Feb 14, 2011

#BDS: Cultural boycott of Israel gains pace both at home and abroad

"Foreign protests, boycotts, embargoes and sanctions, on top of internal resistance, helped bring about the isolation and eventually the end of apartheid in South Africa in the 1990s.
Now Israelis fear pro-Palestinian, or anti-Israeli, activists are using the same tactics against their country, with increasing effect.
Carlos Santana, Gil Scott Heron, Elvis Costello, the Gorillaz, the Klaxons, the Pixies, Faithless, Leftfield, Tindersticks, Meg Ryan and film director Mike Leigh have all decided not to go to Israel in recent months.
These artists have not phrased their refusal to perform in Israel in terms of opposition to the existence of the state of Israel per se, but rather to protest the state’s occupation policies vis-à-vis the Palestinian people.
Some older, established acts have ignored boycott pressure. Most recently, U.S. soul singer Macy Gray asked her Facebook fans whether she should cancel planned concerts in Tel Aviv because of the “disgusting” way the Israeli state treats Palestinians. Then she decided to perform there anyway.
Israeli analysts say pressure is being brought to bear on artists by a global “delegitimization network.”
White South Africa was ostracized in a campaign lasting years. Today, Facebook and Twitter can flash protest messages globally in seconds, putting pressure on entertainers to stay away from Israel, and drawing the attention of millions of fans."

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