Dear John Bon Jovi
We are members of an Israeli group called BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within (BfW). We support the Palestinian call for boycott divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel (1). Together with our Palestinian partners, we are calling on international artists to respect the call, and not to perform in Israel until the Palestinians’ most basic human rights are respected:
1. Ending [Israel’s] occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
As we write this, Israel continues to systematically drive its own Palestinian citizens off their lands, keep a population of millions under martial-law in the West Bank and destabilize the situation between Israel and Gaza in last few days. Late at night on 21.3.11 the Israeli air force attacked Gaza, bombing the most populated area in the world from the sky. 8 children under the age of 17 lost their lives. (1) This is not an out of the ordinary occurrence, or even a rare one. Over half the population of besieged Gaza are minors.
We are asking you not to preform in Israel until it respects Palestinian human rights, as stipulated in many UN treaties, international law, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Whether you choose to make a political statement, or not, preforming in Israel makes a statement of “Business as usual”, and your performance will be used to make a statement of support for its vicious policies. (3) The choice you make will have an impact on millions of lives. As an ardent BDS supporter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, once said about his own battle with apartheid:
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Please don’t choose the side of the oppressor. Please choose justice.
Sincerely on behalf of BfW,