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[Boycott - Cultural]

Alert 1st July 2015 - Vigil to ask Brazilian artists Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil to cancel apartheid Israel


inminds
26 June 2015




DATE: Wednesday 1st July 2015, 6pm
LOCATION: Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, 45 Queen Caroline St, London W6 9QH (near tube is Hammersmith)
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/956950181038697/


Please join us on 1st July 2015 at 6pm outside the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith to respectfully ask leading Brazilian artists Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil to keep true to the anti-racist Tropicália movement they helped found, by heeding the call of the oppressed Palestinians and boycott apartheid Israel by cancelling their scheduled gig in Tel Aviv on 28th July.

BACKGROUND

BDS Press Release 25 June 2015

Palestinian Civil Society, Roger Waters, Arch. Desmond Tutu and leading Brazilian Figures call on Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil not to entertain Israeli occupation and apartheid

I have myself witnessed the apartheid reality that Israel has created within its borders and in the occupied Palestinian territory. ... If we cannot, at the very least, heed the appeals of Palestinian society, to refrain from undermining their peaceful resistance and aspirations for a life without oppression, we will be abandoning our moral obligations. In situations of oppression, neutrality means taking the side of the oppressor

Archbishop Emeritus
Desmond Tutu


Sao Paulo, 25 June 2015 -- Major figures like Arch. Desmond Tutu, Roger Waters, Brazil's former Human Rights Minister and UN rapporteur Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, have written to the prominent Brazilian stars, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, asking them to cancel their performance in Israel. The current Brazilian Minister of Culture, Juca Ferreira, said: “if I were in their place, I wouldn’t go.”

As soon as Veloso and Gil announced their plans to perform in Tel Aviv, as part of their European tour, the Palestinian-led, global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) launched a campaign in Brazil and Palestine calling on them to stand on the right side of history and cancel their concert in apartheid Israel. Brazilian social movements and thousands of activists have also asked the artists to drop Tel Aviv.

Veloso and Gil’s Tel Aviv gig, scheduled for July 28, will come days after the first anniversary of Israel's bloodbath in the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014, which was condemned as a "massacre" against Palestinian civilians by the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff . A recently published UN report concluded that Israel may have committed war crimes during its 51-day assault on Gaza.

In its appeal to Caetano and Gil, the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) reminded them that performing in Tel Aviv would associate them with a regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid that is pursuing the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinians.

Desmond Tutu wrote, “I have myself witnessed the apartheid reality that Israel has created within its borders and in the occupied Palestinian territory. ... If we cannot, at the very least, heed the appeals of Palestinian society, to refrain from undermining their peaceful resistance and aspirations for a life without oppression, we will be abandoning our moral obligations. In situations of oppression, neutrality means taking the side of the oppressor".

Roger Waters wrote, “Just as musicians weren’t going to play Sun City, increasingly we’re not going to play Tel Aviv. There is no place today in this world for another racist, apartheid regime.”

The former Brazilian Human Rights Minister, UN rapporteur and member of Brazil’s National Truth Commission, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, wrote: “[F]or the recognition you both have in Brazil and all around the world, … for your moral authority for having resisted the dictatorship and for being fighters against censorship, I dare asking you not to perform in Israel.”

In response to Roger Waters’s letter, Caetano wrote: “I would gladly give it all up if I were certain that it was the right thing to do. I must think for myself, make my own mistakes.”

Besides Roger Waters, prominent international artists like Lauryn Hill, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dog, Carlos Santana, Coldplay, Lenny Kravitz, Cassandra Wilson, Cat Power, Marinah, and Faithless, have all cancelled their performances in Israel. This week, Thurston Moore, founding member of Sonic Youth, confirmed his support for the cultural boycott of Israel, following his cancellation of a performance in Tel Aviv earlier this year.



LETTER FROM PACBI

26 May 2015

Caetano and Gil: Be true to the Tropicalia way Stand with the oppressed and refrain from entertaining Israeli apartheid and occupation

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is deeply troubled to learn that you are scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on July 28, 2015, while Israel continues unabatedly with its severe oppression against the Palestinian people. Ethnic cleansing of Palestinian communities in Jerusalem, the Naqab (Negev) and the Jordan Valley, building illegal colonies on occupied Palestinian land, and continuing the 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 Tel Aviv.

