Singer Alicia Keys at the Superbowl 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jeff Haynes )
"It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists," American author, poet and activist Alice Walker said on Wednesday.
In an open letter, the author urged R&B singer Alicia Keys to cancel her planned July performance in Israel and join the cultural boycott of Israel.
Likening the situation to that of America before the Civil Rights Movement, Walker said that boycotting institutions and products can act as a nonviolent option to end an apartheid "less lethal than Israel's against the Palestinian people."
Walker stated it is the "only option left to artists who cannot bear the unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine."
Walker has been a long-time activist of Palestinian rights, and visited Gaza in 2008. In the open letter, she urged the singer to do the same, telling her to "sing to them of our mutual love of all children, and of their right not to be harmed simply because they exist."
Turning to America's support of Israel, the author claimed the Obama administration "in particular" supports a system that is "cruel, unjust, and unbelievably evil."
Days after Alicia Keys confirmed her performance, the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement begun to turn its cogs as websites, Facebook pages, and petitions urged Keys to cancel her plans to play in Tel Aviv.