Lenny Kravitz – Please Don't Play Apartheid Israel

“Let's work together
We are one big family
Joined forever like the branches of a tree
In this world we are neighbors
There is no immunity
Hurt a member, you hurt the whole community”
Dear Lenny Kravitz,
We are citizens of Israel who oppose Israeli policies of racism, occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian people. We support the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) [1] of the state of Israel and its institutions and mechanisms of oppression. We understand that you are scheduled to perform in Israel come October. As much as we would like to see you in concert, we are asking that you heed the call, and cancel your performance.

We write to you at a time where racism in the state of Israel towards people of color is at its highest [2]. We believe that the failure to recognize the humanity of African people- migrants and refugees, children, women and men- is a consequence of the impunity with which Israel is acting and has always acted against indigenous Palestinians. Israel's ethnic cleansing of half the population in the years 1947-1948 [3] has been followed by the military occupation and colonization of the West bank in 1967 [4], up to today’s escalating practices of land grab, expropriation and expulsion [5].
The situation is dire. As we write these words, Israel is demolishing the homes of entire communities within Israel's armistice line of 1948 [6]; In the occupied territories [7], The besieged people of Gaza (56% of which are children), still recovering from the merciless 2009 military onslaught known as “Operation Cast Lead” [8], are periodically exposed to Israel’s aerial bombings and tank shelling [9]; And West Bank Palestinians suffering from theft of their lands, house demolitions, arbitrary arrest, torture, lack of water, extreme restrictions on their freedom of movement, and the constant threat of Israel’s military presence [10]
Through all this, Palestinians have invested hope in the growing global movement to boycott Israel [11], until it ends the occupation, dismantles its apartheid wall, allows for equal rights for Palestinians under its jurisdiction, and respects the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands. 

The tactic of cultural boycott has been practiced in apartheid South Africa, and was successful in raising awareness around the world. Palestinians are doing the same in order to shake off their own oppression, asking artists like you to stand with them and to refrain from performing in Israel, until it ceases its apartheid policies and practices. We join them in calling: Please cancel your show in Israel.
BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within
 [1] Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), http://www.bdsmovement.net/call
[2] African diplomats in Israel: We're afraid to walk down streets, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4264527,00.html
[3] Palestine Remembered, http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Maps/Story572.html
[4] Middle East Research and Information Project, http://www.merip.org/palestine-israel_primer/occupied-terr-jeru-pal-isr.html
[5] Israel and the apartheid analogy, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_the_apartheid_analogy
[6] forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_Prawer/
[7] Rabbis for Human Rights http://rhr.org.il/eng/index.php/2012/07/to-show-solidarity-with-susiya/
[8] Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): Gaza Flash Appeal http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/301EA3FE8905E608852575AC0069887C
[9] Gaza Under Attack 2011-2012, http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/gazaunderattack-iof-incursion-in-southern-gaza/
[10] Background on the Jordan Valley http://www.btselem.org/topic/jordan_valley
[11] BDS roundup: The BDS movement, 7 years on, "stronger, more effective and more diverse than ever" http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora/bds-roundup-bds-movement-7-years-stronger-more-effective-and-more-diverse-ever