There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.

Elvis Costello,
after cancelling soldout performance in Tel Aviv in 2010


Performing in Israel today is the equivalent of performing in Sun City in South Africa during the apartheid era. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who Gil mentions in one of his songs in support of the black South African struggle against apartheid, has repeatedly declared that Israel created an apartheid system that is comparable if not worse to the one that existed in South Africa [1]. Why would two conscientious artists like yourselves lend their name to such a regime?

Aside from its occupation and denial of Palestinian refugee rights, Israel maintains more than 50 racist laws that discriminate against its “nonJewish” citizens, the indigenous Palestinian citizens of the state. [2] Even the U.S. Department of State has criticized Israel’s “institutional, legal, and societal discrimination” against its Palestinian citizens. [3]

Your scheduled concert would fall right after the first anniversary of Israel’s 2014 massacre in Gaza. This past summer, Israel committed what some world leaders considered a massacre [4] against the besieged Palestinians in Gaza, killing more than 2,168 Palestinians, including over 500 children. [5] Israel’s 51day long assault annihilated entire families in their homes. [6] All what remains of these families are the official records documenting that they ever existed. 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.” [7] Singing in Tel Aviv, some 70 km away from the besieged Gaza Strip, would send all Palestinians the message that our lives do not matter and ourhuman rights are not worthy of consideration.

Today, the latest target of Israel’s racist policies are the approximately 60,000 African migrants and asylum seekers who have crossed into the country for shelter from persecution and abject poverty in their home countries. Instead of offering them protection, Israel regards the African migrants as a “cancer” and a threat to the “character of the Jewish identity of the state.” [8] Under its repressive laws African asylum seekers can be imprisoned for up to a year and unlawfully offered a small monetary sum to leave the country. [9]

The struggles of the indigenous Palestinians and the African asylum seekers would be best served if you to stake a principled stance against Israel’s racist and colonial oppression by refusing to entertain Israeli apartheid. Please do not perpetuate the silence and the wall of denial that stops the world from seeing the daily realities of degradation, racial terror, land theft, ethnic cleansing that we Palestinians are struggling against, and similarly prevent people from acknowledging the racist exclusion and repression that African asylum seekers are resisting.

In 1969, both of you were imprisoned by the Brazilian military government because of the political content of your songs and you were only able to write your music freely while in exile in London. Millions of Palestinians are now languishing under Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid. More than 5,000 are in Israeli prisons, of whom at least 500 are children. [10] We hence, appeal to you as we have appealed to conscientious artists all over the world to refrain from playing in Israel, as was done against apartheid South Africa, until it recognizes our rights under international law.

Your Tropicalia Way stands against racism and for social justice,so do not offerIsrael a fig leaf to cover its human rights violations with. As Elvis Costello wrote, after cancelling a scheduled, soldout performance in Tel Aviv in 2010:

“There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.” [11]

Aside from Elvis Costello, prominent international artists from Roger Waters, Sting, the late Gil Scott Heron, Snoop Dog, Carlos Santana, Coldplay, Lenny Kravitz, Cassandra Wilson, Cat Power, Lauryn Hill and Faithless, among others, have all cancelled their performances in Israel.

PACBI and the broader BDS movement, representing the absolute majority of Palestinian civil society, thus 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 society, endorsed by international organizations, and increasingly supported by progressive Israelis [12].

We urge you to heed our call by refusing to entertain Israeli apartheid.

