In answering the call of Palestinian people to boycott Israel after a deep search of his conscience, Elvis Costello made a principled stand against Israeli oppression and cancelled his concerts booked for the end of the month.
His eloquent, intelligent response is well worth reading in full. Congratulations and thank you, Elvis Costello, you are now immortalised as a musical and humanitarian legend.
One lives in hope that music is more than mere noise, filling up idle time, whether intending to elate or lament.
Then there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.
On a minor note, likely due the predations of some angry zionist trolls who swarmed into the main Elvis Costello facebook group looking for blood following Elvis’s conscientious decision, my facebook account is in limbo. Perhaps the ziotrolls took offence to facts presented about Israeli legal discrimination against Palestinians both within and outside the arbitrary borders of the constitutionless, expansionist ziocolony, or maybe it was the well known revelation of MEMRI as an Israeli propaganda machine.
For those willing to stay the distance, the Israeli Law Resource Centre provides excellent background information outlining the myriad ways in which Palestinian Israelis are discriminated against through legislation, and how Israel contravenes international law and imposes a system of apartheid upon Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.
The study by the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) which determined that Israel practices colonialism and the three pillars of the crime of apartheid against stateless, rightsless Palestinians in the OPT is also invaluable in understanding the extent of Israel’s oppression.
The first pillar “derives from Israeli laws and policies that establish Jewish identity for purposes of law and afford a preferential legal status and material benefits to Jews over non-Jews”.
The second pillar is reflected in “Israel’s ‘grand’ policy to fragment the OPT [and] ensure that Palestinians remain confined to the reserves designated for them while Israeli Jews are prohibited from entering those reserves but enjoy freedom of movement throughout the rest of the Palestinian territory. This policy is evidenced by Israel’s extensive appropriation of Palestinian land, which continues to shrink the territorial space available to Palestinians; the hermetic closure and isolation of the Gaza Strip from the rest of the OPT; the deliberate severing of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank; and the appropriation and construction policies serving to carve up the West Bank into an intricate and well-serviced network of connected settlements for Jewish-Israelis and an archipelago of besieged and non-contiguous enclaves for Palestinians”.
The third pillar is “Israel’s invocation of ‘security’ to validate sweeping restrictions on Palestinian freedom of opinion, expression, assembly, association and movement [to] mask a true underlying intent to suppress dissent to its system of domination and thereby maintain control over Palestinians as a group.”
Recently, Israeli journalist Tali Shapiro outlined the goals and ambit of the cultural boycott within the BDS movement along with a full throated appraisal of the behaviours of lesser cultural icons than Costello, Amitav Ghosh and Margaret Atwood, who failed to embrace the Palestinian call to boycott and perceive that their accepting a lucrative prize in Israel donated to the oppressor a precious propaganda gift through normalisation and collaboration. As Tali says:
We can’t afford to stand on the sidelines, watch people burn, and say “there are two sides to every story.” People shouldn’t burn. That’s the premise. We all must stand up and say “no”. If we accept one act of violence, we’re on the slippery slope to accepting money stained with blood. It’s our moral duty to disrupt the immoral order.
Shapiro’s recorded vid interview, which also forms part of her story, captures the persistent attempts of the Tel Aviv University flunkeys to shut down her questioning of Ghosh – twice he insists upon continuing, yet doesn’t seem to perceive the extent of the interference and the intent to silence.