Pro-BDS activists call for Jennifer Lopez to cancel Tel Aviv concert

The BDS group has also presented a petition calling for the artist to boycott Israel in all its forms.

By
July 5, 2019 18:38
4 minute read.
Jennifer Lopez in Morocco

Jennifer Lopez at Mawazine festival. (photo credit: FADEL SENNA/ AFP)

An Israeli BDS group called "Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within" has recently penned a letter to pop-icon Jennifer Lopez in a attempt to persuade her to cancel her show in Tel Aviv this coming August.

The group who wrote the letter consists of Israeli citizens who oppose to "government’s policies of oppression, occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian people."

The BDS group has also presented a petition, stemming from another organization called Code Pink, calling for the artist to boycott Israel in all its forms.

"To understand why we are writing you, we would like to start off by saying that, much like Sun City in South Africa under the apartheid regime, the city of Tel Aviv, where you are about to perform, is used as a tool for marketing the State of Israel as a 'cool' and 'cultured' democracy, while hiding a brutal history of colonization, even that of the city itself," the letter wrote.

The letter continues saying that Tel Aviv itself sits "atop the ruins of Palestinian villages" that were desecrated or evacuated during the War of Independence of 1948 by Israeli soldiers, claiming that the act was an "ethnic cleansing," and that the colonization has continued in the West Bank since the Six Day War of 1967 while the Israeli government continues to expand their settlement projects and presence within the Palestinian Territory.

"In a statement for ABC News, you called for the people of Puerto Rico to be 'treated equally,' but Palestinians, both citizens of Israel and disenfranchised subjects of the Israeli occupation, are not treated equally," the group wrote. "In fact, within Israel itself, Palestinian citizens are subjected to over 65 laws denying them basic equality and civil and human rights, culminating in its most recent act of legislation called the ‘Nation-State Law‘, which enshrines Israel’s discrimination into its equivalent of a constitution.

The petition itself, located on the Code Pink website, has been signed by thousands of pro-BDS supporters.

"Palestinians living under Israel’s system of occupation, siege, and apartheid face a nightmare of daily humiliations: roads divided between Jews and Palestinians, a military court system where children are taken from their homes in the middle of the night and imprisoned and abuse," the petition reads, including that, "Since March 30, 2018, Israeli snipers have killed over 180 Palestinians in Gaza, including children, medics, journalists and the disabled."

In relation just last week, Brazilian music sensation Milton Nascimento, know for his unique style of incorporating samba, jazz, pop and heavy metal into his sets, admonished BDS activists calling for him to cancel his concert in Tel Aviv on Sunday.

Nascimento, who started recording in the 1960s is a major figure and still revered by the many citizens of Brazil as a musical icon.

"I will never abandon my public," he said, according to the Portuguese Rolling Stones. “Every artist should go where the people are, shouldn’t they? Even if I disagree with the ideas of a government, I will never abandon my audience.”

Major BDS activist and famous Pink Floyd front-man Roger Waters called on Nascimento to not perform in Tel Aviv, as he has done so many times in the past - most recently with Madonna performing at the Eurovision Contest that was held in Israel earlier this year.

In addition, a Palestinian advocacy organization wrote to the artist, "Your legacy of political rebellion, consistently speaking up for human rights and for justice, will be undermined by performing in an apartheid state that denies millions of indigenous Palestinians our basic rights.”

Nascimento further explained that his show was organized by a Brazilian company, so therefore, any accusation that he is contributing to "Israeli apartheid" is unfounded.

"This show does NOT have any incentive from the Israeli government, much less from the Israeli army. It's my Israeli fans who brought me here, and a lot of these fans are Brazilians living in Israel," he wrote.

The Brazilian artist compared the situation in his home country to the one in Israel, claiming that music is a powerful way to connect as well as speak up about important political issues, we may or may not agree with.

"During the Brazilian military dictatorship, I never stopped playing in my country, so why would I stop playing now, why would I stop sharing experiences of love and change while a far-right government happens in Brazil?," Nascimento said in a Facebook post.

"My music has already taken me to many places, some of which I never imagined. And I'm grateful for that. Very few times I declined an invitation," he said. "So, Why would I stop playing now? Why would you stop sharing experiences of love and change while an extreme right-wing government is taking place in Brazil?

"My question, which I leave here for the reflection of all: why should a people suffer retaliation for the political acts of its rulers? Should minorities continue to have no voice? For me, I repeat, the artist must go where the people are and today I am here to celebrate peace and everything that unites us. Live the love, live the music!," Nascimento concluded.

Lopez is set to perform in Tel Aviv August 1, 2019, headlining at the Hayarkon Park.


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