Sincerely,
PACBI

www.pacbi.org
pacbi@pacbi.org


Notes:
[1] http://www.tutu.org.za/archbishoptutuaddsvoicetoisraeliapartheidweek9march2014
[2] http://adalah.org/eng/IsraeliDiscriminatoryLawDatabase
[3] http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/nea/154463.htm
[4] Brazil’s president and France’s foreign minister condemned Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2014 as a “massacre.”
[5] http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10491:statisticsvictimsoftheisraelioffensiveongazasince08july2014&catid=145:infocus
[6] http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10561:onthe27thdayoftheisraelioffensiverafahunderisraelifirewarcrimescommittedagainstpalestiniancivilianscompletefamiliesannihilated&catid=36:pchrpressreleases&Itemid=194
[7] http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/aliabunimah/gazagraveyardsingjoyfulisraeliyouths
[8] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/19/spafricanmigrantsspeakoutaboutlifeinisraeldetentioncentresholot
[9] Ibid
[10] http://www.dcipalestine.org/issues_military_detention
[11] http://www.elviscostello.com/news/itisafterconsiderablecontemplation/44
[12] http://boycottisrael.info/



LETTER FROM ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS DESMOND TUTU

12 June 2015

Dear Caetano and Gil,

Without the international isolation of the apartheid regime in South Africa, including support for the cultural boycott, we could not have reached our freedom.

Archbishop Emeritus
Desmond Tutu

I am writing to you to urge you not to perform in Israel while it continues its occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian people. When a leading South African music group insisted on ignoring appeals from Palestinian civil society to cancel a performance in Tel Aviv, I wrote to them: “Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong for Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel.”

We South Africans suffered decades of apartheid and can recognize it in other places. I have myself witnessed the apartheid reality that Israel has created within its borders and in the occupied Palestinian territory. I have seen the occupied, colonized and racially segregated streets in Hebron, the Jewish-only colonies, and I have walked by the Wall that divides Palestinian families in Bethlehem and denies their children normal access to school. I have seen the racialized ID systems, different-color car plates, and the racial laws that discriminate against Palestinians. My dearest Caetano and Gil, I have seen Israeli apartheid in action.

But I have also experienced the nonviolent struggle of the Palestinian people to end the regime of oppression that denies them their rights and dignity. They have appealed to the world to apply pressure on Israel, as was done against apartheid South Africa, to end the occupation and violations of international law. I have supported their nonviolent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks justice, freedom and equality for all.

If we cannot, at the very least, heed the appeals of Palestinian society, to refrain from undermining their peaceful resistance and aspirations for a life without oppression, we will be abandoning our moral obligations. In situations of oppression, neutrality means taking the side of the oppressor.

Without the international isolation of the apartheid regime in South Africa, including support for the cultural boycott, we could not have reached our freedom. Conscientious artists who refused to play Sun City contributed to our march for freedom, and we deeply appreciated their solidarity. You yourselves stood with us in the face of apartheid. So can you support the Palestinian pursuit of dignity and rights.

Your performance is scheduled next month, a year after the latest brutal Israeli attack on the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinian sisters and brothers were killed and many more remain homeless. At that time, I witnessed the biggest demonstrations we ever had in South Africa since we liberated our country from apartheid. The streets of Cape Town were taken by thousands of South African men and women, young and older, standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

You, Gil, even sang for us, “Make red all the blue blood.” You sang for “the lord of the African jungle,” saying it is “sister of the American jungle.” I add, our jungles are also sisters of the occupied Palestinian Jordan valley, of the olive trees in Jerusalem, and of the citrus orchards of the Holy Land.

I appeal to you to cancel your performance in Israel until the time when freedom reigns and your music cannot be exploited by an oppressive regime to cover up and perpetuate oppression. Only then can all Palestinians -- and Israelis -- live without oppression and truly enjoy your music.

God bless you.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
Cape Town, South Africa




LETTER FROM DE PAULO SERGIO PINHEIRO, BRAZIL'S FORMER HUMAN RIGHTS MINISTER

Carta aberta a Gilberto Gil e Caetano Veloso

de Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro
Ex-ministro de Direitos Humanos do Brasil, membro da Comissão Nacional da Verdade e relator de direitos humanos da ONU

Há pouco mais de duas semanas, enviei uma carta a você, caro amigo Gilberto Gil, somando-me a esse apelo, organizado pelo movimento de Boicote, Desinvestimento e Sanções (BDS), para que você e Caetano Veloso não fossem se apresentar em Israel. Faço, agora, público esse meu pedido.

