Newsletter Archive:.
  March 2014  

Open letter from Gaza to Neil Young

We are Palestinian students and youth from the besieged Gaza Strip; we write to you now on a night engulfed by huge explosions ripping through our houses and neighborhoods again, more common than the thunder and hard rain also filling the night air.

 And now we hear you plan on playing your inspiring music to a packed house in Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv, a park built on the ruins of the Palestinian village Al Mirr, a land and people, destroyed and buried amidst unspeakable violence, but not forgotten. The residents of that Palestinian village and hundreds of other villages forcibly emptied by the nascent Israeli army, were either killed or denied return, denied the chance to even visit or commemorate the lives they once had.

 While the world turns its back, we hope that you don’t turn yours, that you heed the call of over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, for boycott, divestment and sanctions against the Israeli regime until it abides by international law and stops denying us the right to live as any other human beings would expect. Just as you didn’t perform in Apartheid South Africa, just as you stood up against racism in the US South, just as you have so admirably supported indigenous rights in Canada against the drilling for Tar Sands, we ask you to support indigenous, displaced people wherever they may be, including we Palestinians. 


RIBA Votes To Suspend Israeli Architects' Association From International Body

 In a highly significant move...the pillar of the UK’s architects’ professional institute, the Royal Institute of British Architects, called on the International Union Of Architects’ to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the world body of architects.


People's Books Co-op Responds to BDS Call

 People’s Books Co-op has voted to join the BDS movement against Israel, instituting a consumer, cultural and academic boycott of the Israeli state due to significant human rights concerns involved with Israel’s policies against the Palestinian community.

Netanyahu launches “desperate” attack on BDS movement

 Netanyahu’s desperate attack on the BDS movement comes as European pension funds are blacklisting Israeli companies and banks, as Israeli concert organizers find it increasingly difficult to persuade artists to perform in Israel and as governments hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law.


PACBI Editorial

Neil Young: Refrain from Undermining the Rights of the Indigenous Palestinian People

PACBI, a member of the BDS movement in Palestine, has learned that you reportedly plan to perform in Israel on 17 July 2014 [1].  We are writing to urge you to refrain from playing in apartheid Israel and not to condone Israel’s violations of international law and human rights against the Palestinian people. 

 Over the past 20 years, Israel has intensified its construction of illegal colonies in the occupied Palestinian territory.  It continues to bomb and kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza and maintains its medieval siege of 1.8 million Palestinians there.  Its wall, condemned as illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004, is still standing and expanding, separating Palestinians from their livelihoods, schools and farms.  Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinian communities in the Naqab (Negev), East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley was condemned by a ranking UN official as constituting a strategy of exclusion and discrimination [2].  Its policies of home demolitions, uprooting trees and denial of freedom of movement have intensified in recent months.  It still maintains more than 50 racist laws [3] that are condemned by international and local human rights organizations.  Even the U.S. Department of State has censured Israel’s system of “institutional, legal and societal” discrimination against Palestinian citizens of the state. [4]

 Why would you accept to perform in a country that is so deeply involved in war crimes and human rights violations?  Performing in Israel at this time is morally equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era.  We all remember how leading musicians played a prominent role in enforcing a cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa in the 1980’s. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights Prof. John Dugard, and South African government minister Ronnie Kasrils have repeatedly declared, Israel has created a worse system of apartheid than anything that ever existed in South Africa.


UMass Boston Faculty Statement in Support of Academic Boycott of Israel

 “We believe that support for the academic boycott of Israel and the ASA resolution is fully in keeping with the mission and values of UMass Boston..."



Loyola University Students Launch Divestment Campaign

 We hope that our university can screen out companies like Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, G4S, SodaStream, Elbit Systems, Veolia, and others that facilitate human rights abuse here and abroad.


The Media’s Effects on BDS

 The BDS movement’s upward trajectory presents an alternative to the stagnant peace process, an alternative that will continue to be aided by increased media coverage.

  Risala in Arabic means mission, message or letter