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PACBI-Die Antwoord: The answer is to stand with the oppressed, not the oppressor

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PACBI | 2016/05/23

Die Antwoord: The answer is to stand with the oppressed, not the oppressor

Dear Ninja (Watkin Tudor Jones), Yolandi Visser and DJ Hi-Tek

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is deeply disappointed to learn that you are scheduled to perform in Rishon Lezion on 8th June, 2016, while Israel continues with its oppression against the Palestinian people. [1] Ethnic cleansing of Palestinian communities in Jerusalem, the Naqab (Negev) and the Jordan Valley, building of illegal colonies on occupied Palestinian land, and ongoing medieval siege of 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza are among the direst aspects of this regime of oppression. We urge you not to associate with this regime of oppression by cancelling your scheduled concert in Israel.

Performing in Israel today is the equivalent of performing in Sun City in South Africa during the apartheid era. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has repeatedly declared that Israel created an apartheid system that is comparable to-- if not worse than -- the one that existed in South Africa [2]. Why would your band lend their name to such a regime? Tutu called on artists to heed the Palestinian cultural boycott call and refrain from performing in Israel. [3]

Aside from its occupation and denial of Palestinian refugee rights, Israel maintains more than 50 racist laws that discriminate against its “non-Jewish” citizens, the indigenous Palestinian citizens of the state. [4] Even the U.S. Department of State has criticized Israel’s “institutional, legal, and societal discrimination” against its Palestinian citizens. [5]

Two years ago, Israel committed what some world leaders considered a massacre against the besieged Palestinians in Gaza, killing more than 2,168 Palestinians, including over 500 children. [6] [7] Israel’s 51-day long assault wiped out entire families in their homes. [8] A racist Israeli chant mocked the hundreds of Palestinian children murdered by Israel during its massacre in Gaza: “Tomorrow there’s no school in Gaza, they don’t have any children left.” [9] The international community has continued to fail Palestinians by sheltering Israel from accountability and refusing justice to Palestinians. This has been a persistent pattern for decades. The Palestinian-led Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, inspired by the movement to help end apartheid in South Africa, aims to end Israeli impunity and to achieve Palestinian rights. Singing in Rishon Lezion would send Palestinians a message that our lives do not matter and our human rights are not worthy of consideration. Israel will use your performance to build legitimacy to and to distract attention from its violations of international law as it does with other international performances.

We are hopeful that as South Africans who understand the experience of oppression and discrimination and its legacy, you will heed our call and join the growing number of illustrious artists who have cancelled.[10] Palestinians believe that solidarity entails respecting our boycott call. We hope to one day invite you to perform and enjoy your music in a land free of apartheid but this can only be possible if people like you refuse to lend their good name to Israel’s crimes.

We note that our partners in South Africa have reached out to you for a meeting which we hope that you will consider.

PACBI and the broader BDS movement, representing the absolute majority of Palestinian civil society, appeal to you to respect our struggle. We ask you to uphold our strategy of nonviolent resistance and refrain from crossing a picket line called for by Palestinian civil society.

 We urge you to refuse to entertain Israeli apartheid.




[1] Rishon Lezion saw anti-miscegenation protests, a movement enjoying wide support and with official endorsement in Israel, a reminder of the worst aspects of South African apartheid





 [6] Brazil’s president and France’s foreign minister condemned Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2014 as a “massacre.”





Posted on 23-05-2016

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