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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

Backstreet Boys Smeared With Apartheid Mud

Backstreet Boys in MudAppearing in promotional shots in mud blackface, the Backstreet Boys besmirched themselves not only by flaunting the Palestinian-led boycott of Israel, but by becoming complicit with Israel’s crimes against Palestinians, marketing apartheid products.

Photographed frolicking in the Dead Sea to promote Premier Dead Sea Cosmetic Laboratories, the Backstreet Boys muddied their own brand with Israel’s colonial, apartheid crimes.

Premier Dead Sea, an Israeli company which is part of the Hadan Group and located in Lod, was ousted from Dundee and Sligo in 2011 after successful BDS campaigns.

Along with accepting more than $1m for their three performances at Ra’anana in May 2015, the Backstreet Boys allowed themselves to be used for brazen rebranding of Israeli settler colonialism, brutal military occupation, apartheid and theft with photo sessions in Occupied Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. Did the band receive more than a nice day, a mud beauty treatment, a meal and Goodie bags for their promotional photos?

Deployment of celebrities to pad Brand Israel reflects a desperate need to obscure an international image which becomes dirtier by the day.

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

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