Category Archives: Artists Who Respect the Boycott

John Legend Welcome to Join Cultural Boycott of Israel & not Grovel

John Legend expressed disapproval of Israeli lobby.
John Legend expressed disapproval of Israeli lobby.

John Legend is welcome to join the Cultural Boycott of Israel.  On 30 July, he tweeted “So sick watching our Secretary of State have to grovel so hard to tell Israel how much he loves them while Israeli cabinet shits on him.”  

John Kerry is not unlike some musicians, who also grovel for the apartheid state.  Lady Gaga, Elton John and Madonna all played for Israel, ignoring the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott.  No doubt Legend will be asked to play in Tel Aviv, but from all accounts it looks as if he won’t grovel.  

See for more information on the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

Bianca Jagger Tweets Her Support For Gaza

Bianca Jagger, with over 42,000 followers on twitter, tweeted “Israel must stop the killing and destruction RT Gaza’s 9/11: Israel destroys highrise building in #Gaza (LINK)”  Bianca jagger is enthusiastically invited to join the PACBI’s Call for a Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel.  

Boycott israel: Bianca Jagger
Boycott Israel: Bianca Jagger’s tweet on 8/23

Bjork, Palestine, Israel, Boycott, Human Rights

In March 2008, the PACBI asked Bjork to cancel her Tel Aviv concert.  She did not play Israel.  She has chosen to respect the boycott, and her cancelled concert was reported by Ynet on July 20, 2008.  The letter follows:
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel 
Bjork, cancel your Tel Aviv concert!

30 March 2008

You uttered one word [“Tibet”] in a concert in Shanghai that sent ripples across many disapproving seas. This time, say it louder, and support another just cause: that of the Palestinian people.

Do not sing in Israel, so that your silence will prove to be more deafening.

The concert you plan to give in July in Israel will coincide with the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of this state over the ruins of another country, Palestine. With the creation of this state 60 years ago, three quarters of a million Palestinians were dispossessed and uprooted from their homes and lands, condemned to a life of exile and destitution.

At Hayarkon park in Tel Aviv, where you plan to sing, the Palestinian village of Jarisha was wiped off the map by the Zionist forces 60 years ago.

Israel at 60 is a state that is still denying Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned rights, simply because they are “non-Jews.” It is still illegally occupying Palestinian and other Arab lands, in violation of numerous UN resolutions. In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israel is continuing the construction of its colonies and massive wall in direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of July 2004. It is still persistently and grossly breaching international law and infringing fundamental human rights with impunity afforded to it through munificent US and European economic, diplomatic and political support. It is still treating its own Palestinian citizens with institutionalized discrimination.

For several months now the state of Israel has been carrying out a slow genocide in the Gaza Strip, and maintaining a tight blockade over its inhabitants. Recently, the Israeli deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai, threatened Palestinians in the Gaza Strip with a “holocaust,” a direct reminder of what horrors might occur if Israeli aggression towards Palestinians continues to be met with international silence and apathy.

If you sing in Tel Aviv you will be taking part in a feast for war crimes, ethnic cleansing, dispossession, and continued oppression of a people.

We urge you to cancel your concert in Tel Aviv!


Latin Jazz Great Eddie Palmieri: Thank You for Cancelling Israel Performance

Latin Jazz Great Eddie Palmieri: Thank You for Cancelling Israel Performance


Warm thanks and praise for Eddie Palmieri’s decision to stand on the right side of history, and with justice for Palestine!

The Israeli press, late last night, announced the news that Puerto Rican Jazz Pianist Eddie Palmieri, who has won nine Grammy awards, has cancelled his performance at the Red Sea Jazz festival.  

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said, in 2005 that “We see culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank, and…do not differentiate between propaganda and culture.”

The Red Sea Jazz Festival’s top sponsors are the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport as well as the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.  


Many cultural events, such as the International Harp Contest in Israel, exist to propagate the sterile view that Israel is a great democracy, when in fact Israel is engaging in illegal apartheid. [1] 

For this reason, various campaigns have been organized in order to put pressure on Israel to change its apartheid policies.

