Open Letter to Paul McCartney: Do Not Perform in Israel

The No Time To Celebrate Campaign has joined the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and other allies in issuing an open letter to Paul McCartney asking that he cancel a scheduled concert in Israel in late September.  More information is available from PACBI and the BIG Campaign (Boycott Israeli Goods) in the UK.


Sir Paul McCartney,

We write to you with sadness and urgency as we hear that you are preparing to perform in Israel at the end of this month, and we ask that you cancel this performance. As Jewish North Americans, we are outraged at the policies the state of Israel has implemented in our names and with our government’s financial support for more than sixty years. Palestinian people in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem live under occupation and siege; Palestinian citizens of Israel have fewer rights than Jewish citizens of Israel; and Palestinian refugees, who make up two thirds of the Palestinian population, have been denied their internationally recognized right to return to their lands and their homes since 1948.

At the same time, we write to you with hope that you will heed the unified Palestinian civil society call for boycott against Israel until it complies with international law.  Boycott is a nonviolent tool that has been used by ordinary people countless times to hold countries responsible for atrocities when our governments fail to do so.  In South Africa, the boycott movement helped bring about an end to the apartheid system.  The boycott is both collective and individual.  In this case, we call on you as an individual to take a stand against Israeli apartheid and cancel your performance.

Whether you perform or not, you are making a statement.  If you perform this month, at a time when Israel is celebrating sixty years of existence, you indicate that you support the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people (now millions) and the ongoing policies of ethnic cleansing of an indigenous population from their land.  If you cancel your performance, you indicate that you will not, in the name of profit, turn a blind eye to both the suffering and the call to action of millions of Palestinian people.

With stature comes responsibility, and we hope you do not take yours lightly.

Sincerely,

The No Time To Celebrate Campaign
a campaign organized and implemented by thousands of Jewish people in the US and Canada this past spring to protest Israeli Independence Day activities and to commemorate the Nakba (1948 displacement of Palestinian people)

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1 Comment

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One response to “Open Letter to Paul McCartney: Do Not Perform in Israel

  1. eileenfleming

    In 1985 Bono joined forces with a group of artists concerned about Apartheid in South Africa and he wrote a song about a man who had lost faith in the peacemakers of the west while they argued and failed to support a man like bishop Tutu
    and his request for economic sanctions against South Africa.

    On April 29, 2002, in Boston, MA. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said he was “very deeply distressed” by what he observed in his recent visit to the Holy Land, adding, “It reminded me so much of what happened in South Africa.”

    The Nobel peace laureate said he saw “the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. Referring to Americans, he adds, “People are scared in this country to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful. Well, so what? The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists.” [1]

    “From Moses to Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Prophets taught…that the Jewish claim on the land of Israel was totally contingent on the moral and spiritual life of the Jews who lived there, and that the land would, as the Torah tells us, ‘vomit you out’ if people did not live according to the highest moral vision of Torah. Over and over again, the Torah repeated its most frequently stated mitzvah [command]: “When you enter your land, do not oppress the stranger; the other, the one who is an outsider of your society, the powerless one and then not only ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself’ but also ‘you shall love the other.'” [2]

    1- The Link, “About That Word Apartheid”, April-May 2007, Published by Americans for Middle East Understanding, Inc.
    2- Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine, page 35, Sept./Oct. 2007

    e
    http://www.wearewideawake.org/

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