Natalie Imbruglia, Please Don’t Make a Big Mistake

Natalie Imbruglia, Playing Apartheid is a Big MistakeDear Natalie,

We are writing to you to ask you to please reconsider your performance in Israel, scheduled for the 1st March, 2017. We understand this will be your first appearance in Israel and would like to inform you that playing there will be in breach of the Palestinian call for artists to respect the cultural boycott of Israel until it adheres to international law and Palestinians have their civil and political rights which they are currently denied by the apartheid Israeli government. [1]

Like Aboriginal people in Australia before 1966, indigenous Palestinians who live in Israel are prevented from enjoying full citizenship in that state. Full citizenship is available only on theocratic grounds, to people who are defined as Jewish by the State. Furthermore, Palestinians in Israel are subject to more than 50 laws discriminating against them – de facto apartheid.  Palestinians who reside in the Occupied Territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza which Israel seized and occupied in 1967 cannot vote at all in Israeli elections. These Palestinian people subsist in segregated bantustans isolated from each other by apartheid walls and fences with their movement controlled by over 500 checkpoints, preventing them from attending universities and hospitals, and seeing friends and relatives – many families have been separated for years due to this system of apartheid. Indeed the International Court of Justice declared Israel’s apartheid wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory illegal in 2004 – further international law that it ignores.

Palestinians persecuted by military occupation naturally wish to live freely with rights in their own ancestral lands. However, illegal Israeli settlements continually expand and encroach upon those lands, despite several United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Most recently, on 23 December 2016, the UNSC passed another resolution unanimously against expansion of the illegal settlements, and again affirmed their illegality under international law, yet Israel refuses to recognise these resolutions.  Israel has now declared de facto war on the resolution’s sponsors, including New Zealand [2] and also intends to withhold UN dues [3]. Since the resolution Israel has accelerated its demolition of Palestinian homes to four times its 2016 weekly average, making hundreds of people homeless.

Nearly 800,000 Jewish people now reside illegally on Palestinian lands, enjoying full political rights while Palestinians languish, brutalised by military occupation and without rights. Palestinian refugees driven out in the 1948 Nakba from the areas which Israel claimed comprise the second largest refugee population in the world and again, despite the requirements of international law, Israel refuses to permit these Indigenous people to return to their homes. In many countries Palestinians are stateless, living in squalid refugee camps for decades, never giving up hope that their right of return will be realised and they can return to their Indigenous home and heritage which has been usurped and colonised.

Zionist colonisation of Palestine follows a similar trajectory to British colonisation of Australia, where Indigenous Australians were forced into isolating missions and reserves, slaughtered and dispossessed of their land and culture, while Palestinians too are subjected to extreme violence and forced into refugee camps and bantustans  We understand you have experienced the end results of these genocidal colonial crimes during your participation in the First Contact SBS programme and are sympathetic to the plight of Aboriginal people in Australia consequent to white colonisation. We ask you to consider also the distressing situation for Palestinian people and the importance of support for their struggle for liberation and justice. Because the international political community has refused to act to support their rights, Palestinians called in 2005 for cultural boycott and asked people of conscience like yourself for solidarity with their movement by refraining from performing in Israel.

By respecting their call, you will also be supporting the women of Gaza who suffer from breast cancer, another area where you have shown empathy. Israel prevents breast cancer sufferers, and indeed most cancer sufferers from obtaining appropriate treatment, due to its collective punishment of two million civilians which it has incarcerated in the largest prison in the world – Gaza – since 2006.

Dozens of female cancer patients in the Gaza Strip have launched a protest against Israel’s refusal to allow them to cross into Israel to seek medical treatments in hospitals in Israel, East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The women say the ban or delay of their treatments is a “premeditated death sentence.” [4]

Due to Israel’s military attacks on Gaza and its illegal, immoral siege which prevents the import of fuel supply and parts, sickness is common there since the water supply is contaminated by dysfunctional sewerage treatment plants and electricity supply is currently down to a mere four hours per day [5]. Physicians for Human Rights comments on Israel’s deprivation of medical equipment:

There are no syringes, no bandages and no tubes. When one of our surgeons asks for a specific scalpel or bandage during surgery he’s told that there aren’t any available. When we train a local doctor and teach him techniques and procedures he has nothing to work with.” [Ibid.]

The UN has estimated that without major reconstruction, Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. [Ibid.] Should you play your concert in Israel, be aware that this crime against humanity is being perpetrated just miles from you.