Currently, there is a cultural boycott in effect against Israel among the International community. The call to boycott Israel is a global movement.  The PACBI has issued this plea for artists to reach out to call for justice.
It is not unusual for musical groups to cancel their performances in Israel.  In fact the growing number of musicians who have cancelled dates in Israel and joined the BDS call include: Roger Water [2], Elvis Costello [3], Tindersticks, Carlos Santana, Faithless, Leftfield, Gorillaz, Pixies, Gil Scott Heron, and many others, including artists of other genres. 
Eddie Palmieri, thank you for joining the above artists in standing on the right side of history, and against apartheid. 
[1] See four references below for documentation on apartheid in Israel:
A. Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) study : Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
B. Full report of the South African Human Sciences Research Council
C. Israel/Palestine, South Africa and the ‘One-State Solution’: The Case for an Apartheid Analysis
[Bakan, Abigail B. and Abu-Laban, Yasmeen(2010)

D. Do Israel’s practices in occupied Palestinian territory, namely the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, amount to the crimes of colonialism and apartheid under international law?

[2] Tear down this Israeli wall, I want the music industry to support Palestinians’ rights and oppose this inhumane barrier Roger Water, Friday 11 March 2011,

Jazz Musician Jason Moran Cancels Concert in Apartheid Israel

Jazz Musician Jason Moran Cancels Concert in Apartheid Israel

Thank you jazz pianist Jason Moran.  Jason Moran’s decision to cancel his concert in apartheid Israel is a welcome decision for the BDS movement that supports a cultural boycott of Israel.  Although he still, at this writing, has Israel listed on his live tour schedule, theIsraeli press published news of his cancellation.  


When artists cancel their shows in apartheid Israel, there is indeed a small wave of hope sent out.  That Israel is an apartheid nation has been well documented [1].  As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said:

 “I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. I have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinian men, women, and children made to wait hours at Israeli military checkpoints routinely when trying to make the most basic of trips to visit relatives or attend school or college, and this humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government.” [2]

A quick look at Jason Moran’s personal website shows he is well versed in what apartheid is, he recently helped create a film on South African apartheid:

 Jason Moran & The Bandwagon scored a new documentary titled RFK in the Land of Apartheid: A Ripple of Hope. The film chronicles Robert Kennedy’s visit to South Africa during apartheid.

RFK’s quote is referred to:
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a [person] stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” — Robert F. Kennedy
To thank Jason, a native of Houston, Texas, see his contact information here.





[1] See references below for documentation on apartheid in Israel:
Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) study : Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). 
Full report of the South African Human Sciences Research Council
Israel/Palestine, South Africa and the ‘One-State Solution’: The Case for an Apartheid Analysis
[Bakan, Abigail B. and Abu-Laban, Yasmeen(2010)

Do Israel’s practices in occupied Palestinian territory, namely the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, amount to the crimes of colonialism and apartheid under international law?


[2] Divesting From Injustice, Desmond Tutu, Huffington Post, April 13, 2010

UPDATED: Tuba Skinny Respects the PACBI’s call: Cancels Israel Gig

UPDATED: Tuba Skinny Respects the PACBI’s call: Cancels Israel Gig

UPDATE:  On August 25, 2011, I received this email from Tuba Skinny’s Kiowa Wells, here is the email in its entirety:


The viewpoints of Tuba Skinny in regard to our recent cancellation at the Red Sea Jazz Festival have recently become a popular topic of debate among numerous websites and news forums. We did not want to comment on a situation that we as foreigners know so little about, but it seems that we now have no choice but to comment.

