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Dear Younger Brother,
We are a group of Israeli citizens who support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. We oppose the Israeli criminal policies of colonialism, occupation and apartheid, and strongly believe that international pressure is essential in bringing these crimes to an end and creating an equal and just society in this region.
The silence on the part of western powers allows Israel to act as if it is above the law and carry on committing its atrocities with impunity. But while the politicians have so far betrayed their obligation to their electorate, the people of such countries have risen up against their complicity in Israeli crimes and are instead expressing a public outcry in Europe, US and around the world demanding that the basic rights of the Palestinians be respected.
You say that your audience consists of people who oppose the Israeli occupation and apartheid policies. You may even say that music is above politics, but is this really the case when 46% of Jewish-Israeli teenagers oppose equal rights for Arab citizens of Israel and 56% of them believe that Arabs should be banned from the parliament? Is this really the case when 52% of all Israeli Jews support limiting the freedom of press? Is it true when 90% of them supported the massacre of Gaza as it was unfolding during the winter of 2008-9 and the vast majority still does so today, regardless of all that we know of the horrendous crimes performed there? This is your audience. These are the people you will be playing for.
You might also want to bear in mind that the vast majority of that audience had served or is currently serving in the Israeli army - enabling and sustaining the criminal occupation of the West Bank and the barbaric siege on Gaza, protecting the illegal settlements, demolishing houses, supervising the construction of the annexation wall or even partaking in the massacres that took place in Jenin or Gaza during recent years.
The Palestinians are united in their call for BDS, signed by over 170 civil society organizations, representing all different sectors of the Palestinian society: those in the occupied territories, those in exile and those who remained but are systematically discriminated against. The call is strictly based on international law, and on universally recognized human rights, it is based on universal rights for all and is clearly opposed to all forms of racism, including that of anti-Semitism. It is gaining worldwide recognition that is growing by the day, and is joined by people from every country and religion, including notable performers as: Elvis Costello, Roger Waters, Carlos Santana, the Pixies, as well as the late Gil Scott-Heron. Some of them are also active with the important collective Artists Against Apartheid.
You should note that if you choose to perform under apartheid, your performance will certainly be used by Israeli propaganda (“Hasbara”) as has happened in the past, as a show of support for Israel. What you say on stage may be meaningless as Israeli flags may be waving at you from the audience or even hanging on your stage, painting the entire performance with the colors of apartheid., The picket line is now clearly marked - it is no longer a question of taking a political stand, but rather which political stand would that be? Supporting apartheid, or opposing it? You are now asked to take such a stand and we hope that it will be the moral one.
On behalf of Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within