Escrevi minha carta, devo dizer, ouvindo à sua canção, Gil, “Oração pela libertação da África do Sul”. Pois, efetivamente, o que está ocorrendo em Israel hoje é o aprofundamento de um regime de discriminação e racismo em que os árabes israelenses e os palestinos, nos territórios ocupados ilegalmente faz 58 anos, são tratados como cidadãos de segunda categoria.

Tive oportunidade de testemunhar recentemente essa situação, hoje extremamente agravada, quando visitei Belém, Ramallah e a faixa de Gaza. Os postos de controle para os palestinos entrarem e saírem de Israel são verdadeiras estruturas de selecionar gado. O muro que as vezes chega a 8 metros, cortou comunidades, e para cruza-lo, os palestinos são submetidos ao pleno arbítrio.

Muitas crianças precisando ir à escola do outro lado do muro, são obrigadas a esperarem horas até que possam passar. O impacto da violência e conflitos sobre elas é particularmente preocupante, impedindo o gozo de seus direitos e impedindo o seu desenvolvimento normal.

Nos últimos anos, há uma média anual de 700 crianças presas, muitas vezes espancadas e submetidas a tortura, submetidas a cortes militares. São regularmente detidas e julgadas por delito de jogar pedras, cuja pena é baseada no número e tamanho das pedras. A defesa legal das crianças é praticamente inexistente.

Gaza, já se disse, era e continua a ser uma prisão a céu aberto - antes e depois do último conflito com Israel. Nesta última ofensiva, além da morte de 2000 palestinos, mais de 113.000 casas foram destruídas. Ademais, o bloqueio por Israel continua.

Na Cisjordânia - ainda que pelos acordos de Oslo Israel tenha se comprometido a não expandir sua presença nos territórios atribuídos à a Autoridade Palestina - a realidade é que o Estado aumentou o número de barreiras, de postos de controle, dificultando cada vez mais a circulação dos palestinos enquanto promove a expansão e manutenção de assentamentos ilegais.

A essa situação se somam ameaças decorrentes de outras políticas e práticas relacionadas com a ocupação israelense. A violência, intimidação e assédio por parte de colonos na Cisjordânia, incluindo Jerusalém Oriental, hoje alvo da expansão ilegal de colônias de Israel, merece atenção.

Há uma falta de esforços suficientes pelas autoridades israelenses para investigar e garantir a investigação das violações do direito internacional humanitário e dos direitos humanos por parte das forças israelenses durante as operações militares e por parte de colonos israelenses que praticam atos de violência contra civis palestinos e sua propriedade. A falta de investigação eficaz e julgamento de atos violentos resulta em uma cultura de impunidade desde que se trate de soldados ou colonos israelenses.

Enquanto isso, civis palestinos continuam a ser submetidos a restrições à sua liberdade por parte das autoridades israelenses: a atual prática de detenção administrativa - detenção, sem acusação ou julgamento - pelas autoridades israelenses é de particular preocupação. Os maus-tratos de crianças palestinas sob detenção israelense, como já mencionei, é generalizada, sistemática e institucionalizada em todo o processo de prisão, julgamento e condenação.

Essas práticas contam, cada vez mais, com o apoio generalizado da população de Israel. A recente vitória nas eleições parlamentares a uma coalizão de direita e extrema-direita é um reflexo desse apoio. Chegando-se a ponto de dois ministros do novo governo israelense preconizarem, simplesmente, a extinção dos palestinos.

Eminentes jornalistas israelenses críticos da ocupação da Palestina, como o jornalista Gideon Levy, são obrigados a viver sob a proteção de guarda costas. Mesmo nas forças armadas, há vozes denunciando o desrespeito das convenções de Genebra nos ataques de Israel contra Gaza, vários soldados na iniciativa “Breaking the silence” testemunham sobre as atrocidades que foram obrigados a perpetrar contra a população de Gaza.

Também na área mais ligada a mim: as universidades. Vale ressaltar que, especialmente aquelas instituições nas áreas de ciências exatas e técnicas, estão ligadas às atividades militares israelenses.

Diante desse quadro de coisas, intelectuais, artistas, acadêmicos dentro e fora de Israel acreditam, como eu, que se impõe um boicote a Israel.

