Wednesday, April 25, 2012

BDS Lebanon writes OPEN LETTER to Red Hot Chili Peppers: Don't Play Israel

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been urged to abandon a planned gig in Israel, after it emerged that they performed at a pro-Palestinian gig that raised over US$500,000.  Their gig is thus seen as a "normalization" attempt.  

See more about normalization here:
The superstar band, who have won seven Grammy Awards and sold over 65 million albums worldwide, are due to perform in Tel Aviv on September 10, days after gigs in Beirut and Istanbul.
Activists are urging them to cancel the show in the Jewish state, pointing out that the group has previously claimed to support the Palestinian cause.
In November last year the band performed at a variety show for the Hoping Foundation in London, raising £392,000 (US$630,000).
The Foundation supports projects for the children of Palestinian refugees who were displaced when Israel was violently created in 1948.
In an open letter to the band, the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel (CBSI) in Lebanon urged the band to cancel the concert.
"Your decision to support Palestinian refugees must have come from an understanding that for 64 years Palestinians have been denied the right to return to their land and to be compensated for loss incurred by the Zionist colonization of their land...As a result, we find it strange that less than a month after your benefit concert you announced your decision to play in Israel," the letter says.
The "Californication" stars have never played in Israel before and Asad Ghsoub, a CBSI spokesperson, called on the band to continue its support of the Palestinians.
“The fact that the Red Hot Chili Peppers have recently done a fundraiser for Palestine in London means they are aware of what is happening and are attuned to the Palestinian question. We expect more from them,” he said.
Supporters of Palestinian human rights have long urged international musicians to boycott Israel, which they accuse of being an apartheid state for its harsh occupation of the West Bank and belligerent policies towards native Palestinians.
Among those who have declared that they will not play in the country until abuses of Palestinians end are U2, Roger Waters and Gorillaz.
Ghsoub said the concert would provide legitimacy to the oppression of Palestinians and said if they were to cancel it would make a "huge" difference.
"The Israelis are using this to say everything is fine and to whitewash whatever they are doing [to the Palestinians]."
"(If they canceled) it would be a huge event. If artists saw that the Red Hot Chili Peppers did not go it could encourage others not to go."
In January Belgian singer Lara Fabian cancelled a gig in Lebanon after it emerged that she had sung at a Zionist campaign celebrating the 60th anniversary of the creation of Israel, known by Palestinians as the Nakba– the catastrophe.
French-Moroccan comedian Gad Elmaleh also pulled out of a planned trip to Lebanon in 2008 after allegations that he had been supportive of the Israeli army.
The full text of the letter can be read below.
Open letter from Lebanon to the Red Hot Chili Peppers: “Come to Lebanon, but not to Israel: Until All Palestinians Have the Right of Return"
25 April 2012
Dear Red Hot Chili Peppers,
Last November you played at a benefit for Palestinian refugee children at Cafe de Paris in London. Your decision to support Palestinian refugees must have come from an understanding that for 64 years Palestinians have been denied the right to return to their land and to be compensated for loss incurred by the Zionist colonization of their land. Fighting for the implementation of this right is the central tenet of the Palestinian Boycott National Committee and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). As a result, we find it strange that less than a month after your benefit concert you announced your decision to play in Israel.
Come to Lebanon on September 6th, but honor the 2005call from Palestinian Civil Society, and do not go to Israel on September 10th. Come to Lebanon and learn of the oppression we have also endured at the hands of the Israeli army and its collaborators; unlearn the myths Israel propagates. The soil that Arabs have cultivated for centuries, in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria, has been militarily occupied for decades by Israel. The Palestinians have been denied their right to return to their land solely because they are not Jewish. The essence of Israeli colonialism in the region is about control over the land using military mechanisms that also prevent refugees from returning. Your participation in last year's event supporting Palestinian refugees suggests you sympathize with Palestinian refugees' struggle for the right of return.
Numerous bands and artists have already heeded Palestinian Civil Society’s 2005 Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel as a reaction to its occupation, apartheid and denial of Palestinian refugees inalienable right to return to their homes, as stipulated in UN resolution 194. Music cannot be isolated from politics. A visit to Israel is viewed by Israel, and internationally, as implicit support for Israeli policies and indifference to the victims of Israeli crimes. Ilan Pappe, an anti-Zionist Israeli historian and strong supporter of the BDS, recently wrote: “The cultural image in Israel feeds the political decision in the west to support unconditionally the Israeli destruction of Palestine and the Palestinians.”
We ask you to follow in the steps of Cat Power, the Pixies, Gorillaz Sound System, Elvis Costello, Gil Scott-Heron, Carlos Santana, Bono/U2, Devendra Banhart, among others, who did not perform in Israel, and to support the call for boycott that was recently embraced by Roger Waters and Pete Seeger. In the letter Roger Waters wrote announcing his support of a cultural boycott of Israel, he said:
My conviction is born in the idea that all people deserve basic human rights. My position is not anti-Semitic. This is not an attack on the people of Israel.
This is, however, a plea to my colleagues in the music industry, and also to artists in other disciplines, to join this cultural boycott.
Artists were right to refuse to play in South Africa’s Sun City resort until apartheid fell and whites and blacks enjoyed equal rights.
And we are right to refuse to play in Israel until the day comes — and it surely will come — when “The Wall” of occupation falls...
It is not only the Palestinians who have been victimized by Israel. We, in Lebanon, have suffered a great deal. Israeli aggressions against Lebanon began in 1948, with the occupation and annexation of 30 Lebanese villages, and have continued regularly since then. Most recently:
1. 2006: More than 1000 Lebanese civilians were killed by Israel in the 33-day most aggressive onslaught by Israel. The July 2006 war was regarded as a crime against humanity and a war crime by a tribunal of international judges.
2. 2006 to present: Millions of Israeli cluster bombs (from the July 2006 war) and land mines (from the 22-year occupation) still contaminate Lebanese agricultural land. These bombs continue to kill and injure people.
3. May 15, 2011: Israeli soldiers shot and killed 11 civilians and injured more than 100. These unarmed civilians were on the Lebanese border with Israel, and had been calling for their legal and legitimate right to return to their homes in Palestine.
4. 1948 to present: Israel continues to deprive 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon from their right of return to their homes and land and villages from which they were forced to leave at gun point in 1948. The refugees are not allowed to return only because they are not Jewish!
In response to Israel's Freedom Flotilla massacre, the prominent Scottish writer, Iain Banks, wrote in the Guardian that the best way for international artists, writers and academics to “convince Israel of its moral degradation and ethical isolation” is “simply by having nothing more to do with this outlaw state.”
We urge you not to allow your music and talent to be used to whitewash the crimes of this outlaw state.
We urge you to stand with Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and globally by supporting our people's struggle for equality in our land and on our terms.
Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon

