From Israeli citizens to Eros Ramazzotti: For a more PERFECT world, please cancel your Tel Aviv concert


March 2016


From Israeli citizens to Eros Ramazzotti: For a more PERFECT world, please cancel your Tel Aviv concert


Dear Eros Ramazzotti,


We are citizens of Israel, active against our government's policies of occupation and apartheid. We are appealing to your conscience. After many years of trying to change our society from within, we have come to the conclusion that only an international campaign, such as the one against apartheid South Africa, will change the reality here.


We have been informed that you intend to perform in Tel Aviv on April 30, 2016. According to media reports, you also said: "Shalom Tel Aviv. This will be the first time for me in Israel. I am really happy". We would like to ask you to reconsider this concert.


Israel's policies of occupation, colonialism and apartheid have oppressed the Palestinian people for over 67 years. An hour away from Tel Aviv, millions of people are living without basic human rights, and they experience immense suffering. Israel is detaining people, including children [1] without trial, demolishing entire communities [2], and trying to annex illegally occupied territories.[3]


Forcing the Palestinians to live under the oppression of a brutal system of racial discrimination and apartheid, Israel acts in clear violation of fundamental human rights and international law.


We thank you for raising the issue of refugees in Europe and elsewhere during your Perfect Tour, for example with the song "Exodus", written more than 20 years ago. According to UN data, Palestinians make up the largest refugee population in the world [4]. After their violent expulsion from their homeland in 1948 during the ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Israeli forces and after Israel's military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, this human rights crisis amounts in some parts to nothing short of a catastrophe. For example, almost two million people in the Gaza strip, besieged by Israel (with Egyptian support) have no access to safe and regular water and electricity services. Gaza's water sources may soon become so polluted that it will become uninhabitable [5]. In the occupied Palestinian city of Hebron, in the West Bank, Palestinians are facing daily terror by the Israeli army and violent Israeli settlers.[6]


Palestinian diaspora, including the plight of Palestinian refugees from Gaza and Syria drowning on their way to Europe, continues today due to Israel's colonial policies. The expulsion and dispossession go on also within Israel's 1967 borders. And hour away from your concert in Tel Aviv, Bedouin citizens of Israel are about to be expelled and their homes are about to be demolished to make way for new communities which will serve, de-facto, privileged Jewish Israeli citizens.[7]


Against this brutal and criminal policy, Palestinian civil society has called for a global non-violent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).[8] International stars like you have an opportunity to support justice and stand on the right side of history. More than 170 Palestinian civil society organizations issued a call, asking good people all over the world to promote Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).


Let us recall that BDS, and especially cultural BDS, played a very important role in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. BDS has the support of the people who led the campaign them. For example, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has explained that performing in Israel today would be just as wrong as it was to perform in South Africa during the apartheid regime [9].


BDS for Palestinian human rights has been endorsed by numerous international artists and intellectuals. A partial list of these respectable figures includes Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Carlos Santana, Danny Glover, Elvis Costello, Ken Loach, Stephen Hawking, Naomi Klein, Roger Waters, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, Brian Eno and many others [10]. And in 2013, prominent scientist Stephen Hawking cancelled his participation at a conference sponsored by the Israeli government. [11]


The Israeli government claims that "music builds bridges and peace". This is a cynical argument. Most of the victims of the appalling crimes and human rights violations described in this letter will not even be allowed to enter Israeli territory within its 1967 borders and attend your concert! The Israeli government intends to use your concert to whitewash and legitimize this terrible status-quo.


In view of these arguments, we urge you to cancel your performance in Apartheid Israel and respect the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions. Please play a key role in and make a contribution to the Palestinian non-violent struggle for freedom, justice and equality.


We will gladly respond to any comment or question you may have.




Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within

(Israeli citizens for BDS)