We are a group of Israeli citizens, who have the utmost respect for your
musical and humanitarian contributions to our world. We were quite
surprised, even shocked, to learn of your upcoming performance for
Friends of the IDF (FIDF). We would like to share our concerns with
you, and urge you to reconsider your acceptance of the FIDF invitation.
As an anti-apartheid activist in the several decades ago, you championed a cause which is, in fact, our cause nowadays. As Jewish Israelis, we are privileged citizens in a country which is
ethnocratic to its core. Millions of human beings, Palestinians in the
occupied West Bank, are living under a violent, military occupation
enforced by the Israeli army (IDF). The occupation is so discriminatory
that even these Palestinians may be stopped, arrested and abused if
they board a bus from the occupied West Bank to Tel Aviv, simply for
exercising their right to free travel -- as happened to the Palestinian Freedom Riders exactly one year ago. (Israel arrests "Freedom Riders" challenging apartheid road system www.electronicintifada.net/content/israel-arrests-freedom-riders-challenging-apartheid-road-system/10595 ).
removed from buses going from central Israel to the illegal Israeli
settlements in the West Bank ( Attempt at bus segregation appalling - www.btselem.org/press_releases/20121127_separation_in_buses ;
Police order Palestinian workers off buses to West Bank, at request of Israeli settlers - www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/police-order-palestinian-workers-off-buses-to-west-bank-at-request-of-israeli-settlers.premium-1.480741)
Discrimination against human beings because of their ethnicity amounts to racism and apartheid.
Brave and dedicated activists, such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther
King, rose up against such racism in America, and we thank you for
supporting them through your art and your activism.
Israeli governments have created an apartheid and occupation state. A great deal of Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies are enforced by its so-called “Israel Defense Forces”, the IDF. Veterans of the IDF, combat soldiers who had enlisted in the IDF in good faith,
as law-abiding citizens, have testified time and again about military
acts of torture, abuse, even murder, which they had witnessed. This
regards not just the West Bank, but also the besieged Gaza Strip, whose
inhabitants have been subjected to mass killing, indiscriminate
bombing, mass demolition of houses and the denial of medical care, all
enforced by the IDF. We are writing this letter as the inhabitants of Gaza are still reeling from an appalling Israeli onslaught, which killed scores of children and infants.
( Initial Findings: 40 of the Palestinians killed by the Israeli military up to the night of 19 Nov. were civilians, among them 19 minors - www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/20121120_gaza_fatalities ).
proportional to any any action taken by Palestinian militants in Gaza.
Moreover, the attack was aimed at more than a million people who had
already been subjected to years of Israeli occupation, siege and
brutality ( Is Gaza Outside Israel? - www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175620/ ).
against Palestinians in the occupied territories and the Gaza strip go
unpunished (Rachel Corrie verdict exposes Israeli military mindset - www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/28/rachel-corrie-verdict-exposes-israeli-military-mindset).
One can only conclude that the IDF is a part of the problem, and that its conduct should not be celebrated!
Dear Stevie Wonder, please do not sing for Israel’s key instrument of racism, apartheid and occupation!
We will gladly respond to any question or comment you may have.
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within