BDS Morocco resists Normalization Urges Exclusion of Israel at Agriculture Exhibition

The initiative of my DS and Morocco after receiving the news of cancellation of Oriental Dance Festival in Marrakech, organized by the dancer from the Zionist entity brazenly defending the positions of Zionism,
- Expresses its satisfaction with the retreat of those responsible and salutes all those who contributed from near or far in the pressure on these bodies expose in its attempts to deepen relations with the Zionist racist regime at all levels, this time under the banner of art.

- Reflect the initiative of my DS Morocco in particular, has expressed its condemnation to display some brokers and unscrupulous merchants - at the exhibition of Siam-Salon International de L'Agriculture  held in Meknes during this week (25-29 April)- for the products produced by companies Zionist origins of Palestinian land stolen, and 

-We condemn the participation of a Moroccan delegation in the International Agriculture Conference in Tel Aviv  between 15 and 17 May 2012.

- Condemning the initiative my DS Morocco multiplicity of events that welcome the Moroccan authorities Bmanla the land of Palestine, another example is to accept the post player coming from the Zionist entity league tennis Fes ...

- Calls on all national forces and created the Moroccan civil society to respond to the call of Palestinian civil society organizations to boycott 2005 "Israel", divestment and sanctions (known as the call BDS)
To form a bulwark against the Zionist apartheid regime.

April 24, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Brazil BDS releases New Video Explaining Apartheid Israel to Daniela Mercury

Daniela Mercury, do not go to Israel! 

Palestinians living under military occupation, thousands in camps, unable to return to their lands to which they were expelled for more than 60 years. 

Those living in the State of Israel does not have the same rights as the rest of the population. 

Palestinians have no right to come and go freely to schools, hospitals, work. 

All fundamental human rights are violated. 

Singing in Israel is to strengthen the apartheid against the Palestinian people. his admirers around the world are asked to cancel the show in solidarity. 

Artists like Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, Pixies and others refuse to perform in Israel until that state to respect international law.Added to this campaign. 

