Israeli citizens to Bonobo: Don't lend your name to Israel's apartheid. Cancel your show. Boycott Israel.

 February 2018

To Simon Green- Bonobo -

We are citizens of Israel, 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, that Israel employs against the Palestinian people, is to boycott it. Therefore, we strongly support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), aimed at ending the apartheid regime through a nonviolent strategy [2]. We write to you to ask you, Simon, to respect the Palestinian call, and cancel your gig in Israel.

In the past two years, Israel has executed approximately 400 Palestinians in the streets of the West Bank. Approximately a third of them were children [3]. Mass arrests have risen to over 6000 prisoners at any given time, including over 300 child prisoners, and 500 prisoners held without charge, trial, or release. All Palestinian prisoners in Israel's prisons are subject to systemic ill-treatment, arbitrary fines, medical neglect, beatings, and torture [4]. House demolition has doubled since last year, including whole villages, leaving more than a thousand people homeless, over half of them children [5].
Gaza is still under a debilitating siege. 2 million people, over 50% of them 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 rely on humanitarian aid to cover their very basic needs, including food, basic education, basic health care, shelter, blankets, mattress or cooking stoves. The UN has declared in July 2017 that despite its public predictions that Gaza will be 'unliveable' (meaning that there will effectively not be enough resources for people to survive) by 2020, it has in fact been unliveable for years. Israel's restrictions on movement trap the population inside, without recourse to search for better living conditions than it is providing. [6]

Palestinian citizens of Israel- over 20% of Israelis- are subject to a system of over 60 discriminative laws [7], decades-long processes of systematic, de-development, gentrification, ghettoisation, and impoverishment [8] that results in an infant mortality rate three times as higher than Israel's Jewish citizens [9]. Persecution of Palestinian political parties, parliamentarians, and public servants, escalates, while Israeli-Jewish politicians and public figures continue their unabated incitement to genocide against the indigenous Palestinian minority, with brutal results often meted out by Israeli civilians as well as armed forces [10].

Lastly, Israel has denied Palestinian refugees- the biggest group of refugees in the world- their right to return to their homeland, in accordance to international law and resolutions [11], while continuing to seize their land, and expel people from their homes up to this day.

Simon, Israel explicitly uses culture as a tool for state propaganda [12]. Part of this is using cultural events, such as yours, in order to create an image of a "normal", "hip" tourist destination [13], while the reality is that of daily, systematic human rights violations of an indigenous population. Please don't lend your name to Israel's apartheid. Please cancel your show. Please Boycott Israel.