US rapper urged to cancel Israel concert
Open letter, PACBI
The following is an open letter sent to US rap musician Snoop Dogg on 29 June 2008 by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel:
Dear Snoop Dogg,
The Palestinian arts community was deeply saddened and surprised by the news of your upcoming performance in Israel on 18 September in Ramat Gan. 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 an artist whose name is prominently associated with this form of popular and freedom-based musical expression, rap, 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 them 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.
“Make it Good” and do not come to Israel. “Make it Good” 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.
It is also worth reminding you that Palestinian rappers and 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 rappers, particularly those in besieged Gaza, will be allowed to attend your concert? By performing in Ramat Gan you are helping to perpetuate this special form of apartheid that denies us our 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.
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