Open letter to Joseph Tawadros to apply BDS

The following letter was written by Australian Artists Against Apartheid:

December 22nd, 2010

Dear Joseph Tawadros,

We are writing in advance of your planned performance in the apartheid state of Israel, which we hope you will cancel. The Red Sea Winter Jazz Festival (RSWJF) is sponsored by the Israeli government, which additionally sponsors the dispossession of Palestinians from their homes, and many laws discriminating against “non-Jews” in a segregated and undemocratic apartheid system.

State-culture propaganda initiatives, such as the RSWJF serve to brand Israel to the world as a “vibrant cultural hub”, while it continues its profitable human rights violations and colonialism on the ground.

In response to decades of oppression under Israeli apartheid, coupled with the failure of international institutions to support their quest for equal rights and justice, the Palestinian people have called for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (see BDS movement) until Israel is in compliance with international law and human rights conventions.

Given Israel’s extensive use of cultural propaganda, the BDS movement includes a campaign for cultural boycott. A multitude of artists, including renowned musicians such as Elvis Costello, Gil Scott-Heron, and Santana, have heeded the boycott call and canceled planned performances in Israel. All international artists appearing at the RSWJF would violate two key criteria of the cultural boycott of Israel: (1) By performing at a state sponsored event and (2) By performing at an apartheid venue in Israel.

Please cancel your upcoming appearance at RSWJF and help to realize equal rights and justice in Palestine-Israel. By heeding the Palestinian call for international solidarity we can stop entertaining apartheid.

Signed,

Australian Artists Against Apartheid