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Refrain Playing Israel | 28 October 2012

BaBa ZuLa in Apartheid Israel? Not this Year.


The famous Turkish alternative band Baba Zula will not play in Israel this November.  The band removed Tel Aviv from their tour schedule and Auris Media posted that the concert is cancelled.  
Cassandra Wilson, Cat Power, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (all from the USA) all refused to perform in Israel this year, and honor the cultural boycott.  Dervish and Fullset of Ireland and Nino Katamadze from Georgia also cancelled concerts in Israel earlier this year.  
Baba Zula features a unique sound, using traditional Turkish instruments, electronica, reggae and dub. The core of their sound is the saz, a Turkish stringed instrument with a bright, high-pitched sound.  
Some artists erroneously think that they should play in Israel, breaking the cultural boycott and thereby spread a message of peace.  Unfortunately musicians who play in Israel are often used by the Israeli government to whitewash human rights violations.  The cultural boycott is an essential part in showing solidarity for Palestinian human rights, and declaring that apartheid is not acceptable.  It worked for South Africa, it can work for Israel.
The vast majority of Palestinian Civil Society has called for a boycott:
As was the case in the international struggle against apartheid in South Africa, taking guidance from broadly-endorsed representatives of the oppressed, in this case the Palestinian leadership of the BDS movement, the BNC, and respecting boycott guidelines set by the great majority in the oppressed society is an ethical obligation for any conscientious person or group genuinely standing in solidarity with the oppressed.
Roger Waters played in Israel, under the misguided notion that his concert was for peace.  His concert in Israel drew many fans, but it did not result in any changes for Palestinians under occupation or elsewhere.  His concert did not lead to peace.
Now the former Pink Floyd legend is one of the strongest advocates for the boycott.  Waters said:
Artists were right to refuse to play in South Africa's Sun City resort until apartheid fell and white people and black people enjoyed equal rights. And we are right to refuse to play in Israel until the day comes – and it surely will come – when the wall of occupation falls and Palestinians live alongside Israelis in the peace, freedom, justice and dignity that they all deserve.
The difference is that now Waters realizes that the best way forward is to respect what the majority of Palestinian Civil Society has called for:  the boycott.  
We are awaiting word from Baba Zula, to the effect that they too support BDS:  Boycott, Divest and Sanctions of Israel.   
Baba Zula can be contacted the email their website provides:
Ask them to stand firm in support of the boycott.

Posted on 30-10-2012

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