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PACBI-Appeal to Oumou Sangar to Cancel Israel Concert

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French BDS Campaign | September 25, 2011

Appeal to Oumou Sangar to Cancel Israel Concert

Oumou Sangaré,

On 9 December, you plan to give a concert at the Opera in Tel Aviv.

We are surprised that you, who are so committed to the respect of human dignity, would give a concert in a country that has been violating international law for so many years.

Oumou Sangaré, you know that while hundreds of music lovers may enjoy your voice in Tel Aviv, there will be thousands of others who will be deprived of it, because they will be relegated behind a wall of separation. 

The Palestinian people have long suffered the Israeli policy of apartheid, as it is deprived of its most fundamental rights: access to education, water, care... It is a colonized people in the West Bank, a people under siege in Gaza, a people discriminated against in Israel, a refugee people whose right to return has been recognized by the UN but never implemented by Israel. The international community turns a blind eye and the Israeli government is acting with impunity, with hundreds of civilians killed in 2009 during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, regular military incursions and dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank, inequality between Palestinian and Jewish citizens in Israel in many areas such as health, labor, public services, millions of uprooted Palestinian refugees around the world, peace activists killed at close range in the Freedom Flotilla in 2010... 

To address these injustices, all components of the Palestinian civil society have decided in 2005 to develop the “BDS” campaign. This is a call for boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel respects the international law. This struggle, inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid, has taken an international dimension and such campaigns to boycott the Israeli state are developing in all countries. 

Today, many artists have chosen not to perform in Israel until it changes its policy. Among the filmmakers, Ken Loach, Jean-Luc Godard, Meg Ryan, Dustin Hoffman or Mike Leigh; among the musicians, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Annie Lennox, Carlos Santana, Elvis Costello, Gil Scott-Heron, Gorillaz, The Pixies, Massive Attack, Gilles Vigneault, Lhasa, Vanessa Paradis and others, have recently canceled their performances in various Israeli cities.

Oumou Sangaré, your songs denounce violence against women, your texts are involved, your association promotes freedom, justice, the rights of children and women around the world: you cannot give a concert in a country where women are condemned to give birth at check points, where according to studies by the NGO "Human Rights Watch" a combination of discriminatory laws and lack of protection policy leaves Palestinian women and girls victims of violence virtually with no resort.

Oumou Sangaré, we ask you to join the artists who are boycotting Israel as long as it does not respect international law, and therefore to cancel your concert at the Opera of Tel Aviv.

We remain at your disposal for any further information.


The French BDS Campaign


21 ter rue Voltaire

75011 Paris

Posted on 11-10-2011

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