Boycott Apartheid Israel! The BDS campaign claims the boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with the basic requirements of international law, ending the military occupation, the taking of land and construction of new settlements in Palestinian territories, respecting human rights and refugee return. International Campaign Site:

OPEN LETTER: Daniela Mercury Don't Play Apartheid Israel

45 Organizations in Brazil ask Daniela Mercury to cancel her gig in Tel Aviv.


Dear Daniela Mercury
            Friends from Palestine that love your music contacted us when they knew of your intention of performing a show in Israel next May.
            In the context of the call made in 2005 for a Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, inspired by the movement against the apartheid in South Africa, the Palestinian people asks all the renowned international artists to join the BDS movement canceling shows and presentations in Israel which promotes the continuation of the injustices of occupation.
            In October 2010 the South African leader Desmond Tutu, Nobel Prize of Peace for his struggle against the apartheid, appealed to the Opera of his country to cancel a presentation scheduled for Israel.  A show there harms the BDS campaign which intends to last until Israel accomplishes with the international law, ends the military occupation, the seizure of Palestinian lands and construction of colonies in these lands, respects human rights and the right of return of the expellee people to their lands and homes.
            A show in Israel is not a neutral act: it has a political message.  If an artist participate in this event he will be supporting violations of the international law and will project a false image of normality.  No excuse will hide the fact that he will cross an international picket supported by the civil society in Palestine and by peace loving peoples.  Actually, a message of fair peace given by the cancelation of your show will reach many more people, including Israelis. 
            Since the aggression of Israel to Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, leaving 1400 Palestinian dead and committing war crimes exposed by the Goldstone Report, many international artists refused to play in Israel.  Since the attack of the Israeli navy to a ship with humanitarian aid aiming to Gaza in May 2010, the number of these artists has grown.  Elvis Costello, Gil Scott Heron, Carlos Santana, Devendra Banhart and The Pixies are some that refused to perform in Israel this year.  Roger Waters is another example of a public person denouncing the violations of human rights in Israel and in his recent tour in Brazil he supported the BDS campaign.
            We ask you to join the crescent list of artists attending the boycott.  Desmond Tutu said that "if the apartheid was finished, this occupation will also be finished, but the international pressure and the moral strength must be similar." 
            We will be happy to deeper analyze this matter with you and support you in what be necessary.  We invite you to participate in this noble movement not only for the Palestinian people but for Humanity.
            With respect and admiration,
Front in Defense of the Palestinian People
União Democrática das Entidades Palestinas no Brasil
Comitê Catarinense de Solidariedade ao Povo Palestino
Comitê de Solidariedade à Luta do Povo Palestino do Rio de Janeiro
Centro Cultural Árabe-Palestino Brasileiro de Mato Grosso do Sul
Sociedade Árabe-Palestina de Corumbá 
Comitê Árabe-Palestino do Brasil
Sociedade Palestina de Santa Maria
Centro Cultural Árabe-Palestino Brasileiro do Rio Grande do Sul
Sociedade Palestina de Brasília
Sociedade Palestina de Chuí
Frente Palestina da USP (Universidade de São Paulo)
Sociedade Islâmica de Foz do Iguaçu
Sociedade Islâmica do Paraguai
Associação Islâmica de São Paulo
Coletivo de Mulheres Ana Montenegro
Movimento Mulheres em Luta
Marcha Mundial das Mulheres
PCB – Partido Comunista Brasileiro
PSTU – Partido Socialista dos Trabalhadores Unificado
MST – Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra
MTST – Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Teto e da Resistência Urbana – Frente Nacional de Movimentos
MDM – Movimento pelo Direito à Moradia / SP
MTL – Movimento Terra, Trabalho e Liberdade
Fepac – Federação Paulistana das Associações Comunitárias  
CUT – Central Única dos Trabalhadores
CSP-Conlutas – Central Sindical e Popular-Coordenação Nacional de Lutas
Mopat – Movimento Palestina para Tod@s
Ciranda Internacional da Comunicação Compartilhada
Assembleia Nacional dos Estudantes – Livre
Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos de São José dos Campos
Coletivo de Juventude dos Metalúrgicos do ABC
Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos da Grande Porto Alegre
Andes-SN – Sindicato Nacional dos Docentes do Ensino Superior
Sintusp – Sindicato dos Trabalhadores da USP (Universidade de São Paulo)
Apropuc – Associação dos Professores da PUC-SP (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo)
Sindicato dos Metroviários de São Paulo
Federação Nacional dos Metroviários
Grupo M19
SOS Racismo, Portugal
Movimento Pelos Direitos do Povo Palestino e pela Paz no Médio Oriente (Portugal)
Comitê de Solidariedade com a Palestina, Portugal
GAP - Grupo Acção Palestina, Porto, Portugal
Panteras Rosa - Frente de Combate à LesBiGay Transfobia, Portugal
Amyra El Khalili – economista
Clovis Pacheco Filho – sociólogo e jornalista
Claudio Daniel - poeta
To read the original Portuguese: 

Posted on 22-04-2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Anthony, Flea, Chad and Josh: The Red Hot Chili Peppers Should Respect Human Rights in Palestine

Will you tell The Red Hot Chili Peppers to cancel their trip to Israel?