Certainly, Israel will continue to carry out its injustices against the Palestinian people if we are silent and do not act. We implore you to recognise your performance in Israel cannot create bridges over apartheid, oppression and suffering, merely obscure it so Israel can continue to pretend that its crimes are “normal” and blame Palestinians for their own plight. This is clearly not the case any more than the myth proliferated by white supremacists that Aboriginal people in Australia are responsible for their own immiseration.

The reality is that for Israel any show that isn’t cancelled because of boycott appeals is considered a political victory over the Palestinian struggle and international solidarity with it. Performing in Tel Aviv means playing for a segregated audience, on ethnically cleansed land. We really hope you can’t see yourself doing this and you join Lauryn Hill, Cassandra Wilson, Sinead O’Connor, Cat Power, Massive Attack and thousands of other artists who have refused to play in Israel – in Ireland over 540 artists have pledged to boycott the state, as have over 1,190 in the UK, and many more all over the world.

Please respect the Palestinian call to boycott Israel – you can make a real difference here and help tip the moral scales toward justice.

DPAI

We are a group, of over 2000 members from 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.

Palestine Support Network Australia (PSNA)
Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA)
Australian Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions Campaign for Palestine (BDS)
Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (CJPP)
Sydney Staff for BDS
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

Samah Sabawi, Palestinian Australian playwright and Al Shabaka policy adviser
Kollaps, Melbourne band
Candy Royalle, Writer, Performer, Activist, Educator
Amy McQuire, Indigenous Writer
Penelope Swales, Musician
Sara Dowse, Writer
Trish Nacey, Videographer and Musician
Walbira Murray, Indigenous Research Officer
Ken Canning, Indigenous Playwright
Jeff Sparrow, Writer, Editor and Broadcaster
Marcelo Svirsky, Writer

Notes:

  1. https://bdsmovement.net/pacbi/cultural-boycott-guidelines
  2. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/why-israel-should-fear-new-zealand
  3. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/israel-halts-6m-protest-unsc-settlements-vote-170106205417524.html
  4. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.763355
  5. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.763280

Haidar Eid on BDS, White Liberal Ideology & Colonialism

In these videos, Professor Haidar Eid discusses BDS and addresses the hypocrisy of white liberal ideology and promises of supposedly left wing organisations in the setting of late capitalism “which does not take into consideration the perspective of the Other”.

“You do not wait for the coloniser to accept what you are saying, you force the coloniser to accept what you are saying – that is what resistance is all about.”

Israel, War Criminal and Initiator of Attacks on Occupied Gaza

In its latest manufactured spectacle of horrendous violence, Operation Protective Edge, Israel broke an 18 month truce and fired on Hamas first, although this was just one of many significant breaches Israel perpetrated against Gaza since November 2012.

“Because memories are short. On 29 June, Israel killed a Hamas member in Gaza. On 30 June, this headline” (thanks, Ben White)

Israel fires first

Yet the mainstream media one-sidedly have spun Israel’s propaganda that it is merely “defending itself” and “responding to rocket attacks”, and most despicably, the lie that Hamas uses civilians as “human shields“.

Israel has a history of concocting hasbara to pervert the historical record of its unilateral pre-planned attacks on the people of Gaza. As revealed by Wikileaks cables, Operation Cast Lead was cooked up with malice aforethought in concert with the US and initiated by Israel. In November 2012, the zionist state commenced its next attack on the Gazan people, Operation Pillar of Cloud, ‘in order to restore its increasingly frayed deterrent posture vis-à-vis the Palestinians, the region and the world at large.’

Regardless of its duplicitous, traditional posture of ‘self-defence’ which zionists have been utilising ever since their 1947 Plan Dalet conquests were termed ‘counter-measures’, Israel does not have a right to attack the population of Occupied Gaza to ‘defend itself’ or otherwise, and certainly not to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Nor is it sufficient for Egypt in collusion with the US and with the assistance of Tony Blair, to broker a one-sided cease fire and not consult with one of the parties at all. This manouevre attempted to make it look as though Israel was the blameless party seeking peace, when in actuality it provided a rubber stamp for Israel to accelerate its massacres and destruction in Gaza. This is not a “war” or “conflict”, it is a continuance of the settler colonial genocide of and theft from Palestinians which Israel has been conducting assiduously since 1948.

