30 April 2012
Dear Kathy Jordan, Brian McDonagh, Liam Kelly, Tom Morrow, Shane Mitchell and Michael Holmes of Dervish,
Thank you for taking a principled stand to say YES to the cultural boycott of Israel. You should be proud of your decision to act in favor of justice and human rights. You follow in the footsteps of Roger Waters who wrote: “Where governments refuse to act people must, with whatever peaceful means are at their disposal. For me this means declaring an intention to stand in solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their government’s policies, by joining the campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel. This is [however] a plea to my colleagues in the music industry, and also to artists in other disciplines, to join this cultural boycott.
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.”
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu would certainly suppport your courageous decision, he wrote:
“International Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against the Apartheid regime, combined with the mass struggle inside South Africa, led to our victory … Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong … to perform in Israel“.
Your cancellation in support of the cultural boycott brings the children in Jen Marlowe’s heart wrenching film below one step closer to justice and freedom. We know you may have felt the pain of Gaza when Israel pounded it with thousands of tons of explosives. You would know that the suffering of surviving children in Gaza from Israel’s attacks continues. In the heartbreaking short film: “One Family in Gaza”, the children do play in the rubble of their house, but their little souls cannot escape the trauma of being shot at and seeing their home bombed and their brother repeatedly shot, even after his death. Jen Marlowe made this film showing the children play, she doesn’t show the bombing, allowing their loving parents to speak of their anguish:
Dervish, the Israeli state has a multi-million dollar hasbara [the Hebrew equivalent to propaganda] campaign and thousands of recruits to propagate it. Some Israeli promoters who bring the artists to Israel were even invited to the Israeli Knesset to discuss the anti-boycott campaign and the Israeli regime agreed on financial support to those who bring artists from abroad. Israeli ministers previously have stated the significance of culture in whitewashing Israel’s crimes – for example, Nissim Ben-Sheetrit of Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated in 2005:
“We see culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank, and I do not differentiate between propaganda and culture.”
We know you will be pleased to know that your name will not be used by Israel to justify policies of apartheid. You won’t appear on the CCFP’s dishonorable list of artists who ignored the boycott. http://www.creativecommunityforpeace.com/
Thank you again for your great courage in honouring the Palestinian call for boycott, freedom, justice and the rights of innocent children like the dear ones in Jen Marlowe’s film.
We are a group, of 850 members, representing many nations around the globe, who believe that it is essential for musicians & other artists to heed the call of the PACBI, and join in the boycott of Israel. This is essential in order to work towards justice for the Palestinian people under occupation, and also in refugee camps and in the diaspora throughout the world.
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