We are a group of over 150 Israeli citizens, who support the Palestinian United Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights1. On November 15 your band Linkin Park is scheduled to perform in Tel-Aviv, Israel, thus undermining the most unified Palestinian form of non-violent struggle, which has already gained substantial recognition across the globe. We therefore urge you to cancel your Israel show, which is inevitably a show of support for Israel's apartheid.
By a brutal and unlawful military occupation, Israel controls a population of 4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Another million and half Palestinians are citizens of the state, yet they are systematically discriminated against by over 30 laws and many more budgetary, regulatory, and policy mechanisms. Very much like Palestinians under occupation – they are continually subjected to house evictions and demolitions. About half of the Palestinian people live in the Diaspora. During the 1948 Nakba they were ethnically cleansed by Israel along with many of the Palestinians inside Palestine\Israel and especially the Gaza Strip - and they are still denied return and compensation by Israel.
During Israel's 2008-2009 attack on Gaza, while there was barely any actual combat, the Israeli army killed over 1400 people and destroyed the homes of thousands who had no safe place to go to given the cruel and life-costing siege which is still imposed on them to this very day. The UN Fact Finding Mission, led by Judge Richard Goldstone, described numerous violations of international law, war crimes and crimes against humanity performed by Israel before, during, and after this attack, including the siege on Gaza itself. On May 2010, the UN Fact Finding Mission report on Free Gaza Flotilla also described such violations and crimes and reiterated the unlawfulness of the siege, banning any export outside Gaza, movement of people outside and into the strip, as well as imposing severe limitations and restrictions on imports. The Gazan population is still being repeatedly attacked by the Israeli army with no regard to the preservation and protection of civilian lives posited by international law.
Israel also continually violates international law through its West Bank settlements, the apartheid wall, the exploitation of Palestinian water and resources, and severe restrictions on movement and economic development. West Bank settlements construction has never, in fact, been frozen, annexing Palestinian private and agricultural land. The apartheid wall, along with hundreds of checkpoints and apartheid roads, imposes severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinians. 80% of the wall is annexing Palestinian land and resources, while, in addition, destroying groves, orchards, and homes.
Israel imprisons thousands of Palestinians under occupation without any charge or viable trial, including human rights defenders and leaders of popular non-violent struggles. It harshly represses unarmed demonstrations, killing and severely wounding dozens of Palestinian civilians, many of whom are children and teens. Israel regularly carries out extra-judicial assassinations, which often involve killing by-standers and family members, including children. Such assassinations are approved by the Israeli Supreme Court, with disregard to international law.
Boycotts have proved effective in isolating apartheid South Africa and bringing about that regime's collapse. Inspired by the struggle of South Africa for its freedom, over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations have issued the BDS Call, which has already gained global recognition in a pace surpassing by far that of similar calls against apartheid South Africa. Many artists have canceled their performances and appearances in Israel, including Carlos Santana, Gil Scott Heron, the Pixies, Elvis Costello, Faithless, and most recently, film director Mike Leigh2. Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack has recently stated he boycotts Israel3, and so did 180 Irish artists4, 500 Montreal artists5 and 100 Norwegian cultural and academic people6. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which leads the cultural boycott, is supported by almost the entire community of Palestinian cultural workers7.
Are you willing to undermine such an important civil effort, while Israel remains on its racist and oppressive track with impunity?
Please consider our appeal.
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from within