from a population which Israel was holding captive under military force. In November of 2011, Israel launched another sustained attack on Gaza, this time murdering more than 160 people. The people of Gaza are subjected to regular airstrikes and shootings both in the “buffer zone” and at sea, in their own waters.

The cultural boycott really stepped up after the assault on Gaza and then Israel’s attack on the Freedom Flotilla in 2010. As the lead ship, the Mavi Marmara, was changing course and heading away from Israel at high speed, Israeli commandos killed nine volunteers at close-range, execution-style. This murder took place in International waters. Many highly respected musicians cancelled their concerts in Israel, or became outspoken in favor of the boycott.

Recently the American Studies Association (ASA) voted to join the academic boycott of apartheid Israel, a move that the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) followed up with a similar declaration of support for BDS, stating: “As the elected council of an international community of Indigenous and allied non-Indigenous scholars, students, and public intellectuals who have studied and resisted the colonization and domination of Indigenous lands via settler state structures throughout the world, we strongly protest the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the legal structures of the Israeli state that systematically discriminate against Palestinians and other Indigenous peoples.

In 1990, you played at a concert to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s release from South Africa’s apartheid prison system, as thousands of Palestinians, including children, languish in apartheid Israeli jails, we urge you to think about Mandela’s words: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.

Mr. Young, please respect the boycott, and make it known you will not play in Israel while it is an apartheid state and an oppressed people have called for solidarity and for artists not to cross their picket line.

Respectfully,

DPAI
We are a group, of over 1400 members, representing many nations around the globe, who believe that it is essential for musicians & other artists to heed the call of the PACBI, and join in the boycott of Israel. This is essential in order to work towards justice for the Palestinian people under occupation, and also in refugee camps and in the diaspora throughout the world.

NOTES:
(1) http://pulsemedia.org/2012/12/12/israel-2012-the-question-of-a-nation-what-does-culture-have-to-do-with-politics/#more-37168
(2) http://www.kadaitcha.com/2012/01/09/haneen-zoabis-presentation-at-the-russell-tribunal-cape-town/
(3) http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/new-green-israel-ads-cnn-greenwash-sewage-occupation-and-apartheid
(4) Current demographic figures show: 1.2 million Palestinians with Israeli ID; 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza; 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank; 5 million Israelis excluding Palestinians
(5) http://www.al-awda.org/faq-refugees.html
(6) http://adalah.org/eng/Israeli-Discriminatory-Law-Database
(7) http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ben-white/did-israeli-apartheid-wall-really-stop-suicide-bombings
(8) http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/about-face-1.170267?trailingPath=2.169%2C2.225%2C2.239%2C
(9) http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/12/29/native-american-studies-association-boycott-israel

SOURCE