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PACBI-BDS to Hindi Zahra: Do not Perform in Israel

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Imad Stitou | Al-Akhbar English | October 31, 2011

BDS to Hindi Zahra: Do not Perform in Israel

Palestine activists are appealing to Moroccan singer Hindi Zahra to cancel shows scheduled in Israel this month.

Rabat - Hindi Zahra (b.1979) was intensely criticized as soon as news emerged of her scheduled performances in Tel Aviv on November 11 and 12. Her fans in Morocco were shocked to learn that the Moroccan-French singer was performing in Israel. Cultural normalization with the Zionist state is still a red line for many Moroccans. They have always been critical of cultural festivals and events that take place in their country that include Israelis.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) wrote an open letter to Zahra demanding that she not perform in Tel Aviv. Her performance, they argue, would contribute to whitewashing the image of the Israeli occupation. Activists on twitter and Facebook launched a campaign calling on the artist to cancel her gig.

“Performing in Tel Aviv is an act of normalization with the Zionist entity’s apartheid policies and occupation of Palestinian territories,” activist Ishraq Maatouk wrote on twitter. She added, “Performing in Tel Aviv is supporting the ethnic cleansing policy, which has rendered the Palestinians refugees.” Many fans of Zahra, who is originally from Kharibka city, reminded her of Israeli crimes committed against the Palestinian people.

In their open letter, PACBI wrote, “How can you agree to entertain a state that practices occupation, apartheid and systematic ethnic cleansing, especially in occupied Jerusalem and the Naqab (Negev), and that denies our refugees – who constitute the majority of our people – of their inalienable right to return to the homes from which they were exiled upon the establishment of the state of Israel on the ruins of our homeland?”

The letter continues, “We appeal to you as a human, a Moroccan, an Amazigh (Berber) to cancel your show in Tel Aviv, so as not to be used by Israel, as many others have been, to cover its violations of international law and human rights, and to avoid becoming, as a result, an accomplice in beautifying the crimes of the occupation state.”

The campaign, which was launched a few days ago, believes that neutrality in the case of injustice is biased in favor of the oppressor. Thus, Hindi Zahra’s performance in Israel is equal to standing alongside the aggressor. The singer of Handmade (2010) has not yet issued a response or statement. Her two performances at The Barbie theater are entitled “Good Evening Tel Aviv,” which further provoked her fans.

Algerian artist Cheb Bilal faced similar criticism last year when he performed alongside an Israeli artist during an event in Agadir, south Morocco.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Posted on 01-11-2011

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