We are asking BDS supporters to get the word out and tell Anthony, Flea, Chad and Josh of The Red Hot Chili Peppers to cancel their September 10, 2012 performance in Israel! See the letter urging them to respect Palestinian rights and not cross the international picket line:
Tweet the BDS message or post it to their facebook page,
Read Boycott From Within’s Tali Shapiro’s personal appeal for cancellationhere.
Use the sample tweets below or write your own.
Click “tweet now!” below the samples for automatic tweeting.
Dont entertain Israeli oppression @chilipeppers cancel ur gig & stand up for human rights #BDS #Palestine
Join AliceWalker, ElvisCostello, AngelaDavis, RogerWaters & more on the right side of history @chilipeppers #BDS
Denied the right to travel to Tel Aviv, Palestinians cant be “Standing in line to see the show tonight” @chilipeppers  #BDS
How long, how long will they slide? #Israel Walls&Settlements separate the WestBank side @chilipeppers Cancel ur gig on the Otherside #BDS tweet now!
We cant fly away on your Zephyr bc #Israel controls all Palestinian movement. Take a stand for EQUAL rights! @chilipeppers #BDS
Flood the Red Hot Chili Peppers' twitter!
Hashtag #RedHotChiliPeppers 
Tweet to @ChiliPeppers @flea333 @RHCPchad @JoshKlinghoffe
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Defy Injustice, Cancel Israel

Palestine in the Mainstream Media

Watch this 14 minute segment from last nights episode of "60 Minutes."  This show has a very high viewership, many Americans make it a tradition to gather together every Sunday night to watch and discuss the show.

Mainstream media in the USA rarely seeks to present Israeli apartheid for what it really is, but this 60 Minutes segment comes very close.  In 14 minutes, the plight of Palestinian Christians is introduced.  As a parallel, the fierce defense of Israel and its policies is revealed through Michael Oren.

For Israel, there could be serious economic consequences. According to Israeli government figures, tourism is a multi billion dollar business there. Most tourists are Christian. Many of them are American. That's one reason why Israelis are very sensitive about their image in the United States. And that could be why Ambassador Oren phoned Jeff Fager, the head of CBS News and executive producer of 60 Minutes, while we were still reporting the story, long before tonight's broadcast. He said he had information our story was quote: "a hatchet job."
Michael Oren: It seemed to me outrageous. Completely incomprehensible that at a time when these communities, Christian communities throughout the Middle East are being oppressed and massacred, when churches are being burnt, when one of the great stories in history is unfolding? I think it's-- I think it's-- I think you got me a little bit mystified.
Bob Simon: And it was a reason to call the president of-- chairman of CBS News?
Michael Oren: Bob, I'm the ambassador of the State of Israel. I do that very, very infrequently as ambassador. It's just-- that's an extraordinary move for me to complain about something. When I heard that you were going to do a story about Christians in the Holy Land and my assum-- and-- and had, I believe, information about the nature of it, and it's been confirmed by this interview today.
Bob Simon: Nothing's been confirmed by the interview, Mr. Ambassador, because you don't know what's going to be put on air.
Michael Oren: Okay. I don't. True.
Bob Simon: Mr. Ambassador, I've been doing this a long time. And I've received lots of reactions from just about everyone I've done stories about. But I've never gotten a reaction before from a story that hasn't been broadcast yet.
Michael Oren: Well, there's a first time for everything, Bob.
This mainstream presentation comes right after famed American travel guruRick Steves published his revelations of Israel. He wrote
"I've been duped.Do you know the frustration you feel when you believed in something strongly and then you realize that the information that made you believe was from a source with an agenda to deceive?I just watched a powerful and courageous documentary called Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land. It certainly has its own agenda and doesn't present balanced coverage. Still, it showed me how my understanding of the struggles in the Middle East has been skewed by most of our mainstream media. I saw how coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian problem is brilliantly controlled and shaped. I pride myself in understanding how the media works... and I find I've been bamboozled....
"In my view, many Palestinians live under inhumane conditions, and U.S. taxpayers help to make it happen. Please, watch this and then share your impressions. Criticism of Israel's policies is not automatically anti-Semitic (see J-Street for an example of a pro-Israel, pro-peace group). In fact, the irony is that for Israel's hard-liners, their clever PR strategy could be their own worst enemy. While Israel certainly deserves security on its land, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory (in Gaza and the West Bank) degrades Israel and drives Palestinians to desperation. The question of whether Israel is conducting a brutal military occupation or a reasonable defense against terrorism gets no real airtime. If we care about the long-term security of Israel, we have a responsibility to understand what our government is funding and supporting."
Steves in Iran "I was greeted by smiles. When I explained where I was from, the smiles got bigger. Hooking fingers seemed to be human nature—we can be friends and can get along." 

