Justin Bieber, You Can Choose to Do More than Pray

Dear Justin Bieber,


We are BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (BfW); A group of Israeli citizens that support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel, untill it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights. We come to you today with a very serious appeal, which will effect millions of lives, Palestinian, Israeli, Muslim, Christian and Jewish.


To some, you’re “just a kid that makes pop music”, but to us you’re an influential superstar. It’s very rare that a 17 year old is heard on world affairs and is able to have an impact on reality. You chose to do that with your celebrity status, regarding Haiti and LGBT teen suicide, and we commend you for it. 


In Israel, 18 year olds are conscripted to the army. The Israeli army serves to keep a status quo of apartheid and a bloody military occupation of the Palestinian people. The first draft notice is dropped in your mailbox as early as your 16th birthday. Some of us from (BfW) are Israeli conscientious objectors[1], and we know what it’s like to make hard decisions at 16. Those who refuse to enlist at 18 are jailed for consecutive periods of over a month, until officially discharged.  Some of us have spent years in jail.


We know, however, that no matter how hard it is for us, Palestinian youth have it worse. They don’t have a choice. They don’t choose to be stopped at endless checkpoints situated along a 20 kilometer road, they don’t choose to be a vulnerable target of arrest by soldiers of an occupying army, they don’t choose to be shot, killed, maimed, they don’t choose to be bombed from the sky, they don’t choose to watch their fathers humiliated, they don’t choose to loose their mothers, their brothers, their sisters. Israeli youth can choose whether to inflict these tragedies upon them, or refuse.


As of late, Palestinian youth have chosen to fight back, also demanding boycott, divestments and sanctions on Israel.[2]We choose to support them.


Justin, your song Pray suggest to us that something inside you sees the wrong in this world and that you just can’t ignore it. You chose to highlight the plight of this world, not just to make pleasant, lighthearted pop songs. Once again, the voices of the oppressed are calling to you. But this time they ask you not to pray, and not to sing. They ask you not to play in Israel.



Sincerly on behalf of BfW,


Ronnie Barkan

Joseph Dana

Iris Hefets

Assaf Kintzer

Haggai Matar

Edo Medicks

Dorothy Naor

Ofer Neiman

Renen Raz

Leehee Rothschild

Ayala Shani

Tal Shapira

Yonatan Shapira

Herzl Schubert

Sahar Vardi



[1] Free the Shministim, http://december18th.org/

[2] Palestinian University students and youth groups commit to sweeping boycotts, http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/689