Greek/Turkish musicians, Palestinian oud lovers will not be allowed to see your concert in apartheid Israel!

An appeal from Israeli citizens to Greek/Turkish musicians scheduled to perform at the Jerusalem OudFestival, November 2011

Dear Greek/Turkish musicians,

We are a group of Israelicitizens who support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and sanctions(BDS) on Israel until it complies with international law and human-rightsvalues. [1] We are sure that you are talented musicians, and we would love theopportunity to attend your show, but at this time we would like to ask you toreconsider your planned performances in Israel!

Israel's attempts to mask systematic human-rights abuses anddecades-long oppression against the Palestinians largely rely on its ability tomaintain a progressive and democratic image in the eyes of the internationalcommunity. It often promotes itself as "the only Democracy in the MiddleEast". However, Israel's apartheid policies are inherent even in somethingas seemingly light-hearted and joyous as a music show: Palestinian fans of yourmusic living in the West Bank, in a land governed by Israel, are undermartial-law and will not be permitted to come to Jerusalem and enjoy yourperformance, and the same goes for Palestinians living in Gaza under Israeli siege.

The Palestinian people are denied some of the most elementaryfreedoms: the freedom of movement, the freedom to access their stolenagricultural land and the freedom to protest without facing life threateningviolence: When they demonstrate against the Israeli government, they facebrutal treatment.[2] Their relatives in the Gaza strip (44% of which arechildren under the age of 14) live under siege restricting the needed amount offood, medical supplies, and materials for construction . [3] In the East Jerusalemneighborhood of Silwan, 10 minutes away from where you are scheduled toperform, kids are abducted from their houses in violation of international lawand taken to violent police interrogations. [4]

You may have heard that during the past months, tent cities havesprung up all over the State of Israel. Israeli citizens are protesting againsttheir government's unfair policies: tax benefits to the rich, lack of publichousing, underinvestment in infrastructure, privatization of social servicesand more. However, although there may seem to be a revolutionary uprising inthe Israeli public, modeled after the Arab Spring revolutions, one subject istaboo in the tents: there is no public call for the government to change itspolicies against Palestinians. Under the call for “revolutionary unification”in Israeli society, social justice does not extend to Palestinians living underIsrael's occupation. [5]

The Palestinian call for boycott was issued by over 170Palestinian civil society organizations of diaspora refugees, citizens ofIsrael and Palestinian under occupation and siege. It is not a boycott ofindividuals, but rather of institutions. Musicians and artists who decided tocomply with the call of the oppressed, are responding to an indigenous callfrom the oppressed people living in the land governed by Israel.

If you come to perform in Israel, you are not only crossing thepicket line of a non-violent struggle for human-rights and liberation, you arealso actively contributing to the normalization of a situation of quotidianapartheid policies.

You have an opportunity tostand with the oppressed. Please don’t play in apartheid Israel, until itcomplies with international law, ends its brutal occupation, recognizes fullequality for its Palestinian citizens and respects and protects the Palestinianrefugee’s rights, according to international law and UN resolutions.


on behalf BOYCOTT! Supporting thePalestinian BDS Call from Within
[email protected],

Oshra Bar
Adi Dagan
Naama Farjoun
Iris Hefets
Shir Hever
Yael Kahn
Assaf Kintzer
Edo Medicks
Dorothy Naor
Ofer Neiman
Leehee Rothschild
Jonatan Stanczak
Renen Raz
Tal Shapira
Yonatan Shapira
Einat Weizman

[1] BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within,
[2] Let’s stand with Shireen Al-Araj and the courageous people of Al-Walaja
[3] Guardian reporters experience first-hand Israeli efforts to intimidate Gazafishermen and keep their fishing trips ever closer to shore
[4] Child Arrest in Silwan
[5] Tahrir Envy: An Anti-Occupation Activist’s First Thoughts on the TentProtests in Israel,