PRESS RELEASE: Pressure for S.Africa’s DJ Black Coffee to cancel Israeli gig

A group of progressive Israelis belonging to the human rights organisation, Boycott From Within (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boycott_from_Within), have released a public letter calling on the South African House Musician, DJ Black Coffee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Coffee_%28DJ%29), to cancel his upcoming Israeli gig. DJ Black Coffee is scheduled to perform in Israel later this week.

The letter was initially privately last week to DJ Black Coffee (whose real name is Nkosinathi Maphumulo) but was published online after not having received a response from either the musician, his company (Soulistic Music) or his Foundation (www.djblackcoffee.org).

The letter calling on DJ Black Coffee to respect the Palestinian cultural boycott of Israel starts: "We are Israeli activists who support the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel‘s policies of colonialism, occupation and apartheid towards the Palestinian people. We have recently learned of your planned gig in Tel Aviv. We are writing in order to urge you not to come, since your gig will be directly related to Israel‘s propaganda efforts, at the expense of the Palestinian people. Please hear us out.”  The letter goes on to cite “Israel’s Apartheid policies”, Israeli discrimination and oppression of Palestinians as just some of the reasons why DJ Black Coffee should cancel his Tel Aviv gig. (Find the full letter here: http://tinyurl.com/ol2ne5j)

BDS South Africa, a local Palestine solidarity human rights organisation has also written to DJ Black Coffee urging him not to “entertain Israeli Apartheid”. In the letter by BDS South Africa to DJ Black Coffee, there are quotes by musicians in support of the Israeli boycott including Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and the USA singer, Macy Gray. Gray had initially performed in Israel in 2011 but later regretted it and tweeted “I had a reality check and I stated that I definitely would not have played there [in Israel] if I had known even the little that I know now.” (http://tinyurl.com/otvqwq4)

Since the Palestinian call for a boycott against Israel was issued in 2005 several high profile artists, musicians and authors have cancelled Israeli performances and engagements including Stevie Wonder, Alice Walker, Stephen Hawking, Mira Nair and the music band Faithless. Recent Grammy award winner Ladysmith Black Mambozo is one of the South African groups to have come out on the cultural boycott of Israel (http://tinyurl.com/qfoc8cb)

Khulekani Chiya of BDS South Africa commented: "We hope that DJ Black Coffee does the right thing by not crossing the boycott of Israel picket line. Performing in Israel is not only morally wrong but also has serious consequences for an artist’s image. The recent case of Scarlett Johansson being criticised by her own organisation, Oxfam, for doing an advert with the Israeli company SodaStream is a good example.”

ISSUED BY MUHAMMED DESAI ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA

Ronnie Barkan, Boycott From Within (Tel Aviv, Israel): +972 (0) 52 353 5225 / rbarkan@usa.net
Muhammed Desai, BDS South Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa): +27 (0) 842119988 / mdesai@bdssouthafrica.com

BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL in SOUTH AFRICA (BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
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