Israeli Citizens to Donaueschingen Music Festival Director, Björn Gottstein: Don't Silence Voices for Palestine in Our Name

 August 2018

To Mr. Björn Gottstein,

We are citizens of Israel [1] and we feel it necessary to respond to your statement in WAN Magazine, regarding Wieland Hoban [2].

As we speak, since late March, Israel is committing an ongoing massacre in Gaza, of unarmed protesters who are calling for an end to the 11-year siege that Israel has imposed on them. This siege renders them prisoners of the biggest open-air prison in the world. In the past three months alone, Israel killed over 170 Palestinians and injured over 18,000, including children, medics and journalists. [3].

We’d like to pause for a moment and ask you to reflect on these facts alone: an 11-year siege, 160 gunned down, 18,000 injured, including children, in just 4 and a half months.

These are war crimes, sir, on a scale that amounts to crimes against humanity. They are deserving of criticism, to say the least. And that is just the tip of the iceberg, as we have yet to mention Israel’s belligerent military occupation and colonial settlements in the West Bank, and over 65 laws within Israel itself [4], discriminating against its own Palestinian citizens, culminating in its most recent act of legislation: the 'Nation-State Law', which enshrines Israel’s discrimination into its equivalent of a constitution [5].

From your statement, one would gather, that had other regimes been criticised in Hoban’s work, you would have deemed the work worthy of your platform. If this is the case, we must ask if you are not the one singling Israel out for impunity.

As Israeli citizens, descendants of Holocaust survivors, it is our moral obligation to criticise our heritage of colonialism, and we expect no less of German citizens. Your obligation is to learn from your forbearers' mistakes and criticise nations who may well be repeating them.

There is nothing antisemitic about criticising war crimes. If Israel commits them while falsely claiming to speak for all Jews, it is our responsibility to reject this claim. Germans, on your part, must learn to differentiate between Jews and the state of Israel.

Not in our names.


Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from Within