We are citizens of Israel, opposed to our government’s policies of oppression, occupation, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian people . We have learned of your upcoming gig in Meteor Festival in Israel and write to ask you to respect the Palestinian call to cancel your participation in the festival . Please hear us out.
In your statement about the Palestinian call to boycott the festival, you say that you believe "music is universal and should be used to bring us together" . Unfortunately, your participation in this festival will only serve to allow Israel to continue tearing Palestinian communities and families apart, no matter how accentuated your thematic emphases on peace is.
As we speak, since late March, Israel is committing an ongoing massacre in Gaza, of unarmed protesters who are calling for an end to the 11-year-long siege that Israel has imposed on them. This siege renders them prisoners of the biggest open-air prison in the world. In the past three months alone, Israel killed over 170 Palestinians and injured over 18,000, including children, medics and journalists .
In the West Bank, Israel has been employing a brutal, belligerent military regime for the past 50 years, and expanding its colonial settlement project, which a recent report of The office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights has described as “pervasive and devastating [violations of human rights], reaching every facet of Palestinian life”, further listing a plethora of violations such as "restrictions on freedom of religion, movement and education; their rights to land and water; access to livelihoods and their right to an adequate standard of living; their rights to family life; and many other fundamental human rights." .
Within Israel itself, Palestinian citizens are subjected to over 65 laws denying them basic equality, civil, and human rights , culminating in its most recent act of legislation: the 'Nation-State Law', which enshrines Israel’s discrimination into its equivalent of a constitution .
Israel's government explicitly uses international artists' concerts to whitewash its war crimes against the indigenous Palestinian population. It was best summed up by the former deputy director general of Israel's Foreign Ministry who said: "We see culture as a Hasbara [public relations] tool of the first rank, and I do not differentiate between Hasbara and culture" .
It unfortunately follows that whatever your intent is, Israel has already enlisted you in its service. When Elvis Costello cancelled his concert, he strikingly stated :
"There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent."
Elizabeth, what we've described above in three paragraphs, is just the tip of the iceberg of the suffering of the innocent. They lose life and limb to liberate themselves from this suffering, and only ask that you support them by cancelling a concert. Please mind them.
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within