Desde abril de 2004, a Campanha Palestina pelo Boicote Acadêmico e Cultural de Israel (PACBI), instou os intelectuais e acadêmicos de todo o mundo para " abrangente e consistente boicotar todas as instituições acadêmicas e culturais israelenses como uma contribuição para a luta para acabar com a ocupação , colonização e do sistema de apartheid de Israel ".

Muitas universidades e departamentos acadêmicos, cientistas, e professores têm se recusado a participar em Israel de congressos ou de colaborar em intercâmbio intelectual. Há centenas de artistas, músicos, muitos certamente conhecidos por vocês, que se recusam – atendendo inclusive a apelos de Desmond Tutu - a se apresentar em Israel.

Ouvindo sua bela canção, Gil, sobre o apartheid na África do Sul, creio que a mesma atitude, por solidariedade aos palestinos, deve ser assumida por vocês, recusando-se a se apresentar em Israel.

Pelo exemplo, pelo reconhecimento que vocês têm no Brasil e em todo o mundo, pela influência que vocês exercem junto a milhões de jovens, pela autoridade moral de resistentes à ditadura militar e de lutadores contra a censura, ouso pedir a vocês que não se apresentem em Israel. O exemplo de vocês dois será uma enorme contribuição para aumentar no Brasil e no mundo a consciência sobre o apartheid na Palestina e a solidariedade com o povo palestino.

Desse velho admirador,

Abraços fortes do

Paulo

LETTER FROM ROGER WATERS (PINK FLOYD)

Roger Waters, NYC 22nd May 2015,

Dear Caetano and Gilberto,

I read the history of your personal and professional struggles, I am reminded of all the struggles of all the peoples who have resisted imperial, military and colonial rule down the millennia, who have fought for 'the imprisoned and the dead.' It has never been easy, but it has always been right.. Dear Gilberto and Caetano, 'The imprisoned and the dead' reach out, please, join us in this by cancelling your gig in Israel.

Roger Waters


I look at your photographs, I listen to your music, I read the history of your personal and professional struggles, I am reminded of all the struggles of all the peoples who have resisted imperial, military and colonial rule down the millennia, who have fought for 'the imprisoned and the dead.' It has never been easy, but it has always been right.

In one of your songs, Gil, you mention Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I do not speak Portuguese, but I am assuming you both applaud Archbishop Tutu's resistance to the racism and apartheid that was eventually overthrown in South Africa. Those were heady days when the worldwide community of artists stood shoulder to shoulder with their oppressed brothers and sisters in Africa. We, the musicians, led the charge then, in support of Nelson Mandela, the ANC, the oppressed African people and all ‘the imprisoned and the dead.’

We face a similarly momentous opportunity now. We stand at a tipping point. Those of us who are convinced that the right to a decent human life, and to political self determination, should be universal are, in concert with 139 voting Nations at the General Assembly of the United Nations, now focused on Palestine.

In the wake of last summer’s brutal Israeli attack on the Palestinian people in Gaza, public opinion has, quite rightly, swung in favor of the victims, in favor of the oppressed and disenfranchised, in favor of 'the imprisoned and the dead.'

Israeli Prime Minister Netenyahu, with his teetering far-right government, reminds me of the story of The Emperor's New Clothes; there surely never was a cabinet more nakedly exposed in their calumny than this. They damn themselves with every breath they take, every racist speech they make. "Look Mummy, The Emperor has no clothes!"

I had occasion recently to write a letter to a young English entertainer, Robbie Williams; I shared with him the fate of four young Palestinians playing soccer on the beach in Gaza who were killed by an Israeli artillery shell. Why would I bring up a beach and soccer? Why? Because I love Brazil, I have Ipanema Beach in my mind's eye; I remember gigs I have done in Sao Paulo, Porto Allegro, Manaus and Rio. How could I ever forget them? I have a football shirt, signed, "To Roger from your Fan Pele".

When I was last there, an innocent child had just been killed, dragged behind a car by criminals escaping the scene of a crime. The national remorse was palpable, it was all encompassing, you, all of you, cared for that poor kid. In so many ways, you are a beacon of light to the rest of the world.

