From Israeli citizens to Skunk Anansie: A Concert in Israel is Fu%^& Political! Boycott Apartheid!

Dear Skin, Ace, Cass, Mark,

We are citizens of Israel who oppose Israel’s continuing displacement and
dispossession of the Palestinian people via military occupation and
apartheid policies. We join the Palestinian civil society call for boycott,
divest and sanctions on Israel (BDS) [1].

You may be asking yourselves what that has to do with you. You being the
band who once sang "everything is fucking political", we'd like to point
out that a concert in Israel is patently political, not least because
Israel openly and expressly uses music concerts (among other cultural
aspects) to create a semblance of normalcy and a glamorous image in order
to divert attention from its discriminatory practices, human rights
violations and war crimes against the Palestinian people [2].
Your August dates, booked by Zappa for Amphi Shuni, in Jabotinsky Park, also
have political implications, to which we would like to draw your attention:

The amphitheater you are booked to play is a Jewish National Fund (JNF)
project [3]. The JNF has a long history of ethnic cleansing of the
indigenous Palestinian population, and colonization of their lands. This
“history” continues today [4]. Just recently, Israel's parliament passed a
law to displace 30,000-40,000 Palestinian Bedouins (also known as "The
Prawer Plan") with strong JNF complicity [5].

 On the JNF website, describing the theatre [2], JNF boasts that "*the
fortress [now the amphitheater] became the chief military training
camp [for the] Irgun [one of the right-wing Zionist militias later
integrated into Israel's army]*". The website praises this militia, but
conveniently fails to mention the role the militants played in the
systematic massacres and destruction of 500 Palestinian villages between
1947-1948 [6], among them the village of Khirbat al-Shuna, where Jabotinsky
Park lies today [7],

The Zappa website also boasts of the militia's museum as one of the venue's
advantages [8, in Hebrew] without mentioning the horrific history of the
place and its relation to today's reality, in which the survivors of the
brutal depopulation are not allowed to return to their homes, even though
they are located only 32.5 km away from their current village [9].

It is also important to note that this is not the Zappa's only
collaboration with governmental offices and institutions. Zappa hosted last
year's "Jerusalem Music Conference" [10], sponsored by Israel's Foreign
Ministry, Israel Export Office, and the Jerusalem Municipality. The latter
is responsible for the ongoing colonization of occupied East Jerusalem,
which is happening on a daily basis [11]. The conference highlight was a
panel titled (no politicized irony) "Music as a Weapon for Peace", which
addressed "coexistence" and "building bridges", but not apartheid and
building walls.

Dear members of Skunk Anansie, please reconsider your two scheduled gigs in
Israel, as they have political implications for the indigenous people of
Palestine, struggling for the recognition of the colonization of their land
and the severe violations of their human rights. Performing in Israel today
is akin to performing in apartheid South Africa. Palestinian civil society
was inspired by South African anti apartheid activists, and has chosen a
similar strategy of non-violent struggle, appealing to the world to boycott
the Israeli apartheid regime. Please do not cross their picket line. Please
Boycott apartheid Israel, until the terrible reality of apartheid comes to
an end.

Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within

(aka Boycott from Within, Israeli citizens for BDS)




[4] (JNF E-book Vol1, January 2010)