From the Editors
[The following letter was issued on 7 September 2012 by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).]
Dear Mashrou' Leila:
We at the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) wish to salute you for your principled decision not to perform with RHCP, a band that insists on entertaining apartheid and violating the cultural boycott of Israel.
You have set a precedent and set the bar high for others to follow, and you have sent a message that bands who play in Israel should not be allowed to benefit from our markets. Today you prioritized your principles and commitment to human rights over immediate personal gains for your band. It is indeed rare to see this kind of altruistic commitment, and we thank you for it.
If you ever wish to discuss ways of promoting the cultural boycott of Israel, we are an email away. We really do hopethat this will usher in a new time where Arab musicians and, more importantly, promoters and producers, will insist on principled positions from foreign artists. The list of such principled artists in the world, those who have refused to be complicit in covering up Israel's occupation, colonization. and apartheid, is growing with Roger Waters, U2, Gil Scott Heron, Elvis Costello, Gorillaz Sound System, Coldplay, Tindersticks, Devendra Banhart, Vanessa Paradis, Faithless, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Cassandra Wilson, and many more, not to mention directors, filmmakers, academics and other cultural workers of great stature such as Ken Loach, Judith Butler and others. Still, there are those like RHCP who continue to ignore human rights and refuse to heed our call, but with your influence we hope we can reach out to more people--at your own time of course.
We also wish to clarify that we do not condone any threatening or offensive language used by any supporter of the Israel boycott. As a movement, we refuse to make threats or attack groups, and believe that our moral cause and morally-consistent campaigning are enough to sway principled people to stand with us.
We in PACBI are always looking to open doors with artists and build and strengthen communication on the basis of shared principles. We hope you'll join us as you engage with artists around the world in advocating for ethical and consistent resistance in the form of boycott.
With deep regard,
If you prefer, email your comments to email@example.com.
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