Natalie Imbruglia Cancels Her Gig in Apartheid Israel

Natalie Imbruglia cancels IsraelAfter a solid campaign by concerned groups and Indigenous people, Natalie Imbruglia has cancelled her gig in Israel which was scheduled for March 1, 2017. The campaign was co-ordinated by Don’t Play Apartheid Israel with an accompanying Facebook page.

Natalie’s decision to refrain from playing in Israel is much appreciated, following the passing of a criminal “law” by Israel’s Knesset retrospectively “legalizing” theft of private Palestinian lands for illegal Jewish-only settlements. Recently, in concert with renewed bombing, Israel prevented anaesthetic gas from reaching Gaza, yet after international pressure, one shipment of anaesthetic was permitted before Israel slammed the Gaza prison gates shut for all imports and exports. Gaza’s civilian population has lived under brutal siege by Israel since 2006. Of 2 million Gazan civilians persecuted by Israel’s military Occupation, over half are children.

Gig cancelled http://www.songkick.com/artists/66427-natalie-imbruglia

Let’s hope Australian band Pond, UK-based Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Fat Boy Slim and Radiohead similarly revise their tour plans to exclude the apartheid state of Israel and respect the principled Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS).

SUPPORT THE CULTURAL BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL

Sign the petition to persuade Radiohead to respect the boycott.

Contact Radiohead
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/radiohead
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/Radiohead

Contact Pond
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pondling
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/Pondband

Contact Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nickcaveandthebadseeds
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/nickcave

Contact Fat Boy Slim
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fatboyslim
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/FatboySlim

UPDATE

In the JPost (12 February, 2017), event organisers are quoted saying Natalie cancelled because of “logistic constraints”, that she apologises and will reschedule.

Nevertheless, “Concert producers said refunds would be given to all ticket holders” and thus a reschedule is not expected in the near future.

The Israeli promoters of Natalie Imbruglia are said to claim, but not Natalie Imbruglia herself (who removed apartheid Israel from her tour without any comment on it being cancelled):
“Imbruglia apologized for disappointing her fans in Israel and vowed to schedule a show in country at a future date.”

No new concert in Israel appears on Natalie’s tour program or the promoter’s events.

3A Productions 2017 events

For updates see DPAI Page:
“Natalie Imbruglia, Playing Apartheid is a Big Mistake”

Clearly, by claiming the concert will be rescheduled the promoters facilitate the Israeli anti-BDS propaganda. This tactic has been used rather frequently. For example, when Pharrell Williams cancelled his July 2016 gig due to “scheduling problems”, it was claimed falsely by JPost he would reschedule.

Similarly, the JPost published in August 2014:
“American pop singer Lana Del Rey announced on Friday that her Tel Aviv concert scheduled for August 20 has been pushed back to another date due to the ongoing crisis in the south.”
“Those who purchased tickets for the concert will be notified of an alternate date. Organizers for the show said that the original tickets will be honored.”

However, two and half years later Lana Del Rey has not rescheduled.

For updates see DPAI Page:
Lana Del Rey, Don’t Endorse Apartheid Israel’s Violence

At Walla (Hebrew), “industry sources” allegedly are blaming poor ticket sales for Natalie’s cancellation. “Industry sources” also claimed Pharrell Williams’ concert was cancelled due to low ticket sales. Are “low ticket sales” yet another repeat excuse deployed to disguise cancellations made by musicians who decide to refrain from crossing the boycott picket line?

FURTHER UPDATE

The promoters, 3A Productions, are now claimingshe just couldn’t make it” and “she is busy, really busy“, not low ticket sales, for Natalie’s cancellation.

UPDATE – PALESTINIANS THANK NATALIE

Palestinian artists, cultural organizations and human rights supporters welcome the Australian-British singer Natalie Imbruglia’s cancellation of her March performance in Tel Aviv.

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

How to Grow a Garden – World Poetry Day 2016

It’s not that one has been forced to silence, rather that words have tumbled elsewhere than this blog for a while. Here’s a good excuse to restart this blog – commenting on the imprisonment of Palestinian poet, Ashraf Fayadh, jailed for “apostasy” for eight years and 800 lashes, his beheading sentence commuted by the vicious, tyrannical Saudi oilagarchy, best mates of the US empire and Israel, connivers in the oppression of the region and in particular, occupied Palestinians.

How to Grow a Garden

Mulch the Saudi princes,
jumped up hereditary popinjays
presiding over the ineffable infinite
as if they know it all by divine right
and can take it with them.
May the Saudi princes,
enemies of poets and truth
be deposed and decomposed,
words choking their greedy mouths.

Jinjirrie, March 2014

From Ashraf’s latest poem, written since he was jailed.

“I saw my father for the last time through thick glass,
then he departed, for good.
Because of me, let’s say.
Let us say because he could not bear the thought
I’d die before him.
My father died and left death besieging me
without it frightening me sufficiently.
Why does death scare us to death?
My father departed after a long time
spent on the surface of this planet.
I didn’t say farewell as I should have
nor grieve for him as I should have
and was incapable of tears,
as is my habit, which grows uglier as time passes.

The soldiers besiege me from all fronts
in their uniforms of poor color,
laws and regimes and statutes besiege me.
Sovereignty besieges me;
its highly concentrated instinct
cannot be shaken by living creatures.
My loneliness besieges me,
my loneliness suffocates me,
I am choked by depression, nervousness, and worry,
remorse, that I’m a member of the human race,
kills me.”

………………………………………..

For Fayadh from Gaza, Haidar Eid performs “Thirsty for Freedom,” adapted from a poem by the late legendary Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm.

………………………………………..

‘There are two ways opposite to each other, one leading to the house of freedom, the other to the house of slavery. Lead the people on the road that goes through courage and harmony; avoid that which leads through strife and ruin.’

Delphic Oracle (circa 7-9C BC)

………………………………………..

How many couplets do you recognise?

How many of these poets were oppressed for their visions and lived in squalid unhappiness?

Don’t wait till they are dead or imprisoned, treasure your local poets today!

………………………………………

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