     The reasons for our cancellation are numerous. First, when we agreed to play the festival we were not aware that it was largely state sponsored, or that people on the other side of the wall would be denied entry. This should suffice to demonstrate my meaning when I say that we do not have the comprehensive viewpoint necessary to make political commentary on such a serious matter. It is a fact that prior to our show, two days before we were scheduled to fly to Israel from Rome, we were approached by various people via E-mail who are affiliated with the BDS and AAA movements. After thoroughly researching what they told us in numerous emails, we were more enlightened on the current situation of the Wall, in addition to the extreme actions taken by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people. This was a shaking realization, especially because as a street band from New Orleans, we had not even heard the call to boycott, and never so much as considered the idea that playing music for people could be seen as a statement aligning us with any extremist group. Our intentions were to play on the street in Israel and the surrounding areas for the people, not for any government. It is a real regret to not play for Palestinian and Israeli people alike, especially because many of these people have expressed openly that they do not support the Wall, or the killing of innocent people carried out by either side. Our intentions at no time included playing in support of government sponsored atrocities or independent ones.

The day before our flight, after hours of stressful deliberation, we decided that we should not back out of our slated appearance for these reasons: Many people who live in Israel and wish for equal rights and peace had bought tickets to see us, and it was mere days before the show; the organizers, whose political stance has never been known to us, had worked very hard on our behalf; We were in Italy with no way home; and we viewed it as an opportunity to speak out against segregation and senseless killing. We thought to donate the proceeds from the festival to relief and human rights organizations involved in this crisis. After reaching this painful decision, we immediately learned of the killings outside of Eilat and the subsequent bombings in Gaza, both with the loss of innocent lives. This was the icing on the cake. We could not support any of these actions, let alone risk the obvious personal danger that was implied. It was for a mixture of these reasons that we decided to back out. Not only the Apartheid Wall, not only the attacks at Gaza, not only the attacks outside of Eilat, not only the endless violence for centuries, but all of it combined. Of course we do not support the merciless bulldozing of homes or the indiscriminate murder of Israeli and Palestinian people from both sides!   With this in mind, I in my ignorance would never be so presumptuous as to approach an Israeli or Palestinian individualand start spouting off about my political opinion. To a mother who has  lost her child. An Israeli mother, a Palestinian mother, it makes no difference. I cannot imagine what that would be like, though there are many alive today who can. We live in a country whose government is involved directly in this crisis, and many of the citizens here avoid talking about it because even here it often ends in heated debate or violence. Many of the citizens in the USA have never supported the government in this. 

   We have received pressure from many directions to make a statement. Here it is.

      -Kiowa Wells on behalf of Tuba Skinny



Original Article:




Bravo Boycott Divest & Sanctions! Great news came to us today amid all the shockingly sad news on the Israeli attacks on the people of Gaza.
Tuba Skinny has cancelled their planned concert in Israel.  Tuba Skinny is a traditional jazz and blues band from New Orleans.  The six member band formed about 2 years ago and has a vintage feel and very street-smart appeal. They, in fact, play their 1920’s inspired music on street-corners, as well as in concert venues.

Tuba Skinny was asked by the international group “Don’t Play Apartheid Israel,” as well as the Israeli group “Boycott From Within,” if they would cancel their Aug. 21 concert in Israel in honor of the PACBI’s call for a cultural boycott of Israel.  This screen shot, taken today, shows they have indeed chosen to cancel their appearance at the Israeli Red Sea Jazz Festival.

When a statement is made by the band, we’ll update you on that.
BDS is one of the most powerful ways to combat Israeli apartheid.  BDS only requires a bit of creativity and compassion.  BDS can be done anywhere, so it is very appealing as well as unstoppable.  The pressure that BDS inflicted upon apartheid South Africa, contributed to the eventual fall of apartheid there.  Join the BDS movement!  See for more on the cultural boycott of Israel.
Jazz Fans:  You are invited to show your appreciation of Tuba Skinny’s decision, which came at great personal financial cost to the band-members by purchasing their Six Feet Down or Garbage Man Digital Album. Information on their music, including ordering info is at Tuba Skinny’s Site.

