'Don't perform on occupied land'

Peace activists urge Aviv Gefen to cancel appearance at Ahava festival.

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April 5, 2007 00:32
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Peace activists have called on singer Aviv Gefen to cancel his scheduled Friday night performance at the Ahava music festival, in the northern Dead Sea region over the Green Line, claiming that it was "not fitting for an artist who claims to support the cause of peace" to appear at an event held on "occupied land." Gush Shalom, which aims to influence Israeli public opinion and lead it towards peace and reconciliation with the Palestinians, said that Gefen's appearance at the annual rock music festival would "attract young Israelis who were traditionally left-wing and did not understand the political significance of the area where the festival is being held." Organization spokesman Adam Keller told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday that the Megilot Regional Council, which is organizing the festival, was "tricking" young Israelis by holding a music festival in an area that does not officially belong to Israel. "The Oslo Accords gave permission for a Palestinian factory to be set up in that region to take advantage of the only natural resources [in Palestine]," explained Keller, adding, "The main sponsor of the festival is the Ahava Cosmetics Company, which makes profits from exploiting the mineral resources at the occupied Palestinian part of the Dead Sea." Keller said that Gush Shalom had sent a message to Gefen earlier this week asking him to cancel his performance, but as yet had not received a response. Festival organizers and representatives of the artists were contacted for this story but as of press time had not responded.


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