As you know, international artists concerned about human rights in apartheid South Africa refused to cross the picket line to play Sun City. In those days, Little Steven, Bruce Springsteen and 50 or so other musicians protested against the vicious, racist oppression of the indigenous peoples of South Africa. Those artists helped win that battle, and we, in the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality, will win this one against the similarly racist and colonialist policies of the Israeli government of occupation. We will continue to press forward in favor of equal rights for all the peoples of the Holy Land. Just as musicians weren’t going to play Sun City, increasingly we’re not going to play Tel Aviv. There is no place today in this world for another racist, apartheid regime.

When all this is over, we will go to the Holy Land, we will sing our songs of love and solidarity, we will gaze at the stars through the leaves of the olive trees, we will smell the wood smoke from the fires of our hosts, we will treasure the legendary hospitality. But, until this is over, until all the people are free, we will plant our emblem in the sand, there is a line we will not cross, we will not entertain in the court of the tyrant king.

Dear Gilberto and Caetano, 'The imprisoned and the dead' reach out, please, join us in this by cancelling your gig in Israel.

2ND LETTER FROM ROGER WATERS

To The Editor

Last month I wrote to Caetano and Gil, I received no reply, but I gather they will cross the picket line and perform in Tel Aviv. So be it. They may have compelling reasons they are keeping to themselves. In my letter to them I spoke of soccer and beaches and human rights and dreams. Here is a story of dreams and soccer. Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, two promising young footballers, dreamed of one day playing professional soccer, maybe even of one day pulling on their country’s shirt. On Jan 31st as they were walking home from a training session in the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium in al-Ram in the central West Bank, Israeli forces opened fire without warning.

Jawar was hit seven times in his left foot and three times in his right foot. Halabiya was shot once in his left foot and once in his right foot. Doctors at Ramallah governmental hospital say the pair will never kick a soccer ball again, in fact it will take six months of treatment before doctors can evaluate if they will ever be able to walk again. These two young men were not charged with any offence, and there has been no enquiry into the actions of the soldiers responsible for their crippling injuries. So, Caetano and Gil, Jawar and Halabiya will not be attending your concert in Tel Aviv, however the men who shot them are free to attend if they so wish.

Roger Waters
June 7th 2015 NYC


CAETANO'S REPLY TO ROGER WATERS


Dear Roger,

About a month ago we got your letter through Pedro Charbel, a young Brazilian who joined the BDS movement. In fact, Pedro came to my house, where he met Gil and me together with our managers accompanied of a young BrazilianIsraeli girl, Iara Haasz, a Jew (who also is with BDS), to ask us to cancel our concert in Tel Aviv next month. Before that we had received a letter from an important Brazilian human rights militant with the same plea. Today we got another one, this time from Desmond Tutu himself (he had been quoted in yours as well as in all the other letters and messages we got about the subject). I will try and answer him too.

I would gladly give it all up if I were certain that it was the right thing to do. I must think for myself, make my own mistakes.

Caetano Veloso


When South Africa was under the apartheid regime, and I heard of artists who refused to perform there, I kind of automatically agreed with such a decision. The complicated situation in the Middle East doesn't show me the same kind of black-and-white image that South Africa's official, open racism gave me back then. I told Charbel how I feel about it. He seemed to find, like you, it hard to believe that people like Gil and I would not dismiss the invitation from Israeli's producers and audiences (the concert is sold out), after hearing what he had to tell us about the Israel-Palestine relationship's truly somber aspects. I must tell you, as I did him, how strongly is my heart against the rightwing, arrogant positions of Israel's government. I hate the occupation policy, the inhuman decisions Israel has made in what Netanyahu tells us is their country's self defense. And I think most Israelis who are interested in our music must tend to react similarly to their country's politics.

Here's how I told a Brazilian journalist who asked me here how I would, in a short sentence, answer your pledge: I have sung in the USA during the Bush administration and that didn't mean I approved of the invasion of Iraq. I had written and recorded a song that opposed the politics that led to the Guantanamo prison and sang it in New York and LA.

