An Open Letter From Israeli citizens to Aine & Seamus O’Sé and the CLRG: Please don’t dance for apartheid Israel
25th June 2015, Tel Aviv
Dear Aine, Seamus and the CLRG,
We are Israeli citizens, active against our government’s policies of racism, apartheid and occupation. We write you this message to urge you to consider supporting the Palestinian struggle for freedom, equality and justice by adhering to their call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and refraining from taking part in, or supporting and promoting, the Israeli Feis in August.
The BDS is a worldwide movement initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005 as a non-violent campaign to pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestine, respect international law and UN resolutions regarding Palestinian refugees and dismantle its discriminatory apartheid system. Since then, many companies, organizations, academics, artists and individuals have adhered to the call and added to the international pressure on Israel. Just recently, Lauryn Hill, who was supposed to perform in Israel, has decided to cancel her performance. By doing so, she has gained the appreciation of Palestinians and millions of people around the world thanking her for her brave and conscientious decision.
Why is BDS important? Israel takes a lot of pride in its so-called liberal and pluralistic democracy, when in fact it is an exclusive ethnic colonial regime which allows full rights and equality exclusively to Jews. The Palestinians, the indigenous inhabitants of the land, have been in the last 67 years victims of violent ethnic cleansing, robbing them of their lands, resources and basic human rights. Seven million Palestinians live as refugees around the world for the past 67 years, not allowed even to visit their homeland. Some 3 million others have been living under a brutal military occupation for almost 50 years. An additional 1.2 million are 2rd and 3rd class citizens inside Israel. The last attack (out of many) Israel initiated against the besieged people of Gaza this last summer has cost the lives of over 2000 people, the vast majority of them citizens, among them about 500 children. Numerous war crimes have been committed during this attack. When international artists and cultural figures come to Israel, they allow it to “white-wash” – or in this case “Greenwash” – its crimes and abuse of the Palestinians by transmitting an image of normality, just like in apartheid South Africa.
The BDS campaign is the only non-violent way for the Palestinians to change their fate – and for the international community to stand in solidarity with the oppressed and support them in their struggle for freedom and equality after decades of oppression.
We hope that you will consider these words and join this worldwide movement for justice.
We will gladly address any comments or questions you may have.
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (aka Boycott from Within)