To watch the documentary that Rick Steves recommended, visit

Devendra Banhart: Remembering artists who respect the boycott

Looking back... in mid June, 2010, California-based folk artist Devendra Banhart cancelled two gigs he had planned to play in apartheid Israel.  
Banhart stated “We love the land and people of Israel, and have been looking forward to our third show there with unimaginable anticipation. Unfortunately, we tried to make it clear that we were coming to share a human and not a political message but it seems that we are being used to support views that are not our own,” Banhart and the band said in a message posted on their Myspace page late Monday night.
“We will be overjoyed to return to Israel on the day that our presence is perceived and reported on as a cultural event and not a political one. We truly hope that day comes soon,” they added.

Its almost two years later, and Banhart has not rescheduled.  Many thanks to this courageous musician and along with him, there are many people who also hope that change will come soon.


Friday, April 20, 2012

OPEN LETTER to Dr. L. Subramaniam: Do Not Endorse Israel's Apartheid

New Delhi, 
April 20th, 2012

Dear Dr. L. Subramaniam,
We understand that you are scheduled to participate in the Tel Aviv White City Music Festival, 2012, a festival sponsored by the Israel Ministry of Tourism and a company owned by the Tel Aviv municipality
We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in June 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel (see
In response to a recent boycott call from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (see appeal to participating writers on, the Indian Campaign urges you to withdraw your participation in this music festival. A number of conscientious musicians around the world are participants in this boycott, most recently Pink Floyd.
Doing otherwise would inadvertently lend a stamp of approval to Israeli policies of colonialism, apartheid and occupation.  This is especially given the festival’s ties to the Israeli political and cultural establishment, which uses the festival as an opportunity to rebrand Israel as a normal country by showing its “prettier face”--its vibrant cultural and artistic community. (See 
Should Israel be admitted into the global cultural arena when it does not respect international law and recognize the Palestinian people s right to freedom, equality and justice? At a time when the international movement to isolate Israel is gaining ground in response to the escalation of Israel’s colonial and racist policies, we urge you to reflect upon the ethical implications of your accepting an invitation to take part in such a festival.
Your participation would help whitewash Israel’s practices, making it appear as though business with Israel should go on as usual. We urge you not to lend your name to this propaganda exercise. Jerusalem epitomizes, in the starkest terms, the colonial and apartheid regime now in place in the occupied Palestinian territory.  We need not remind you of the ongoing and deepening Israeli campaign to confiscate Palestinian land and destroy more homes, to expand and build colonies in and around this city, and to block the access of Palestinians in the rest of the West Bank and the Gaza strip from their premier city by means of the apartheid Wall and other barriers to free movement.  In short, Israel is blocking all avenues to self-determination and freedom for Palestinians. Under these circumstances, pressure from the outside is the only viable way to push for change in Israel.
We, supporters of the Palestinian struggle in India and South Asia, call upon civil society in our region to support the Palestinian right to resist, without violence, an illegal occupation. The BDS position is a morally sound and effective means of struggle that challenges the world to force Israeli compliance with international law.
In the spirit of international solidarity and resistance to injustice and oppression, we call upon fellow Indians to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions by applying the following:
  1. Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions.
  2. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions.
  3. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions.
  4. Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations.
  5. Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.
  6. We urge the Indian government to forthwith cease all trade and military ties with Israel. We also urge all Indian Universities and research institutions to join the boycott.
History shows us that boycotts and sanctions can be effective. The most obvious example of the effectiveness of such campaigns is South Africa. After calling for boycott and sanctions against Israel in 2002, the South African Minister for Intelligence Services, Ronnie Kasrils, stated: “We in South Africa know about racial oppression. We fought it and defeated it because it was unjust… South Africa is an example of what is possible”.
For The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
  • Ayesha Kidwai (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Convenor)
  • Mohan Rao (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Convenor)
  • Gargi Sen (Filmmaker, Convener)
  • Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  • Anuradha Chenoy (Jawaharlal NehruUniversity)
  • Githa Hariharan (Writer)
  • Ritu Menon (Publisher)
  • Seema Mustafa (Journalist)
  • Pamela Philipose (Journalist)
  • Prabir Purkayastha (Engineer)
  • N. Pushpamala (Artist)
  • Achin Vanaik (Delhi University)