From Israeli Citizens to Nick Cave: Please don’t take part in apartheid, boycott Israel!

October 2017


From Israeli Citizens to Nick Cave: Please don’t take part in apartheid, boycott Israel!


We are Israeli citizens, opposed to the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian people [1]. Many of us are veteran human rights activists who have long worked against these policies. Our long years of activism have brought us to the understanding that the most effective way to stop the apartheid system is to deny its economic fuel and political legitimacy. Therefore, we strongly support the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), aimed at ending these actions [2]. We write to you to ask you to heed the call and cancel your concert in Israel.


It is appropriate to mention that just like Sun City in South Africa, under the apartheid regime, Tel Aviv is used as a facade for marketing Israel as a “cool” and “cultured” democracy [3], while hiding a brutal history of colonization, even that of the city itself. Tel Aviv sits atop the ruins of several Palestinian villages, whose inhabitants had been killed or expelled during the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing that Zionist militias (later to become Israel's army) committed in 1948 [4].


This is just the tip of the iceberg of the Tel Aviv-Yafa story, in itself an emblem of the rest of Israel's apartheid regime. In Yafa, Israel is employing gentrification, discriminatory funding and policing, treating Palestinians as second class citizens, while following over 50 laws discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel [5]). In the West Bank and Gaza, Israel is employing no less than a belligerent military regime, applying  daily, systematic lethal force.


In the West Bank, just in the past year and a half, over 380  Palestinian children, women, and men have been killed by Israel's armed forces and armed civilians, raising well-founded allegations of extrajudicial executions, by NGOs such as Amnesty International as well as global political figures [5]. A fourth of those killed were children and minors. In addition, Israel is demolishing Palestinian homes en-masse (this also applies to the Palestinian Bedouin communities inside Israel). Military raids for the mass arrests of Palestinians are a daily routine, as well as the strangulating reality of checkpoints, closures, and curfews.


In the besieged Gaza strip, Israel has conducted several vicious mass bombing campaigns in the past 7 years. The latest, in 2014, resulted in over 2200 Palestinians massacred under Israel's use of enormous fire-power, over 500 of them children. 89 families were completely wiped out and 18,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged [7]. The fear of yet another onslaught is constant in the lives of the residents of the besieged strip, exacerbated by Israel's routine firing at Palestinian farmers and fishermen, on a daily basis, and tanks making regular incursions into farming fields. [8]


Within Israel itself, Palestinian citizens are subjected to a growing system of apartheid, with over 50 laws denying them basic human rights, which their fellow Jewish citizens get to enjoy [9]. Persecution of Palestinian political parties is also escalating [10] and Israeli public officials' blood libels against the Palestinian population is spreading like wildfire [11].


We are well aware that last year you took part in an event promoting NGOs like Room to Read, Pencils of Promise, and others, all of which focus on “advancing children’s causes around the world”,  with a particular focus on literacy. [12] Hence, we want to make sure that you’re aware  that the UN Special Representative for Children had recommended adding Israel to an official list of serious violators of children’s rights, including harassment, imprisonment, torture, sexual abuse, injury, and murder [13]. Please also note that half of the Palestinian population are in fact minors [14], millions of whom live in conditions of abject poverty, without financial, or personal security [15].


We also know of your support for the Staffordshire nine, that were prosecuted for shutting down an Elbit Systems factory for two days, during Israel’s bombing of 2014 [16], as well as your participation in the Hoping Foundation’s fundraiser for Palestinian children, along with long - time BDS supporters Roger Waters and David Gilmour [17].


We therefore ask you to take the path of justice. Say something explicit against racism, occupation and apartheid, and stand against it. Please cancel your concert in Apartheid Israel!



Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within