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2010 Boycott from within: Open Letter to Thomas Quasthoff

2010 Boycott from within: Open Letter to Thomas Quasthoff

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Published by BDS-Kampagne

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Published by: BDS-Kampagne on Dec 27, 2010
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07/09/2014

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An Open Letter to Thomas Quasthoff 
Dear Thomas Quasthoff,We are a group of Israeli citizens, writing in support of the British Committee for theUniversities of Palestine's (BRICUP) openletterto you. We support the Palestinian call forBoycott, Divestment and Sanctions(BDS) against Israel until it abides by international lawand ceases its systematic violations of Palestinian human rights; as such, we would like toshare with you our concerns regarding your scheduled performances in Israel and urge you tocancel them.BDS is a rapidly growing non-violent, human-rights based Palestinian-led movement. It waslaunched by over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, and amongst its manyworldwide supporters – including directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach,180 Irish artists,500 Montreal artists, and the international allianceArtists against Apartheid– are Jews and citizens of Israel who object to Israel's attempts to construct a facade of normalcy over itsconstant violation of Palestinian human rights.In hisreportto the United Nations General Assembly, UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk notes that the tendency of the international community to overlook Israel's encroachment onthe rights of Palestinians living under Israeli military control in the West Bank and EastJerusalem, has resulted in the apartheid features of Israel's current day
de facto
occupation.Mr. Falk points out that Palestinians are, for instance, barred from using the same roads as theresidents of their neighboring Jewish-only settlements; their mobility is restricted evenbetween their own villages, and sometimes within them, by military checkpoints, fences and a26 ft. high cement wall, resulting in denied access to adequate medical services and work;their private agricultural lands are illegally confiscated and annexed to expanding Jewishsettlements, and violent settlers attacks on their olive groves and mosques are systematicallyoverlooked. In the context of your performances, Israel's apartheid policies also mean that aPalestinian fan of yours living under Israeli occupation is not allowed by law – and denied bywalls, fences and checkpoints – to come hear you perform in Tel-Aviv.Those who suggest to you that your performance in Israel might in some way “strengthen thenotion of co-existence” are either ignorant of the situation in Israel/Palestine or areintentionally overlooking it so as to make sure their own lives are not inconvenienced bypublicly acknowledging it. Almost every international performance – large as small – isunderstood amongst the Israeli public as condoning this reality of systematic ethnicoppression and making a statement against the necessity of changing it.Going through with your scheduled performances in Israel will bring a message of support forIsrael's policies of apartheid and oppression. Arecent reportby Amnesty, Oxfam and otherrespected human rights organizations, also highlights the need for steady substantial pressure

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