Recently, commentator Max Blumenthal exposed what happened to black American artist Macy Gray when she asked her fans on Facebook for advice on whether or not to respect the Palestinian boycott of Israel. Unfortunately, she has decided to go ahead and play Israel. Maybe the Zionist reaction to her even debating the issue will encourage her to think again.
I recently wrote to her as Secretary of J-BIG, as follows:
Dear Macy Gray,
I was excited when you responded directly to the campaigners who asked you to support the Palestinian boycott call by staying away from Israel until it ends its illegal system of discrimination. But now it saddens me that you don’t feel the need to heed the call, even though you say you are appalled by apartheid.
I’m one of many Jews who have joined the boycott movement because, like the millions who stood up against the apartheid regime in South Africa in the past, we insist on the right of ALL people to dignity, justice and equality. These are basic human rights that Palestinians have been systematically denied for the past six decades. They are in serious danger of extermination, and no powerful government or institution stands up for them. There is a mass of information out there making this abundantly clear. I recommend the website of Jews for Justice for Palestinians. It is just one of many hundreds of sources.
The boycott movement is a desperate last ditch stand, a legitimate, non-violent method of political action on the part of civil society, ordinary people who can – as with South African apartheid – help put an end to injustice. The Israeli establishment responds to peaceful protest with violence and criminalisation. It also devotes huge resources to propaganda. A major part of this effort aims to conceal the crimes of the state behind a civilised veneer. Invitations to artists like you are a cynical, conscious part of this propaganda effort.
You say you do not believe your not performing there is a substantial political act. But the Israeli state certainly does think so! They hail every gig by celebrities who go to Israel as a victory over the campaigners for justice for Palestinians. They are already doing so over your apparent decision to go.
See this link from http://www.ynetnews.com:
You are political if you don’t go, but also if you do. It’s not too late to think again.
You say you believe that “coming there in support of peace and change through music will make more of a difference”. This is almost word for word what Paul McCartney told us back in 2008 before he went to Tel Aviv. Within a few short weeks of his bringing his message of peace, Israeli forces began bombarding Gaza and continued for 22 days until 1,400 Palestinians lay dead, including more than 300 children, thousands more were horribly injured, whole communities were ruined and remain so two years later, because the inhuman Israeli blockade remains in force. Killings, house demolitions, arrests, torture, continue throughout the Palestinians lands that Israel illegally occupies, and no sanctions are taken by the world’s great powers.
Your friends and fans in Tel Aviv may be disappointed if you stay away, but they need to understand that Palestinians have far more fundamental rights than going to a concert denied to them every day of their lives. Your friends have the option of joining those courageous Israelis who see that their state deserves to become a pariah if it does not change its ways, for the sake of their own futures as well as that of the Palestinians.
Maybe it’s true that some boycotters are “assholes”, but the vast majority are decent, sane, caring human beings seeking a non-violent form of protest to end a gross injustice and spiralling violence. Please, meet some of us and then make up your own mind.
Yours most sincerely,
Secretary, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, UK