Boycotts of Israel - Artistic Boycotts

Artistic Boycotts

See also: Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
  • The cultural boycott of Israel originally received the support of famous artists such as musicians Roger Waters and Brian Eno, writers Eduardo Galeano and Arundhati Roy, filmmakers Ken Loach and Jean-Luc Godard. Waters has called artists to boycott Israel until Israel ends its occupation, grants full equality to Israeli Arabs and allows all Palestinian refugees right of return.
  • Creative Community for Peace, which was founded in late 2011, is an anti-BDS organization made up of music executives and prominent representatives of musicians, including talent agents and lawyers who represent Aerosmith, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Timberlake.
  • In Ireland, support for boycotting Israel has been voiced since September 2006. The Irish Times has published an open letter in January 2009 with 300 signatures, including deputies, senators, political leaders (including Gerry Adams and Tony Benn), union leaders, professors and artists. In August 2010, 150 Irish artists launched a cultural boycott of Israel, declaring that they would not perform or exhibit in Israel, "until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights". Organizers explained the boycott was motivated by what they saw as abuse of Palestinian human rights by Israel. In November 2012, the list of Irish artists supporting BDS has reached 237.
  • The Yes Men pulled out of a film festival in 2009 in Israel.
  • In 2010, American singer Devendra Banhart, and Irish singer Tommy Sands cancelled their shows in Israel as a response to Israeli policies. That same year, Carlos Santana also cancelled a performance following pressure from groups critical of Israel. Likewise, Elvis Costello called off planned gigs, citing what he called the "intimidation" and "humiliation" of Palestinians · . Jazz and spoken word artist Gil Scott-Heron canceled a planned performance in Tel Aviv in 2010, saying he "hated war". Annie Lennox, states again that she will no longer perform in Israel.
  • That same year, British bands The Klaxons, Gorillaz Sound System, Leftfield, Faithless, Tindersticks and Massive Attack, as well as the American band Pixies, cancelled performances in Israel in apparent response to the Gaza flotilla raid.
  • Actors Dustin Hoffman and Meg Ryan cancel their participation to a festival in Israel in 2010, after the attack of the Gaza Flotilla by the Israeli army · . British movie director Mike Leigh also cancels a visit in Jerusalem in November to avoid "his arrival (to) be interpreted as support for the government’s policy".
  • Writers Henning Mankell (who was on board the Freddom Flotilla), Iain Banks and Alice Walker publish statements in the press in support of the cultural boycott of the State of Israel.
  • In February 2010, 500 artists from the city of Montreal, including Lhasa, Gilles Vigneault, Richard Desjardins, members of Bran Van 3000 or Silver Mt. Zion, joined the cultural boycott of Israel, saying that Palestinians "face an entrenched system of racial discrimination and segregation, resembling the defeated apartheid system in South Africa."
  • That same year, a hundred Norvegian artists endorse the BDS call.
  • Even in Israel, actors refuse to play in the 1967 occupied territories. They are quickly supported by 150 Israeli intellectuals and artists (including Niv Gordon, Gideon Levy, Shlomo Sand, Zeev Sternhell, David Grossman, A.B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz), then by 150 American artists (including Vanessa Redgrave, Cynthia Nixon, Tony Kushner).
  • French singer Vanessa Paradis cancelled a performance planned for February 2011 in Tel Aviv. According to insider sources, she and her husband Johnny Depp acceded to calls to cancel the show made by Palestinian boycott campaigners, who threatened to boycott them too. Her agent maintained that the concert was cancelled strictly for professional reasons. That same month, the classical singer Thomas Quasthoff cancels the 6 shows he was supposed to give in Israel.
  • American punk artist Jello Biafra, former singer for the Dead Kennedys, cancelled a July 2011 performance in Tel Aviv, citing discussions with pro-Palestinian and Israeli activists, and writing "This does not mean I or anyone else in the band are endorsing or joining lockstep with the boycott of all things Israel". On this occasion, punks throughout the world create the network "Punks Against Apartheid" to get the cultural boycott message across to other punk artists.
  • In September 2011, Anglo-Egyptian singer Natacha Atlas cancels her tour in Israel and publishes a very explicit statement: "I had an idea that performing in Israel would have been a unique opportunity to encourage and support my fans' opposition to the current government's actions and policies. I would have personally asked my Israeli fans face-to-face to fight this apartheid with peace in their hearts, but after much deliberation I now see that it would be more effective a statement to not go to Israel until this systemised apartheid is abolished once and for all. Therefore I publicly retract my well-intentioned decision to go and perform in Israel and so sincerely hope that this decision represents an effective statement against this regime.".
  • In 2011, many other artists cancel their concerts in Israël: American singer Jon Bon Jovi, South African band Ladysmith Black Mambazo, English singer Marc Almond, American guitar player Andy Mc Kee, American heavy metal band August Burns Red, Moldave band Zdob si Zdub, American jazz band Tuba Skinny, American piano player Jason Moran and Puerto Rican piano player Eddie Palmieri (these last three cancel their participation to the Eilat jazz festival), South African rapper Ewok, American rapper MF Doom, English band The Yardbirds, Greek Martha Frintzila and Turc Hosam Hayek (these last two cancel their participation to the Jerusalem oud festival), Malian singer Oumou Sangaré, American singer Joe Lynn Turner, and young English dubstep musician Joker
  • British band Faithless and its leader David Randall confirm their commitment to BDS by publishing the video "Freedom For Palestine" with the collective "One World" that includes Maxi Jazz, Sudha and Andy Treacy (of Faithless), Jamie Catto (of One Giant Leap), Harry Collier (of Kubb), Phil Jones (of Specimen A), Mark Thomas, Lowkey, Michael Rosen, LSK, Andrea Britton, Attab Haddad, Joelle Barker, the Durban Gospel Choir (of South Africa) and members of the London Community Gospel Choir...
  • Spanish singer Paco Ibanez states in a French newspaper that he will now boycott the Hebrew language, which he can speak, for political reasons.
  • In 2011, American singer Macy Gray said she regretted playing there.
  • 150 Swiss artists sign an appeal for the cultural boycott of Israel. A group of Indian artists cancel their participation to an exhibition in Israel.
  • The AMARC (international non-governmental organization serving the community radio movement, with almost 3 000 members and associates in 110 countries) joins the BDS campaign.
  • In July 2011, American movie director Barbara Hammer refused a prize from the Foundation for Jewish Culture and the American Academy in Jerusalem, and refused to show her films in places receiving funding from the Israeli government. In October, Irish movie director John Michael Mc Donagh also cancelled his participation to the Haifa film festival.
  • Still in 2012, American basket-ball star, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, cancel his scheduled trip to Israel · . Tunisian fence champion Sara Besbes and Iranian chess-master Ehsan Ghaem Maghami boycott their games to avoid facing Israeli opponents.
  • In December 2012, American musician Stevie Wonder, cancelled a scheduled performance for the Friends of the IDF stating "I am, and always have been, against war, any war, anywhere"

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