Dear artist participating in DGTL Tel-Aviv
We are hundreds of citizens of Israel who oppose our government’s policies of colonialism, military occupation, and apartheid against the indigenous Palestinian people . We support the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel, until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights . We are writing to ask you to respect the Palestinian call and cancel your performance in the DGTL Tel Aviv festival on October 10th . By doing so, you will join thousands of your fellow artists, standing against apartheid .
DGTL says it's “mindful of our environmental and social impact", striving to "become the first circular, climate neutral event by 2020”. While this is of course a laudable aspiration on the global stage, DGTL shows utter carelessness as to its impact on the local indigenous population, undergoing ethnic cleansing, while Israel exploits cultural events to whitewash these crimes. The practice of promoting a climate-friendly image to distract from colonialism and its inherent environmental devastation is known as 'greenwashing', and Israel is no stranger to it .
In fact, Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, in which you are scheduled to perform, sits atop the Palestinian village of Jarisha, where the indigenous Palestinians were killed and exiled during the Nakba - the ethnic cleansing committed by Zionist militias in 1948 .
Eight other Palestinian villages also stood within the current municipal area of Tel Aviv, and were ethnically cleansed and demolished in 1948, along with Palestine's biggest city, Yaffa, which had been was swallowed by Tel-Aviv and over 95 percent of its residents had been ethnically cleansed and are refugees to this very day. The remaining indigenous Palestinians of the city became "enemy of the state", relocated and ghettoized, their land and property liquidated, re-purposed for Jewish immigrants, or demolished .
Today, the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa municipality continues discriminative practices, with over 500 Palestinian families under threat of eviction, further impoverishing the indigenous Palestinian population while heavily investing in Jewish-owned enterprises, and heavy, disproportionate and brutal policing .
The Israeli army command and control center also happens to be situated in the heart of Tel Aviv, and serves as the headquarters for Israel's military occupation, population control, and massacres of the indigenous Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza.
Despite all this, Tel Aviv is used as a marketing tool, cast in the role of the “cool” and "diverse" capital of a "democratic" Israel , while hiding a history and present of ethnic cleansing, military occupation, and apartheid, against the indigenous Palestinian people. And DGTL TEL AVIV will have the colonizers dancing where our forefathers, only a short time ago, massacred the indigenous people.
Please refuse to participate in Israel's erasure of the indigenous Palestinian people. Withdraw from DGTL TEL AVIV.
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within