Alternative music always needed a stage of its own. Lollapalooza was the stage to bring new voices to the masses, to raise awareness about that which is hidden from the public eye. Twenty years after the original Lollapalooza, many of you, including the festival itself, have reached mainstream success (whether you like it or not), and many of you go on to raise awareness about issues that the mainstream won’t touch. We are citizens of Israel who oppose Israel’s continuing displacement of the Palestinian people via military occupation and apartheid policies . Please allow us to raise your awareness to this issue.
We write to you on the heals of Israel’s latest attack (“Pillar of Cloud”)  on the besieged Gaza Strip, still struggling to recover from the 2009 attack (“Cast Lead”) . Although talk of ceasefire prevail in the mainstream media, the people of Gaza are under daily attack  from the Israeli army, besieging it from land, air and sea. West Bank Palestinians continuously suffer from theft of their lands, house demolitions, arbitrary arrest, torture, lack of water, extreme restrictions on their freedom of movement, and the constant threat of Israel’s military presence . Within Israel's 1948 armistice line entire communities are being dislocated . And refugees in exile all over the world are denied their right of return .
In light of all this, in 2005, over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations issued an international call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of the state of Israel and its institutions, until it complies with international law, including human rights law and the laws of war . One of the aspects of this call is that of cultural boycotts of all events that further Israel’s whitewashing of its violations of human rights of Palestinians . This is specifically relevant to you, as Lollapalooza within the 1948 armistice line, known as the state of Israel, is complicit in such a way. It is thus your moral and legal obligation not to participate in such activity, as it is our moral and legal obligation, as the beneficiaries of apartheid, to support the Palestinian call for equality and ask you to withdraw your participation.
We’d like to start with a very brief historical and geographical background. Lollapalooza will be taking place in Yarkon Park. The park, now under the municipal juresdiction of Tel Aviv, was once known as Jarisha village . In 1948 the Zionist militias (later to become Israel’s army) depopulated the village of Jarisha, 1 of over 500 Palestinian villages , as part of its ethnic cleansing in the year between 1947 and 1948 . Tel Aviv municipality sponsorship of Lollapalooza  is a stain on the free spirit of alternative rock. The municipality is highly involved in displacement , violations of International law , and the whitewashing of both .
Plug Productions, the Israeli company to produce the event locally, is already using the event to promote Tel Aviv as a tourist destination, with no mention of human rights violations, present and past . It’s also been instrumental in bringing other acts to Israel, who’s presence is systematically used by the government, to sell Israel as a tourist destination full of “yet another example of the world-class music available in Israel .”
NMC United (also “Globus United”), also involved in producing Lollapalooza Israel, is owned by United King Ltd., which just happens to own "Cinema City" (“Israel's largest (21 screen) mega-plex and a large chain of cinemas with 30 screens in Israel”) , which sits atop the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village Ijlil al-Qibliyya . Globus United is also the exclusive representative of several local state and army propaganda outlets, such as the Israeli Broadcasting Association (IBA) , and National Educational Television .
The official Lollapalooza website is also promoting Israel and Tel Aviv as a “widely recognized as an international culture capitol and is known across the world for its art, architecture, and bustling nightlife,” , while both the Tel Aviv Municipality and the government of Israel is perpetrating war crimes. Israel’s Ministries have teamed up to sponsor the event: Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor uses the exact same words used on the Lollapalooza website, while sponsoring the festival , adding that the festival “raises millions in revenue for the city. In addition to bringing revenue and international attention to the culture and music scene in Tel Aviv...” Similar sponsorships are visible on the Tourism Ministry website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Facebook page, Consulate General of Israel in New York’s website, The Economic Department of The Consulate General of Israel in San Francisco website, Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles’ website .
It’s important that international artists, such as yourself, understand the role you play, once you decide to perform in apartheid Israel. Your role is that of normalization: By performing in Israel you actively help enhance it’s international image. Due to this fact, many artists, from all over the musical spectrum, have joined and supported the BDS movement. Among them; Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder, the late Gil Scott Heron, Annie Lennox, Brian Eno, Mos Def, Pixies, Faithless, Santana, Snoop Doggie Dog, Devendra Banhart, and many others. We ask that you don’t cross the picket line. We ask that you don’t take part in Lollapalooza Israel. Don’t entertain apartheid.
BOYOCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within
Please contact us for any questions and more information at [email protected]