We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in June 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.
We understand that you are scheduled to perform in Sun City, Tel Aviv in September this year. As artists with a conscience, we appeal to you to cancel your scheduled performance and join us in the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.
The Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) was issued on July 9, 2005, one year after the historic Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), declared that Israel's Wall built on occupied Palestinian territory was illegal. Palestinian civil society called upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel, similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era -- until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination, and complies with international law. BDS has been endorsed by over 170 Palestinian parties, organizations, trade unions and movements representing the Palestinian people in the 1967 and 1948 territories and in the diaspora. On July 13, 2005 the UN International Civil Society Conference adopted the Palestinian Call for BDS.
Now we, supporters of the Palestinian struggle in India and South Asia, call upon civil society in our region to support the Palestinian right to resist, without violence, an illegal occupation. The BDS position is a morally sound and effective means of struggle that challenges the world to force Israeli compliance with international law.
Many artists of conscience have cancelled their planned gigs in the apartheid state, chosen not to book concerts when asked, and not rescheduled. They include, in 2011 alone, Jon Bon Jovi, Vanessa Paradis, August Burns Red, Marc Almond, Tuba Skinny, Eddie Palmieri, and more. Some artists have spoken up in public in support of the cultural boycott of Israel, such as musical icon Roger Waters, Robert Del Naja (Massive Attack), Martha Frintzila, Natacha Atlas and Faithless.
One appeal (from Don't Play Apartheid Israel
http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1853) cites some of your lyrics and points out that these words could well be sung by the Palestinians who live within Israel and endure discrimination daily:
“...I was born in a land, I don’t think you understand God damn, what I am I’m a native of this place, please don’t kick me in the face My race has been disgraced...”
Last November, you played at a benefit for Palestinian refugee children at Cafe de Paris in London. You must then know of the 64 year plight of Palestinians who have been denied the right to return to their land. Fighting for the implementation of this right is one of the central tenets of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). So please don’t let your band be used to legitimize home demolitions, illegal raids, the use of white phosphorous, political and child imprisonments, racist marriage bans, piracy and execution in international waters, collective punishment, Occupation, checkpoints, roadblocks, and the bombing and closing of educational institutions. If you cancel your gig in Israel, you will also be encouraging other artists to follow your lead. And your fans all over the world will know you stand for justice and an end to apartheid.
For INCACBI (The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel)
- Gargi Sen (Filmmaker, Convener)
- Dhruv Sangari (Musician)
- Vidya Rao (Editor, Singer)
- Saeed Mirza (Filmmaker)
- Sudanwa Deshpande (Theatreperson)
- M.K. Raina (Theatre person)
- N. Pushpamala (Artist)
- Ram Rahman (Artist)
- Amar Kanwar (Artist)
- Sheba Chhachhi (Artist)
- Saba Hasan (artist)
- Ayisha Abraham (Artist)
- Githa Hariharan (Writer)
- Anand Patwardhan (filmmaker)
- and 85 others from INCACBI www.incacbi.in