We write to ask you to cancel your concert in Israel. We do so knowing that band members are not indifferent to the situation in Palestine. In a 2008 interview, Jay Kay said, ‘Ask me something else; Ask me about the situation in Palestine’.
If we asked you about the situation in Palestine today, you’d probably know that it has greatly deteriorated since 2008, with three prolonged bombing campaigns by Israel on Gaza. The besieged Strip is, according to the United Nations, ‘unlivable’, and there’s an ever expanding colonisation of land in the Palestinian West Bank.
Israel’s destruction of the fabric of Palestinian society also manifests itself in house demolitions, both in the West Bank and inside Israel itself. There are mass arrests including of hundreds of children, and the constant military presence brings beatings, torture and maiming into the majority of Palestinian families.
But there is, too, an inspiring beacon of nonviolent resistance. From demonstrations in West Bank villages, to Gaza’s Great March of Return, to hunger strikes in Israel’s prisons, to Palestinian artists coming together for cultural resistance and a unifying expression of indigenous pride, to the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Palestinians teach each one of us that we can play our part in the movement for freedom, justice and equality.
Inspired by the boycott movement in apartheid South Africa, the Palestinian people ask that artists refrain from entertaining apartheid Israel. Palestinians pay with life and limb for their protests, and they ask for your support. Will you stand with them? Will you cancel your concert in Israel?
Artists for Palestine UK