1 March 2012
Dear Cassandra Wilson,
As different groups working in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle against apartheid, war crimes and terrible injustices perpetrated against them by Israel, we applaud you for your courageous decision not to play for the Holon International Women’s Festival. Thank you for your statement in support of the cultural boycott of Israel as called for by Palestinian civil society.
Although the government-funded Holon festival claimed to empower women, since Palestinian women were excluded, this was selective empowerment. Your brave decision to refrain from performing in Israel showed respect and deep compassion for Palestinian women and your action is an inspiration for other women to stand up against injustice. We thank you for enduring the intense pressure to perform for the Holon festival. You showed great strength by seeking information about the BDS campaign and deciding to cancel so close to your scheduled performance.
It is not uncommon for an artist who takes such a stand to be on the receiving end of false accusations, threats, and unfounded criticism by apologists for Israeli crimes. In solidarity, we hope that you remain strong in the face of such pressure and recognise there is enormous support for you and respect for your decision among those who embrace justice, human rights and freedom. You have joined a growing list of artists of conscience who have refused to play in today’s Sun City and we all express our gratitude to you.
DPAI (Don’t Play Apartheid Israel)
South Africans Against Apartheid Israel
Alice Walker Film
Palestine Forum Japan
Artists Against Apartheid
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (Boycott from Within)
USACBI (US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel)
IPSC Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign
BRICUP British Committee for Universities of Palestine
Wits Palestine Solidarity Committee (South Africa)
Action Group at KTH (Kungliga Tekniska högskolan) for the Boycott of Israel
Irish Friends of Palestine
Derry Friends of Palestine
Irish Ship to Gaza
Palestina non si arrenderà (Greece)
Campagne BDS France
Endorsed by GYBO (Gaza Youth Break Out)
Endorsed by the PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel)
The letter can be read in French on this site