Over 600 musicians, including Run the Jewels and Noname among countless others, have signed a letter calling for a boycott of performances in Israel in support of Palestine.
“In solidarity and empathy, as musicians, we cannot be silent,” reads the letter. “We are calling on our peers to publicly assert their solidarity with the Palestinian people. Complicity with Israeli war crimes is found in silence, and today silence is not an option. Silence is not an option as the brutal Israeli bombardment of besieged Gaza claimed more than 245 lives in the last weeks.”
The musicians who signed the letter also include Rage Against the Machine, Questlove and Black Thought of the Roots, Bun B, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Chromeo, Serj Tankian of System of a Down, Majid Jordan, A-Trak, Cypress Hill, Digable Planets, Belly, and Julian Casablancas of the Strokes. Montreal-based musician and community activist Stefan Christoph helped organize the letter.
In the letter, the Israeli government’s actions against the Palestinian people are denounced as a “settler-colonial project committed to the ethnic cleaning of the Palestinian population.” During the most recent Israeli-Palestinian crisis, at least 254 Palestinians including 66 children were killed. An even larger number of Palestinians have been displaced, with estimates pointing to somewhere around 72,000 people.
“Today, we speak together and demand justice, dignity, and the right to self-determination for the Palestinian people and all who are fighting colonial dispossession and violence across the planet,” the letter continues. “We call for you to join us with your name in refusing to perform at Israel’s complicit cultural institutions, and by standing firm in your support of the Palestinian people and their human right to soverignty and freedom. We believe this is crucial to one day live in a world without segregation and apartheid. Free Palestine.”
On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights council agreed to launch an international investigation into the most recent 11-day crisis to determine whether Israel and Hamas were guilty of war crimes. In response, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the investigation is “yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council’s blatant anti-Israel obsession.” The Israeli government also received criticism after it bombed a building housing the Associated Press and Al Jazeera.
Read the letter above or here.