Also pertinent to Israel’s murderous campaign is the fact that Israel has its eyes on Gaza’s gas and this is another reason, besides deterrence of resistance to its hegemony, why Israel is attacking the people of Gaza, to divide the Palestinian people all the better to arrange comfy deals for resource exploitation with neoliberal collaborator PA nepotists.

The US/UK and other imperial cronies have been indulgent, irresponsible ‘parents’, have cossetted, enabled and grown a fascist juggernaut to plague Palestinians and the region. By permitting their sociopathic child, which acts as a ‘farm’ and ‘laboratory’ for imperial arms tech, intel tech and security tech development and testing on live Palestinian targets, to terrorise Palestinians and others, the empire tells the rest of the region that it will never be permitted to be free, unify, enjoy basic human rights or resist the empire’s predations.

Israel’s genocide of and theft from Palestinians must stop and the criminal eight year siege which it has imposed on the people of Gaza end.

Palestinians have called for the international community to oppose Israel’s crimes through boycott, divestment and sanctions and an arms embargo on Israel.

As Jennine Abdul Khalik, Co-editor of Arab-Australian site Sajjeling and Palestinian human rights advocate says:

‘The BDS movement, initialised and endorsed by Palestinian civil society in 2005, is one of the most impactful things we can do to challenge Israel’s impunity and its normalcy. It begins in our streets, in our universities, and amongst our businesses and organisations. We can cut through government silence from below.’

Present at the huge protest for Palestinian rights at Qalandia checkpoint in the West Bank today, Diana Buttu, Palestinian advocate and lawyer highlights the importance of BDS:

‘First and foremost, The BDS movement is growing and needs to grow further … Beyond that there needs to be a push for an arms embargo on Israel and accountability for its actions.

The boycott movement is our way of reclaiming our voices.’

Palestinian academics, writers and public figures emphasise that a cease fire must incorporate the end of the blockade on Gaza:

‘As academics, public figures and activists witnessing the intended genocide of 1.8 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, we call for a ceasefire with Israel only if conditioned on an end to the blockade and the restoration of basic freedoms that have been denied to the people for more than seven years.

Our foremost concerns are not only the health and safety of the people in our communities, but also the quality of their lives – their ability to live free of fear of imprisonment without due process, to support their families through gainful employment, and to travel to visit their relatives and further their education.

These are fundamental human aspirations that have been severely limited for the Palestinian people for more than 47 years, but that have been particularly deprived from residents of Gaza since 2007. We have been pushed beyond the limits of what a normal person can be expected to endure.

Likewise, Hamas represented the sentiment of the vast majority of residents when it rejected the unilateral ceasefire proposed by Egypt and Israel without consulting anyone in Gaza. We share the broadly held public sentiment that it is unacceptable to merely return to the status quo – in which Israel strictly limits travel in and out of the Gaza Strip, controls the supplies that come in (including a ban on most construction materials), and prohibits virtually all exports, thus crippling the economy and triggering one of the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the Arab world.

To do so would mean a return to a living death.

Unfortunately, past experience has shown that the Israeli government repeatedly reneges on promises for further negotiations, as well as on its commitments to reform.

Likewise, the international community has demonstrated no political will to enforce these pledges. Therefore, we call for a ceasefire only when negotiated conditions result in the following:

Freedom of movement of Palestinians in and out of the Gaza Strip.
Unlimited import and export of supplies and goods, including by land, sea and air.
Unrestricted use of the Gaza seaport.
Monitoring and enforcement of these agreements by a body appointed by the United Nations, with appropriate security measures.

Each of these expectations is taken for granted by most countries, and it is time for the Palestinians of Gaza to be accorded the human rights they deserve.

Related Links

Don’t forget the men that the Israeli killing machine is butchering and maiming
On Zionism’s violence against women: “When a state views a population — its dispossessed, disenfranchised and occupied indigenous population — as a ”demographic threat,” that view is fundamentally both racist and gendered. Racist population control relies specifically on violence against women.”
Americans still brainwashed by imperialism and zionism
Extremely disturbing vid footage in this piece, including a bizarre dancing ritual by zionist fanatics as they wish evil upon “the Other”, inscribing deadly artillery shells with curses

On truce: ‘The Hamas official acknowledged that the militants realized that getting Israel to end the eight-year siege in tandem with a ceasefire was unrealistic.

“There needs to be an agreement on the principles, the schedule (for ending the blockade) and the mechanism,” the official said.

Hamas’s chief Khaled Meshaal on Wednesday again insisted on a ceasefire only after an end to the siege, in force since Hamas was democratically elected in 2006.

