To Orchestre Chabab al Andalous,

(Sept 10 2014) We are citizens of Israel, including Jerusalemites, who are active against our government's policies of occupation, colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing. We have been promoting human rights and peace for many years within our society.

We are disappointed to hear of your participation in the "Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival” which is sponsored by the Jerusalem municipality and Development Authority, who lead the way in the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian people of Jerusalem.

The State of Israel, via the Jerusalem Municipality, refuses to acknowledge

East Jerusalem as occupied Palestinian territory even though the ICJ had no

difficulty in establishing this simple fact [1]. At the same

time, Israel and the Jerusalem Municipality carry out an explicitly racist

policy which shamelessly includes the ethnic cleansing of the city’s

Palestinian population and denying them residency [2],

racist zoning and planning policies, discrimination in access to

infrastructure and services, incursions and nightly arrests of residents

including many child arrests [3].

In addition to the Old City wall, the State of Israel has erected a new
tall concrete wall which literally cuts through East Jerusalem
neighborhoods separating families from each other, children from their
schools or the sick from adequate medical care.

Those of us who live in Jerusalem witness the state-sponsored violence and
discrimination which is routine practice against the city’s Palestinian
population. For example:

* On the so-called “Jerusalem Day”, thousands of Israelis are escorted by
Israeli police as they march in occupied East Jerusalem while chanting
"Death to the Arabs" and as local Palestinians are forced to take shelter
in their homes[4][5].

* Tens of thousands of Palestinians in occupied east Jerusalem are being
denied access to water[6].

* The Israeli police regularly kidnaps children as young as 9 from their
beds in the middle of the night, arrests and abuses them[7].
* Such children who are imprisoned by Israel may undergo torture, often
carried out at a notorious detention centre on the outskirts of the city[8].

* The municipality of Jerusalem and the Israeli government are constantly
demolishing houses in occupied East Jerusalem. These houses are built by
Palestinian families on their own land, but the authorities rarely grant
them the needed permits for construction, deeming virtually all Palestinian
construction illegal and due for demolition. It has been shown that this
practice serves the purpose of driving away as many Palestinians out of the
city and into the rest of the West Bank[9].

There is nothing sacred about these human rights violations. These practices that we’ve outlined are only one element in many forms of apartheid policies which are carried out by Israel against the Palestinian people.  We remind you that only a couple weeks ago, Israel has yet again engaged in the mass murder and destruction in the besieged Gaza Strip, making it the 3rd such attack within the last 6 years, leaving behind it Over 2000 dead, 11.000 wounded, and a quarter of a million displaced. 

Israel’s ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people - whether in Gaza, the West Bank, within the 1948 armistice line, or in exile - must not be ignored. We urge you, Orchestre Chabab al Andalous, to cancel your participation in the “Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival” and join the global campaign for Palestinian liberation, for equality, freedom and justice in Jerusalem and throughout historic Palestine.


Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within