Dear Britney Spears, please cancel your concert in apartheid Israel.

May 2017


Britney Spears


We are Israeli citizens, opposed to the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, occupation, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian people [1]. Our long years of anti-racist activism have brought us to the understanding that the most effective way to stop the apartheid system here is to boycott Israel. Therefore, we strongly support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), aimed at ending the apartheid regime by means of a nonviolent strategy [2].

We write to you to ask you that you heed the Palestinian call and cancel your concert in Israel.


As this is your first concert in Israel, we wish to draw your attention to some of the continuous human rights violations perpetrated by Israel in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, many of which amount to war crimes under international law that you may not be aware of.


In the past year alone, 109 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and armed civilians, leading many NGO’s to raise allegations against Israel for extrajudicial executions. A high percentage of those killed were minors.


According to the UN’s report, over 1.1 Million Palestinians in the Gaza strip are dependent on humanitarian aid; around 65,000 people are still displaced due to Israel’s massive bombardment campaign in 2014; hospitals and primary healthcare services struggle to function without adequate stocks of lifesaving medicines and supplies, and access to clean water and electricity is sporadic for most inhabitants. [3]


During 2016 the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 1,089 Palestinian-owned structures throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing 1,593 Palestinians and affecting the livelihoods of another 7,101. [4] As of mid-2016, Israel is detaining and imprisoning around 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners in prisons inside Israel, several hundreds of whom are under-aged. Moreover, Israel holds 692 Palestinians under administrative detention, stripping them from the most basic rights. [5]


In the past year, Israel executed over 260 Palestinians in the streets of the West Bank. Approximately 29% of them were children [6]. Mass arrests have risen to 7000 prisoners at any given time. The number of child prisoners quadrupled reaching over 400; the number of prisoners held without charge, trial, or release date doubled, amounting to approximately 700. All Palestinian prisoners in Israel's prisons are subject to systemic ill-treatment, medical neglect, beatings, and torture [7]. House demolition has doubled since last year, including whole villages, leaving over a thousand people homeless, about than half of whom are children [6].


Gaza is still under a debilitating siege. Two million people, 50% of whom are children, crammed into 365 square kilometres, with power outages of up to 18-22 hours a day, 95% of the water undrinkable, civilian infrastructure devastated, including hospitals, schools, places of worship, and other institutions. Over 40% are unemployed, 80% of the population relies on humanitarian aid to cover their very basic needs, including food, basic education, basic health care, shelter, blankets, mattresses, or cooking stoves. The UN has declared that by 2020 - within less than 4 years - Gaza will become 'unlivable' – which means that effectively there will not be enough resources for people to survive. Israel's restrictions on freedom of movement trap the population inside the strip, without recourse to search for better living conditions than it is providing. [8]


Within Israel itself, Palestinian citizens are subjected to a growing system of apartheid, with 50 laws denying them basic human rights, which their fellow Jewish citizens are allowed to enjoy [9]. Persecution of Palestinian political parties is also escalating [10] and Israeli public officials' blood libels against the Palestinian population are spreading like wildfire [11].


Finally, Israel has denied Palestinian refugees their right to return to their homeland, in accordance with international law and resolutions [12], while continuing to seize their land and expel them from their homes.


These are only a few examples of the daily reality of Palestinians, which consists of daily military incursions, widespread arrests, lack of freedom of movement due to hundreds of checkpoints, home demolitions, and many other violations of human rights and international law.


As Israeli citizens and political activists who fight against this brutal reality, we believe that one of the ways we will be able to stop Israel’s policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing is through BDS.


We have the uttermost respect for your show of support with the Center of Childhood Diabetes, Red Cross, Keep a child alive, and more. We won't repeat the above information about Palestinian child prisoners, but we will say that this crisis is so apparent that the UN Special Representative for Children had recommended adding Israel to an official list of serious violators of children’s rights, including harassment, imprisonment, torture, sexual abuse, injury, and straight out murder [13]. Please also note that half of the Palestinian population is in fact minors [14], millions of whom live in conditions of abject poverty, without financial or personal safeguard [15].


We are also aware of the fact that you yourself were a victim of the media. Don’t let it use you again, this time to whitewash Israel’s crimes. Raise your voice against the continuous violations of human rights, not just with words, but also through actions.


Please cancel your concert in apartheid Israel.


We will gladly address any questions or comments you may have.



Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within