The official, who works closely with Meshaal, said however that they understood that the blockade would be eased only after the ceasefire, but they required a schedule in place first.’

This is what the US enables in its disgraceful one-sided support for genocidal apartheid Israel – grotesque war crimes against civilians
Two dozen killed as several UNRWA schools hit in Gaza

Solidarity with Muslim leaders boycotting the NSW Premier’s “Ramadan” dinner.

The Liberal Democrat MP David Ward has refused to apologise for saying he would probably fire a rocket into Israel if he lived in Gaza, despite his party “utterly condemning” the comments.

Promoting the Rape of Gaza and Its Women

‘On July 21, Israeli media reported that Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of the West Bank settlement Kiryat Arba, issued a religious edict on the rules of engagement during wartime, which he sent to the country’s Defense Minister. The edict stated that according to Jewish religious law, it is permissible to bomb innocent Palestinian civilians and “to exterminate the enemy.”’

Up to 20,000 Palestinians protest in the Occupied West Bank – Israel opens fire with live ammunition killing 2 people

Why the UK must end its military support for Israel

Israel lies so it can commit and conceal crimes of war
“Both sides” aren’t to blame in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel is

GPO Advisory to Journalists Covering Operation Protective Edge from the Gaza Strip

Tony #Blair, #MiddleEast ambassador for the US, UN, EU and Russia, helped #Egypt write up the #ceasefire.

With a total death toll as at 25 July of 828, at least 70% of which are civilians, the “most moral” military in the world has killed but 10 what it terms as ‘senior terrorists’.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, including staff, are helping Israel’s massacre in Gaza

West Bank rage at Gaza bloodshed as protests erupt over UN school attack

“Thousands of Palestinians took part in a demonstration after more than 15 women, children and United Nations staff were killed and around 200 injured when a UN shelter for those fleeing the Israeli bombing was hit.

The Israel Defence Forces insisted it had given the occupants of the shelter time to leave before shelling the area. But the UN flatly contradicted that, saying it had made repeated attempts to negotiate a window during which people could safely leave the area but none was granted. It said it had given the IDF precise co-ordinates of the location of the school.

Meanwhile reports emerged that the US secretary of state, John Kerry, had presented both sides with a new proposal for a cessation of violence. It centred around a week-long temporary ceasefire with Israeli troops allowed to stay in Gaza to locate and destroy tunnels; and simultaneous negotiations for a permanent deal, with guarantees by the US, EU and UN that the primary concerns of each side would be addressed.

Kerry was said to be awaiting a response from Israel and Hamas before leaving Cairo to return to Washington later on Friday. Israel’s security cabinet was due to meet later on Friday to discuss the plan. It will also discuss the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza.

Hamas’s leader-in-exile, Khaled Mishal, said a truce must include a guaranteed end to Israel’s eight-year blockade of the Gaza Strip. “We want a ceasefire as soon as possible, that’s parallel with the lifting of the siege of Gaza,” he told the BBC.

The school in Beit Hanoun in the north of Gaza was one of the grimmest incidents of the conflict, now in its 18th day and in which more than 800 Palestinians – mostly civilians – have been killed. Thirty-four Israelis and one Thai worker have died. “

Israel used fabricated images to justify bombing al-Wafa hospital

Freedom and justice For Gaza: Boycott action against 7 complicit companies

Israel does not deny that it killed those Palestinians using modern aerial technology and precise weaponry courtesy of the world’s only superpower. In fact, it does not even deny that they are civilians.

Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked

Israel’s propaganda machine, however, insists that these Palestinians wanted to die (“culture of martyrdom”), staged their own death (“telegenically dead”) or were the tragic victims of Hamas’s use of civilian infrastructure for military purposes (“human shielding”). In all instances, the military power is blaming the victims for their own deaths, accusing them of devaluing life and attributing this disregard to cultural bankruptcy. In effect, Israel—along with uncritical mainstream media that unquestionably accept this discourse—dehumanizes Palestinians, deprives them even of their victimhood and legitimizes egregious human rights and legal violations.

It Turns Out Hamas Didn’t Kidnap and Kill the 3 Israeli Teens After All

Time for Israel’s war criminal genocidalists to meet justice at the ICC:

In a less widely-reported speech, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in Paris on March 20, 2013 reportedly said that the ICC is “waiting” for the Palestinians to “come back,” implying that following the UN vote, she would view Palestine as a state, even though the UN Security Council has not recognized it.

