By Stephanie Westbrook. BDS Italia
Editor's Note: Axis of Logic salutes BDS Italia and BDS International for their continuing movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel for their Human Rights violations against the People of Palestine. We encourage all readers and activists to sign the petition(s) listed below. Thanks to Stephanie Westbrook of BDS Italia for sending us this open letter to Red Hot Chili Peppers with an appeal for action.
- Les Blough, Editor
Please find below the letter from BDS Italy to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This makes a total of nine letters to the band asking that they cancel Tel Aviv gig.
- Stephanie Westbrook
Sign the international petition calling on the Red Hot Chili Peppers to cancel their concert in Israel!
Dear Flea, Anthony, Chad and Josh,
After learning of your planned concert in Tel Aviv, we felt compelled to add our voices to the international chorus of calls to cancel that gig. As a band with a conscience, we can’t see you performing in a privileged bubble, surrounded by millions of Palestinians forced to live under Israeli oppression, apartheid and occupation.
The lyrics of your music stand in stark contrast to the policies of Israel, imposing a brutal occupation to drive people off their native land1, racist laws that rip families apart2 and violent repression to quell nonviolent resistance3.
As you must now be aware, having received similar letters from the US, France, Israel, India, Lebanon, South Africa, as well as international collectives “Don’t Play Apartheid Israel” and “Artists Against Apartheid,”4 a global movement led by Palestinian civil society is calling on artists to refuse to perform in Israel as part of a campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel5, a non-violent response to end Israeli policies that bear striking similarities with those under Apartheid South Africa. They are the reason Tel Aviv is considered today's Sun City.
Your concert in Milan this July falls just days before the 8 th anniversary of the historic ruling of the International Court of Justice declaring Israel’s Apartheid Wall and settlement enterprise in violation of international law.6 Inaction has allowed Israel to continue its human rights violations, and it will continue to do so as long as it enjoys impunity and its self-proclaimed status of a normal, civilized, democratic State goes unchallenged.
Like it or not, your concert will be part of the efforts to promote that image. In fact, it already is. News of your concert is up on the Israeli Ministry of Tourism web site, presented as “yet another example of the world-class music available in Israel,” whitewashing the daily atrocities of Israel’s crimes.7 By the way, if you consult the maps provided by that very same ministry, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the occupied Palestinian Territories.8 Just last year, during a 10-day Israeli government sponsored kermesse in Milan, video clips of international stars performing in Tel Aviv featured prominently in the multimedia installation on the city's main square, illustrating there is no separating music and politics where Israel is concerned.
Many of us are longtime fans of your music and we want you to continue “playing for a better day,” but that can’t happen if you choose to cross the picket line, ignoring what is going on around you and lending your music to drown out the sound of bulldozers demolishing houses9, shots fired on farmers10 and the Palestinian cries for freedom, justice and equality.
It can only begin to happen if you instead join figures such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu as well as the many artists, musicians, directors and writers who choose to stand with the oppressed and refuse to allow their talents to be used to mask human rights violations.11
Only then can “the power of equality” start to become “what it ought to be.” Please cancel your concert in Tel Aviv.
BDS Italia is a movement supporting boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, comprised of associations and groups throughout Italy who endorse the 2005 call from Palestinian civil society and promote BDS campaigns and initiatives locally and nationally.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Occupied Palestinian Territory
- The Guardian. Court upholds law banning Palestinian spouses from living in Israel
- Al-Haq: Defending Human Rights in Palestine Since 1979
- Don’t Play Apartheid Israel
Boycott from Within - Israel
Artists Against Apartheid
Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
South Africa Artists Against Apartheid
- Palestinian BDS National Committee
- International Court of Justice
- Israel Tourism: Come Find the Israel In You
- Go Israel: Tourist Information
- The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
- Farming Under Fire
- Zazafl: Justice for All People. One World, One Love