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International star natacha atlas announces Isarael boycott

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(source: Electronic Intifada – Submitted by Ali Abunimah)

International singer and songwriter Natacha Atlas has announced publicly that she is canceling a planned concert in Israel and will boycott the country “until this systemised apartheid is abolished once and for all.”

In a statement on her official Facebook page, Atlas wrote:

I had an idea that performing in Israel would have been a unique opportunity to encourage and support my fans’ opposition to the current government’s actions and policies. I would have personally asked my Israeli fans face-to-face to fight this apartheid with peace in their hearts, but after much deliberation I now see that it would be more effective a statement to not go to Israel until this systemised apartheid is abolished once and for all. Therefore I publicly retract my well-intentioned decision to go and perform in Israel and so sincerely hope that this decision represents an effective statement against this regime.

Atlas, who grew up in Belgium is of Egyptian, Moroccan and Palestinian ancestry and has spoken publicly of Jewish roots in her family. She won a 2007 BBC Music award for her renowned fusion of Arabic and Western styles.

Her rendition of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I put a spell on you” was featured in Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman’s 2002 feature film Divine Intervention.

Atlas was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Conference Against Racism in 2001, which was boycotted by the United States and Israel, for raising issues about US treatment of African Americans and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

In February 2011 during the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, Atlas released a remix of her song “Mounqaliba” which she dedicated “In support of my fellow Egyptians.”