Bruno Mars: Don’t play apartheid Israel.

Bruno Mars

Dear Bruno Mars,

We write as fans who sincerely believe in the power of  music to inspire. It is from this place of admiration and appreciation that we now write to you.

We are deeply troubled by the announcement of your upcoming shows in Tel Aviv, Israel at Yarkon Park, which is built on the lands of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village of Al-Shaykh Muwannis. We are urging you to cancel your shows in apartheid Israel just as all conscientious artists had done in apartheid South Africa.

Palestinian artists, cultural organizations and civil society at large have asked artists around the world to refuse to perform in apartheid Israel until Palestinians have full equality, freedom and justice. 

By playing in Tel Aviv, you would be crossing an international picket line. 

Whatever your intentions may be, Israel’s far-right government, its most racist, homophobic, and authoritarian ever, will embrace and promote your performance to whitewash, or art-wash, its crimes against Palestinians. It will be therefore seen by many worldwide as tacitly condoning the violence and oppression the extremist Israeli government commits against Palestinians every day.

The Israeli government and its right-wing support groups like Creative Community for Peace/StandWithUs explicitly use international artists’ performances in Israel as propaganda. 

Israel’s discriminatory and racist policies and practices have led Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, leading Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, and Palestinian human rights organizations to conclude that Israel imposes a system of apartheid against the Indigenous Palestinian people. This is a crime against humanity in international law. 

By joining a growing movement of artists — such as Sam Smith, Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Lauryn Hill and Big Thief in refusing to lend your name and art to covering up grave human rights violations — you could send a powerful message that the unjust status quo is unsustainable. Your decision to cancel your show would not only shine a spotlight on the injustice suffered by the Palestinian people but also inspire your fans and admirers worldwide to educate themselves about the reality on the ground and stand up for what is right.

Demi Lovato realized too late that her visit to Israel was being used by the Israeli government for political whitewashing of its oppression of the Palestinian people. She apologized after accepting a propaganda trip to Israel saying, “This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me, NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT and now I realize it hurt people and for that I’m sorry.”

In late 2014, the late Sinead O’Connor canceled her performance in Israel and said this: “Let’s just say that, on a human level, nobody with any sanity, including myself, would have anything but sympathy for the Palestinian plight. There’s not a sane person on Earth who in any way sanctions what the fuck the Israeli authorities are doing.” Explaining the original decision to play the gig, she said: “I didn’t realize – nor was I told by my booking agent or anyone else – that if I stepped foot there I would in fact be breaking this cultural boycott and may as well be shitting all over the Palestinian people.” In 1997, far-right agitator Itamar Ben Gvir took credit for a death threat campaign against O’Connor that forced her to cancel a peace concert in Jerusalem. He is now Israel’s Minister of National Security.

We urge you to reconsider your decision and cancel your performance in Tel Aviv. We believe that artists like you have the ability to affect lives and effect positive change around the world.

Please stand in solidarity with all Palestinians fighting for their human rights and dignity.


the Wire

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