11 September 2011
International singer and songwriter Natacha Atlas cancelled her planned concert in Israel and announced Israel boycott.
We are a group of Israeli citizens and residents who support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). We are writing to congratulate you on your decision to make a brave act and cancel your scheduled concert in Israel.
As you have realised, it is no longer possible to make a real alternative event within the mainstream commercial setting. A concert of a foreign artist in Israel is nowadays perceived as a victory to the Israelis as it means yet another artist has ignored the Palestinian call for Boycott. Israelis who try to tell you that it is still possible to fight for equality and create an alternative should be doing just that, and not expect people to come and entertain them until they have managed to bring about that change. It is possible to give concerts in Palestine and invite Israelis to join, using their privileges to cross the checkpoints and enter where they should not according to Israeli Law. But to play a concert in Tel Aviv and one in Ramallah, as some artists have tried is to accept the segregation and Apartheid; it is not a way of supporting the struggle for justice and an end to the occupation.
You have mentioned in your statement that all states are criminal, we agree that many states are guilty of grave violations of Human rights and disrespect for human life. We would like to assert that the Boycott is merely a tool and chosen as a tactic by the Palestinians because of Israel’s vulnerability and the conviction that it can have significant effect on the Israeli establishment and public opinion. It is indeed proving to be a very effective tool as Israel and Israelis are deeply concerned with their image in the west, and the Israeli economy is dependant on the European and western markets. When Israelis feel that there is a price to pay for their ongoing acceptance of the undemocratic ways of their state, they might finally rise up and put an end to it.
Of course this in no way implies that you should not collaborate with Israelis or Jews, especially if they are willing to openly criticise and use their voices to call out for justice for the Palestinians.
Good luck and thank you,
On behalf of “BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within”
For more information about our group please visit http://boycottisrael.info