We are citizens of Israel, active against our government's policies of racism, occupation and apartheid . We also have great respect for your stance on Canadian indigenous issues and recognition of Canada's colonial past. We would like to ask you to express solidarity with a similar important campaign for the rights of another indigenous people, the Palestinian people living under Israel's apartheid and Palestinian refugees around the world.
Furthermore, as you have also been supportive of the Farm Aid project, we would like to stress the importance of supporting Palestine's farmers. The Palestinian economy is based to a great extent on agriculture. Israel's expansionist policies have entailed ongoing violent land expropriation, which often dispossesses the poorest Palestinian farmers.In 2005, a coalition of over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations launched a campaign calling the international community for an institutional, cultural and academic boycott of Israel . Clear guidelines were set, by the Palestinian Campaign for Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), for performing artists .Artists of your caliber, when coming to Israel, are being used for the purpose of whitewashing Israel's crimes, by diverting attention from them, and creating an image of Israel as a liberal democracy, and a fun tourist destination. Israeli governmental institutions are already using your show in order to declare Israel part of "the free world" , while it besieges 1.5 million human beings (52% of which are children) in the Gaza strip, subjects 3 million to an invasive military regime in the West Bank, and refuses to acknowledge the legal rights of 11 million Palestinian refugees around the world.Many other performing artists have heeded the Palestinian call and refrained from performing in Israel; Roger Waters, Bjork, Santana, Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder and the late Gil Scott-Heron, to name a few.Roger Waters, the most vocal of celebrity-status-artists about Israel's violations of Palestinians' human rights, has recently testified that Shuki Weiss of Shuki Weiss Promotion and Production Ltd.- the Israeli production company that booked you- had tried to bribe him to break the boycott with the sum of $10 million dollars . Shuki Weiss has extensive dealings with the government, promoting Israel's image through international gigs such as yours. Mr. Weiss has called appeals such as the one you are reading right now "cultural terrorism" . Furthermore, this appeal of ours is illegal by Israeli law . The Israeli government and its supporters are trying to silence a nonviolent grassroots campaign for justice and equality, and we are asking people conscience to be on the right side of history.You are, no doubt, swamped with the many letters from other groups around the world, including Canadian appeals. We endorse these appeals to you. We all ask you to respect the indigenous Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel.Sincerely,BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from WithinCanadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East petition http://cjpme.nationbuilder.com/neil_young?recruiter_id=61275Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/Neil.Young.WhyPlay.Apartheid.IsraelDon't Play Apartheid Israel group http://refrainplayingisrael.blogspot.com/2014/01/open-letter-to-neil-young-regarding.htmlEric Ritskes (and 37 consequent comments to the same effect) http://www.ericritskes.com/an-open-letter-to-neil-young/Independent Jewish Voices Canada petition and video http://ijvcanada.org/campaign/palestinian-civil-society-call-for-bds/neil-young-dont-play-israel/Norwegian Trauma Surgeon and Professor, Mads Gilbert http://refrainplayingisrael.blogspot.com/2014/02/open-letter-to-neil-young-from-trauma.html