I intend to learn more about what goes on in Israel right now. I would never cancel a concert to say I am basically against a country, unless I were really and fullheartedly against it. Which is not the case. I remember when Israel was a place of hope. Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir died pro Israel.

Gilberto Gil told me he has been advised to cancel concerts in Israel before but he refused to do so, even after the terrible events of July 2014. As for me, I would like to see Palestine and Israel as two sovereign States. And understand that Israel must listen to the reactions from abroad. The United Nations, many governments, and even artists, such as you, are saying Israel risks being more and more isolated if it goes on in its reactionary policies. Sometimes I think it may be counterproductive if Israel is really isolated. I mean, if one looks for peace. I have many doubts about such a complex matter.

Charbel knows what a production problem would be for us to cancel a concert that's already announced and sold. But I would gladly give it all up if I were certain that it was the right thing to do. I must think for myself, make my own mistakes. I thank you and many others for the attention and for the effort to clarify my mind about politics in that region. I will always speak the truth of my thoughts and feelings, and if I were to cancel this gig just to please people I admire, I would not be free to take my own decisions. I'll sing in Israel and go on paying attention to what happens there. Netanyahu dind't win easily the last election. I think my singing there is neutral for the country's politics, but if my songs, voice and sheer presence could help Israelis who don't agree with oppression and injustice in a word, to feel farther from voting for people like him I'd be happy.

Sorry for my poor English: I seldom speak the language, am busy and got a bad cold. Thank you again.

Caetano Veloso.

LETTER FROM BRAZILIAN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

12 de junho de 2015

Queridos Gilberto Gil e Caetano Veloso,

Como admiradores de longa data da sua música e como ativistas, ficamos incomodados ao saber que vocês possuem um show marcado em Tel Aviv no dia 28 de julho, durante sua turnê pela Europa. Esse mês coincide com o aniversário de um ano do último massacre ocorrido em Gaza, no qual Israel assassinou mais de 2.200 palestinos e palestinas. A repressão, opressão e limpeza étnica seguem na Cisjordânia, Faixa de Gaza e mesmo dentro de Israel. Imigrantes e refugiados africanos no país também sofrem as consequências de políticas racistas institucionalizadas por esse Estado.

Como parte do chamado da sociedade civil palestina feito em 2005 por Boicote, Desinvestimentos e Sanções (BDS), e inspirado pelo boicote cultural ao apartheid na África do Sul, o povo palestino pede que artistas internacionais cancelem shows e eventos em Israel. No dia 8 de maio foi lançada, no Brasil, a campanha #CancelaCaetanoeGil, pela página “Tropicália não combina com apartheid”. Nós, movimentos sociais e organizações da sociedade civil, nos somamos a esse chamado.

Performances em Israel só servem para normalizar uma situação injusta e igualar o ocupante ao ocupado e o opressor ao oprimido, promovendo, portanto, a continuação da injustiça. É apoio, mesmo que tácito, às políticas de apartheid, colonização e ocupação perpetradas por Israel. Um show em Tel Aviv enfraquece a chamada por BDS. Devemos pressionar o Estado israelense até que esse cumpra com os requisitos básicos do direito internacional: pondo fim ao apartheid, à ocupação militar, à tomada de terras e à construção de novas colônias na Palestina, respeitando os direitos humanos e os direitos dos refugiados de retorno às suas terras.

A participação em um show em Israel não é um ato neutro, desprovido de qualquer mensagem política. Como disse o falecido historiador estadunidense Howard Zinn: você não pode ser neutro em um trem em movimento. Ao participar de um evento em Israel, vocês estarão apoiando a campanha israelense para encobrir violações do direito internacional e projetar uma imagem falsa de normalidade. Qualquer afirmação política crítica durante a participação de vocês nesse evento seria, igualmente, ofuscada pelo fato de que estão atravessando um piquete internacional.

