We understand you’re singing a concert of 'duets and arias’ in Jerusalem on July 28 with the Israel Philharmonic and their director, Zubin Mehta – a concert that will be simultaneously broadcast to 480 cinemas across the USA under the title 'Live from Jerusalem’.
We’re writing to ask you urgently to reconsider your decision to do this. Even at this late stage, you have it within your power to act in sympathy with people who won’t be able to attend your concert, because they are Palestinian. Two-thirds of the population was ethnically cleansed in 1947/8, and has never been allowed to return; millions more endure illegal occupation and siege by the Israeli army. When maestro Mehta raises his baton, none of these people will be in the audience – the Israeli authorities won’t allow them into Jerusalem, let alone your concert at the Sultan’s Pool. 'Live from Jerusalem’ indeed – more like a wake – except the Palestinians are not yet defeated. 'This land promises wheat and stars’, said the poet Mahmoud Darwish. 'We are its salt and its water. We are its wound, but a wound that fights.’