Israel, Tuba Skinny and Injustice: Open Letter

Israel, Tuba Skinny and Injustice: Open Letter

Jazz festivals take place every summer all over the world, and New Orleans jazz bands are in high demand.  Jazz music is loved the world over, so why would it be considered inhumane to play at a Jazz festival?
In the case of the Red Sea Jazz Festival, music takes on a very political role, because of the well-known global BDS movement.  The PACBI, (Palestinian Call for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) has, since 2005, asked musicians to refrain from playing in Israel, and their call, representing Palestinian Civil Society, has become a global movement.
Thus, when a band, like Tuba Skinny, agrees to play in Israel, and break the picket line, it becomes very political.  Tuba Skinny members, Erika Lewis, Todd Burdick, Kiowa Wells, Shaye Cohn, Barnabus Jones and Robin Rupuzzi, should cancel their planned concert for Sunday, August 21, 2011 at the “88FM” Club in Eilat, Israel.  Their brief performance at 8 pm, though financially lucrative for the band, can never be worth their effort if they have to stand on the side of injustice and oppression in order to play.
Other musicians have made very clear stands on the side of human rights, and one of the most notable is Roger Waters, founder of the UK Pink Floyd sensation.
The PACBI asks all artists, including Tuba Skinny, to refrain from playing in Israel.
Dear Tuba Skinny members, Erika Lewis, Todd Burdick, Kiowa Wells, Shaye Cohn, Barnabus Jones and Robin Rupuzzi,
 The Palestinian arts community is deeply saddened, when artists such as yourself agree to perform in Israel.  We strongly urge you to cancel your plans to perform in Israel until the time comes when Israel ends its illegal occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories and respects the relevant precepts of international law concerning Palestinian rights to freedom, self-determination and equality.

How can Tuba Skinny’s band members  be apathetic to the monstrosity of Israel’s current war crimes in Gaza, its Apartheid Wall, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice at the Hague, or its continued violation of fundamental Palestinian rights? Just as conscientious artists the world over boycotted South African apartheid in the past we expect and urge Tuba Skinny to boycott Israel’s own system of colonization and racial discrimination, compared to apartheid by former US President Jimmy Carter, as well as many leading figures in South Africa, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and current minister, Ronnie Kasrils.

Do Your Duty” and do not come to Israel. Help promote “peace in the valley,” and dedicate your cancellation to all the mothers who lost their children; 24 Palestinian children were killed in April 2008 alone by the Israeli occupation army; 34 were killed in the Gaza Strip in March in what the Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Villnai threatened to become a “bigger Holocaust.” And 327 Palestinian children are still in prison. So far, more than 180 terminally ill people and premature babies have died within four months in Gaza as a result of the heinous, medieval siege imposed by the country you are planning to visit.  In December 2008 and January 2009 Israel waged a deadly war against the besieged people of occupied Gaza.  Almost all of the 1,400 deaths were of civilians, and hundreds of children were left dead.  This led to the United Nation’s “Goldstone Report” in which it was declared that Israel had committed war-crimes.  

It is also worth reminding you that Palestinian musicians in the occupied Palestinian territory, like all Palestinians under Israeli occupation, are denied their basic rights, including the “privilege” of freedom of expression which you — and all of us — so highly value. They are often denied their right to travel, sometimes even within the Occupied Palestinian Territory; many are denied access to festivals; and some are imprisoned, injured or killed by the occupation forces. Try to find out, for instance, how many Palestinian jazz fans, particularly those in besieged Gaza, will be allowed to attend your concert? By performing at the Red Sea Jazz festival you are helping to perpetuate this unjust form of apartheid that denies Palestinians their basic rights.Palestinian civil society has almost unanimously called upon international civil society to engage in acts and campaigns of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it fully complies with international law and recognizes the fundamental human rights of the people of Palestine. The Church of England, the US Presbyterian Church, a group of top British architects, major unions in Britain, South Africa, Ireland and Canada, among many other groups and institutions in the West, have all heeded the Palestinian distress call and considered applying effective pressure on Israel to promote peace and justice in our troubled land.

We sincerely hope that you shall cancel your announced performance in Israel.

~The BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) Community Worldwide