Dear Macy Gray,
We are a group of Israeli citizens who support the Palestinian Call  for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel, as a means of bringing to an end Israel's decades-long systematic oppression of the Palestinian people.
We are writing to you today to share with you our deep concern about your upcoming shows in Israel and urge you to cancel them. We know that you performed in Israel before, but some artists who come here are not fully aware of their performance's implications when they choose to do so. In recent months, artists such as Carlos Santana, Gil Scott Heron, Elvis Costello, Gorillaz Sound System, the Klaxons, the Pixies, Devendra Banhart, Faithless, Leftfield, and Tindersticks cancelled their scheduled shows in Tel-Aviv after familiarizing themselves with the current socio-political reality in Palestine/Israel. Film stars Meg Ryan and Dustin Hoffman, and film director Mike Leigh cancelled their scheduled appearances in Israel as well.
In 1948 Israel expelled and confiscated the land and property of about 800,000 Palestinians. They and their descendants are still denied return and compensation as sanctioned by the UN General Assembly Resolution 194. The remaining Palestinians have been put for years under martial law, and until now, constituting 20% of Israel's citizens, they are subjected to a systematic discrimination in violation of international law, and specifically, the crime of apartheid.
For decades, Israel has been keeping a population of four million Palestinians under martial law, and in the case of Gaza – a life-costing military siege. Palestinians living under Israeli military control have to endure house demolitions, the annexation of their agricultural fields and orchards, unlawful military invasions to their homes, and systematic denial of access to adequate medical services, high education and work; their villages are surrounded by checkpoints and a 26 ft. high wall, quashing their right to move freely, sometime even within their own villages. In the context of your show, this also means that a Palestinian girl, a fan of your music living under Israeli occupation, is not allowed by law – and denied by walls, fences and checkpoints - to come see you perform in Tel-Aviv.
The BDS campaign was launched by over 170 civil society organizations of all three parts of the Palestinian people: refugees, citizens of Israel and West Bank and Gaza residents. It received the support of almost the entire community  of Palestinian cultural workers. BDS's non-violent and human rights based campaign urges artists not to put their stamp of approval on Israel's system of often murderous ethnic discrimination. As such, an international performance in Israel is understood amongst the Israeli public as condoning this reality and making a statement against the necessity to change it.
Some artists who undermined the boycott and performed in Israel have asserted that they empathize with the suffering of the Palestinians but that they are "only coming to play music and not do politics"– that their message is a humane one, and that music dwells on a different realm from that of politics. However, when the time came for them to perform, regardless of their own opinions, regardless of the humane message they wished to bring with them, regardless of what they had said on stage - their performances were interpreted amongst the Israeli public opinion as an endorsement of Israel's policies and an approval of the situation.
A recent report  issued by Amnesty, Oxfam and other respected human rights organizations highlights the need for steady substantial pressure on Israel: "Following the Israeli announcement of steps to ‘ease’ the blockade, international attention shifted to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the pressure from the international community to lift the blockade was also eased". International shows in Israel at this time elicit a message of 'business as usual' - that nothing has to be changed because things are fine the way they are. Many artists around the world have pledged their support for the cultural boycott of Israel, including Robert Del Naja  of Massive Attack, 180 Irish artists , 500 Montreal artists  and the international alliance Artists against Apartheid .
Coming to perform in Israel has become a political act, a statement of support for the state of Israel's ongoing crimes and human rights violations. It is also an act against a rapidly growing non-violent human-rights based civil society Palestinian movement. The question remains: is this a political act you wish to take part in?
Ofra Ben Artzi
On behalf of
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from within
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Boycott and I Choke
South African Artists Against Apartheid's Letter to Macy Gray
Israelis target Macy Gray with racist diatribes AFTER she agrees to play Tel Aviv (and who are the “assholes?”)
USACBI Appeal to Macy Gray: Don’t legitimize apartheid