Dear Nicholas Payton,
We would like to thank you for posting a response to the global BDS call to boycott the Red Sea Jazz Festival, acknowledging that racist policies are being practiced by the Israeli government (as well as by the American government, of course, and numerous other regimes).
However, we would like to address and respectfully challenge some of the practical conclusions which you have drawn from your
commendable, deeply moral outlook on history and human rights.
A jazz concert, no matter how beautiful the music is, does not educate the oppressor and heal the oppressed. Numerous gifted musicians, such as you, have played here over the years, arguing along the same lines. However, we know for a fact that no public movement, let alone a public discourse, has emerged from the music played at these concerts. In fact, Roger Waters, who played here for similar reasons a few years ago, now endorses the global BDS call.
Even more importantly, your music will not heal the oppressed for the following reason: millions of Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid are simply not allowed to cross the green line and come to a place like Eilat. Unlike a more typical dictatorship in which you can play for the oppressed masses, in Eilat you will be playing to a privileged audience. This is certainly NOT the case regarding your concerts in the US, to which native Americans, people of color, and other disenfranchised populations have access.
Actions should be taken according to circumstances. In view of the dire human rights crisis, a global movement led by Palestinian civil society, representatives of the oppressed, appeals to you to express your solidarity. Please consider the concrete details of the situation here under Israel's apartheid. Please take an action called for by the people most knowledgeable on this issue, those affected by Israel's brutal policies in the most direct and brutal manner.
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within
(Israeli citizens in support of the BDS call, aka Boycott from Within)