Marianne Faithfull, The Occupation isn’t Complicated, Just Well Obscured

Dear Marianne Faithfull,

“What are you fighting for
It’s not my security
It’s just an old war
Not even a cold war

Lose your father, your husband
Your mother, your children
What are you dying for
It’s not my reality
It’s just an old war
Not even a cold war”

~ Broken English

We are citizens of Israel, members of a group called BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within. [1] Repeatedly we hear that the situation between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people is “complicated”. And we choose to repeat, to all that say this, that the Israeli military occupation of the occupied territories and the apartheid which it wreaks on the Palestinian people isn’t complicated. The destruction of a people is very straight forward and one could understand why a state would want to obscure its genocidal policies.

In fact, after the state of Israel allocates millions of dollars towards maintaining apartheid through brutal military means [2], it allocates similar amounts to obscure it’s apartheid policies. [3]

It’s important that international artists, such as yourself, understand the role you play, once you decide to perform in apartheid Israel. Your role is that of normalization: By performing in Israel you actively help enhance it’s international image. Your up and coming performance, for example, is already being utilized by both governmental PR campaigns[4] and independent campaigns. [5]

Another fact to be aware of is the role of the production company hosting your performance, Shuki Weiss Promotion and Production LTD., in obscuring Israel’s atrocities and enhancing its image in the world. Weiss and the Israeli government have a special relationship in which they include him in Knesset meetings about outlawing boycotts [6], and he sends them VIP tickets to shows he produces [7]. This is not just corruption within the system, but corruption that serves to whitewash Israel’s warcrimes against the Palestinian people, using international artists such as yourself:

“Tourism Ministry spokeswoman Shira Koa said that the ministry had agreed with the producers of the concert that the event would be used to promote Israel as a safe tourism destination. "Madonna belongs to an exclusive club of mega stars, who draws thousands of fans from abroad to her concerts. For this reason, the ministry authorized an agreement with the producers that would give the ministry video and stills footage of the singer and her entourage, both during the concerts and her visits to tourist sites in Israel, to be used in international marketing campaigns. They also agreed to have four displays at the concert with films promoting Israel, supplied by the ministry, targeting the thousands of foreign tourists... Such promotion campaigns are regular occurrences both in Israel and abroad."

Many artists, from all over the musical spectrum, have joined and supported the BDS movement, since Palestinian civil society issued the call in 2005. Among them; Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Damien Dempsey, Faithless, The Gorillaz, Santana, Snoop Doggie Dog, Devendra Banhart, Vanessa Paradis and many others. We ask that you don’t break the picket line. We ask that you don’t play apartheid Israel.

Sincerely on behalf of Boycott from Within,

Noa Abend
Oshra Bar
Ofra Ben Artzi
Adi Dagan
Neta Golan
Iris Hefets
Shir Hever
Yael Kahn
Liad Kantorowicz
Assaf Kintzer
Haggai Matar
Rela Mazali
Edo Medicks
Ofer Neiman
Leiser Peles
Jonathan Pollak
Renen Raz
Leehee Rothschild
Tal Shapira
Yana Ziferblat

[1] BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within,
[2] Evidence that Israel fabicated the link between the Eilat attacks and Gaza, 
[3] We’ll Take Over the World? Ministry of Foreign Affairs Allocates 100 Million Shekel for State Branding,
[4] Hot Summer Line-Up of Pop Concerts in Israel,
[5] Legendary British singer (and Mick Jagger’s X) Marianne Faithfull returning to Israel,
[6] News from Chelm: Knesset discusses ways to pressure performers not to cancel concerts in Israel, (more from that meeting at
[7] Tourism Minister given 'illegal gift' of VIP Madonna tickets,