Muitos artistas internacionais vêm se recusando a tocar em Israel, assim como muitos se recusavam a tocar na África do Sul. Elvis Costello, Gil Scott Heron, Carlos Santana, Roger Waters, Devendra Banhart, os Pixies e, mais recentemente, a estrela do hip hop Lauryn Hill. No Reino Unido, mais de 700 artistas anunciaram no começo deste ano que " não aceitarão convites profissionais a Israel, nem financiamento de nenhuma instituição ligada ao governo israelense, até que este cumpra com o direito internacional e os princípios universais dos direitos humanos". Esses são apenas alguns exemplos. Pedimos que vocês se juntem a essa longa e crescente lista.

O Tribunal Russell sobre Palestina classificou o regime imposto aos palestinos por Israel como de apartheid institucionalizado, com base no direito internacional e tomando como exemplo a segregação vivida por negros na África do Sul até os anos 1990. Reconhecendo essa situação, em outubro de 2011, o sulafricano Desmond Tutu, consagrado com o Prêmio Nobel da Paz por sua luta contra o apartheid, apelou à ópera de seu país para cancelar uma apresentação agendada em Israel. O ativista sulafricano Ronnie Kasrils, exministro de Nelson Mandela, classificou o apartheid a que estão submetidos os palestinos por Israel como ainda mais grave do que o que os negros viveram na África do Sul.

No curso da história, sempre que nossos governos não conseguem deter graves violações de direitos humanos, nós temos a responsabilidade de fazêlo. O sulafricano Desmond Tutu disse que "se o apartheid na África do Sul terminou, essa ocupação também terminará, mas a força moral e a pressão internacional terão de ser tão determinadas quanto". A chamada palestina para o BDS chega a partir da sociedade civil palestina a todo o mundo, incluindo israelenses, para aderir a esse movimento de libertação.

Nosso movimento é por justiça, liberdade e igualdade. Ficaremos felizes em discutir isso mais a fundo com vocês e apoiálos no quer for necessário. Nós estamos simplesmente pedindo que não prejudiquem esse movimento de apoio global aos direitos humanos e o direito internacional. Com todo o respeito pelo seu legado de resistência na ditadura civilmilitar brasileira, comprometimento com a liberdade e contra o racismo no mundo, nós lhes convidamos a participar desse movimento. Por favor, cancelem seu show em Israel.

Assinam:

BDS Brasil
Anel Assembleia
Nacional dos Estudantes Livre
Assisp Associação
Islâmica de São Paulo
Campanha Global pelo Retorno a Palestina Brasil
Cebrapaz – Centro Brasileiro de Solidariedade aos Povos e Luta pela Paz
Ciranda Internacional de Comunicação Compartilhada
Comitê Brasileiro em Defesa dos Direitos do Povo Palestino
Comite Catarinense de Solidariedade ao Povo Palestino
Comitê de Solidariedade à Luta do Povo Palestino do Rio de Janeiro
Comitê de Solidariedade ao Povo Palestino do Abcdmrr/SP
Comitê de Solidariedade ao Povo Palestino Bahia
Comitê PróHaiti
Comitê Santa Mariense de Solidariedade ao Povo Palestino
Comitês da Palestina Democrática – Brasil
CSPConlutas
Central
Sindical e Popular
CUT Brasil – Central Única dos Trabalhadores
Frente em Defesa do Povo Palestino
MML Movimento
Mulheres em Luta
MMM Marcha
Mundial das Mulheres
MST – Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra
MTST Movimento
dos Trabalhadores SemTeto
Núcleo de Estudos Gamal Abdel Nasser Centro
Universitário Fundação Santo André/SP
Organização Indígena Revolucionária
PCB – Partido Comunista Brasileiro
PSTU Partido
Socialista dos Trabalhadores Unificado
Quilombo Raça e Classe
Tribunal Popular
Via Campesina Brasil

 


LIVE UPDATES DURING PROTEST

We will, inshAllah, be tweeting live (hash tags #CancelaCaetanoeGil #BDS ) from the protest with live photos being uploaded to our twitter and facebook page. So if you can't join us on the day, please help us by sharing the photos as they get uploaded.

https://www.facebook.com/inmindscom

https://twitter.com/InmindsCom

If you support this activity please share this alert widely, thank you.

JazakAllah,
Abbas Ali

www.inminds.com
fb.com/inmindscom
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Source: www.inminds.com


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