Put succinctly, the threat of criminal allegations against Israelis going anywhere (though there are many obstacles besides the statehood bar) at the ICC are far greater now than they were when the Goldstone Report came out.

Classic fascist newspeak from genocidalist war crim Moshe Feiglin. Israel loves “life and liberty”, Palestinians are just “savages” who resist the glorious zionist entity, so send them to their deaths.

Attacks on hospitals expose Israel’s “self-defense” claims as lies

Gaza is not “a tragedy in which ‘both sides’ share the blame” …
“We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, and we want our Government to do the same, to cut diplomatic relations, to sever trade, to boycott Israel until it ends its violent occupation.”

Palestinians working toward a secular democratic one state.

Mob of zionist brownshirts sing songs about Gaza school children not being able to attend school, because there’s no children left.

Will fascist Israel flaunt the directives of the UNSC as it has done countless times before?

Khaled Meshaal to interviewer Charlie Rose:

‘”We are not fanatics, we are not fundamentalists. We are not actually fighting the Jews because they are Jews per se. We do not fight any other races. We fight the occupiers,” he said.

“I’m ready to coexist with the Jews, with the Christians and the Arabs and non-Arabs,” he said. “However, I do not coexist with the occupiers.”‘


Only 27 Australian politicians condemn Israel’s attack on Gaza. Only 27.

In The Age:

‘The onslaught is indiscriminate and unrelenting, with but one possible conclusion: Israel is not fighting the terrorists of Hamas. In defiance of the laws of war and the norms of civilised behaviour, it is waging its own war of terror on the entire Gaza population of about 1.7 million people. Call it genocide, call it ethnic cleansing: the aim is to kill Arabs.

As none other than Malcolm Fraser tweeted this week: “If any other country went to war killing as many civilians, women and children, it would be named a war crime.”‘

If the media reported everything the way they report on Palestine…

An overview of Israel’s collective punishment and war crimes against the people of Gaza resultant from Operation Defective Heads

Genocidal Israeli settlers moan about missing out on the night life, worry that their lack of partying is damaging the economy.

Belgian doctors call for sanctions against Israel

Israeli soldier was captured before the 72 hour cease fire, and Israel aborted the cease fire by attacking.

Trenchant article by Phil Greaves dealing to western liberal apologists for imperialism and zionism, in particular Owen Jones and Laurie Penny:

‘On the other side of the bargain, and providing the most crucial return in supporting Zionism for the western imperial class, is the furthering of regional chaos, antagonism, and conflict, perpetuating a weakened and subordinated condition of the Arab states and peoples that western capital seeks to repress – to force down the road of political reaction and to exploit. In one form or another Israel has provided western imperialism with its most reliable asset in the repression and exploitation of the Middle East. Until this colonial manifestation of western imperialism is abolished in full, and its racist ideological structure along with it, thereby freeing the Palestinians and Arabs from western imperialism and Zionist oppression, there will be no “durable peace”.

The western “Left” liberals and social chauvinists seeking mere “understanding” of the oppressor and affording it false equivalence aim to mitigate and obscure both the inherently fascistic character of Zionism and the Israeli State, and its critical role in buttressing western imperial domination of the Middle East.’

Craig Murray:

I have no hesitation whatsoever in stating that what is happening in Gaza is a part of a continuing process of deliberate genocide of the Palestinian people by the Israelis. When I have previously stated this, some commenters have taken issue with the word genocide. I see no other word that fits.

The Sinking of the H.M.A.S. Grabbit

Refugee CouncilLate night thoughts of Morriscum
set adrift in a leaky boat
with Australians online taking bets
how long he can stay afloat.

Abbott’s lashed firmly to the mast
Bishop’s locked in the hold
When the boat sinks we’ll all cheer
and divvy up the gold.

Brandis burnt international law
to please his zionist mates,
It won’t keep him warm 10 fathoms down
When he meets his watery fate.

Cormann’s whining on his mobile
calling up the crony banks
Too late for party kickbacks
the ocean gives us thanks.

For in all Australia’s history
there’s never been rogues as these
Corrupt and heartless brigands all
may they drown on the open seas.

Alas, the dream is but a dream
still the scurvy wretches spout
from their padded thrones in Parliament
We’ll have to vote them out.

Jinjirrie, July 2014.

Related Links

If these Tamil asylum seekers have been handed over to the Sri Lankan navy, Abbott and his murderous crew should be at the Hague for crimes against humanity.

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

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