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Folk Music Legend Pete Seeger Urged to Abandon Israel EventTim King Salem-News,com
Both Carlos Santana and Elvis Costello have agreed not to play in Israel in response to human rights violations.
(LAGUNA BEACH) - There is a supreme test taking place each year for western entertainers. What do you do when asked to perform in Israel? Many in the US and the UK live in a fog where they overlook the realities of what their tax dollars support when they fly overseas to Israel.
Others know it is these two governments that are most responsible for the way it went; Israel could have been founded and developed under more peaceful conditions and co existence is possible, but that was not the chosen path.
Arabs were killed and driven from villages and homes and it always begs the historic question, what role did the Palestinians play in the Holocaust?
Those with a minimal comprehension of 20th Century history can still offer the simple answer: "They didn't have anything to do with it".
Because the people who began losing their land to literal government thievery and who live under the unflinching fish of state terrorism, know it is unacceptable to fund any government that treats people this way.
Palestinians are attacked by Israeli police and military forces for holding peace protests on occupied land every Friday.
Now folk music icon Pete Seeger is being urged by over 40 organizations, along with musicians close to him, to cancel his participation in a November internet event organized by the Israeli groups the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and others.
The IMEC reports that in a letter made public Sunday, Adalah-NY and over 40 other organizations called on Pete Seeger to “join the growing list of artists who have respected the Palestinian boycott call.”
According to the International Mideast Media Center:
In another public letter to Seeger, Israeli activist Jeff Halper, chair of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), an organization to which Seeger has been a donor for over ten years, wrote:
“I hope that you will decide to join these artists of conscience and once again make a bold stand for justice. The movement is gathering strength, the violators of civilized norms are fearful, and change is in the air.”
The letter from Adalah-NY and other groups pointed out that:
Jeff Halper’s letter noted that one of the JNF’s most recent activities has been “the planting of a forest to cover a Bedouin village in the Negev from which the residents have been forcibly removed.”
He added that “Efforts to paint Israel as environmentally concerned are mere greenwashing. Israel has repeatedly torn down Palestinian neighborhoods by declaring them green zones.”
New York based Artists Against Apartheid, also sent Seeger a letter condemning the upcoming program as one that will:
“Directly undermine the work of human rights campaigns, which call for international artists to help end the normalization of Israeli apartheid through a cultural boycott campaign.”
In the last year, artists including Elvis Costello, Carlos Santana, the Pixies, and Gil Scott-Heron have cancelled planned performances in Israel. Israeli performers have been met with demonstrations and cancellations in trips abroad. In the last month, Israeli actors have refused to perform in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and have been supported by American actors.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), in a call for increased international solidarity, appealed to all artists “not to cross our boycott picket line, which is the simplest, most effective, non-violent form of solidarity with the Palestinian people in its struggle for justice and lasting peace.”
The video posted below will give you an idea what Seeger has to look forward to if he doesn't take the high road on this very serious issue. Elton John performed in Israel just after a private performance for Rush Limbaugh. It seems like some don't have their heart in the right place. Seeger is a classic folk singer, it would be sad to have him remembered as a person who musically supports Israel's apartheid laws that generate endless pain and suffering for native Palestinians. YouTube pulled its accessibility in the USA but Vimeo has it. If it goes away we will republish it on our server. Give it up Israel and Elton John, everyone knows...
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