From Israeli Citizens to DGTL Tel Aviv participants: Please do not legitimise Israel’s apartheid
To: Adriatique, Parallells, I Hate Models, Bob Moses, Richie Hawtin, Amelie Lens, DJ Boring, Ben Klock, Gerd Janson, Hunee, Jan Blomqvist, Recondite, Mind Against, Kerala Dust, Artbat, Matrixxman,
We are a thousand citizens of Israel who oppose our government’s policies of colonialism, military occupation, and apartheid against the indigenous Palestinian people . We support the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel, until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights . We are writing to ask you to respect the Palestinian call and cancel your performance in the DGTL Tel Aviv festival on the 14th of October .
The DGTL website states the festival “aims to continuously keep sustainability topof-mind… increase awareness and stimulate sustainable participation amongst our visitors. We share progress openly and honestly”. While these goals are of course laudable and important, by bringing the festival to Tel Aviv the organizers will in fact act to divert attention from and unstimulate participation around the issues of Israel's seventy-year-old, systematic, and daily pillage of Palestinian natural resources, and exploitation of Palestinian land .
International artist who perform in Israel inadvertently serve the government’s whitewashing its war crimes against the Palestinian population, by creating a "business as usual" atmosphere, wherein the status-quo- a reality of colonization and military occupation for Palestinians- becomes normalized. Maintaining this atmosphere relies heavily on creating a facade of Israel as a progressive state with a vibrant cultural scene, and- in this case- with a commitment to environmental issues. The Israeli government, it's embassies, and affiliated organisations issue celebratory press releases and social media posts, conflating international artists' concerts with support for Israel's policies . As summed up by former Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry: "We are seeing culture as a hasbara [propaganda] tool of the first rank, and I do not differentiate between hasbara and culture" .
DGTL promises “a Revolution program in Tel Aviv, with tailored goals for the city.” One must ask who are the people of this city, built on the ruins of indigenous Palestinian villages, which were violently depopulated in 1948, during the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine ? The festival itself will take place at Yarkon Park, formerly the Palestinian village, Jarisha .
As Israeli citizens, we refuse to play along with our government's erasure of the indigenous Palestinian people, and we ask that you do the same. Please cancel your participation in the DGTL Tel Aviv festival.
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within