Petition Calls on Kanye West to Cancel Concert in ‘Apartheid Israel’

KanyeWestIsraelPalestine

The groups Jews for Palestinian Right of Return and US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel have started an online petition calling on distinguished Hip-hop artist Kanye West to cancel his scheduled concert performance in Tel Aviv, Israel on Wednesday, September 30 at Ramat Gan stadium. It is part of the general BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) campaign against Israel for its decades-long occupation of Palestine, blockade of Gaza, and continuing policy of constructing colonial settlements on occupied land. In the words of the petition, which has currently racked up 2,018 signatures,

We most urgently ask you to respect the growing international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) by canceling your September 30 concert in Israel, a racist regime that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and other veteran freedom fighters have described as worse than apartheid South Africa.

BDS demands an end to the occupation of Palestinian land, full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and right of return for refugees throughout historic Palestine.

Roger Waters, Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Elvis Costello, Sinead O’Connor, Brian Eno, Carlos Santana, Gil Scott-Heron, Talib Kweli, and many other artists have honored BDS by refusing to perform for apartheid Israel. Hundreds of other cultural workers have endorsed the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

The need is more urgent than ever. In 2014, 2,200 people (including 551 children) were murdered in Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza. This past July, Ali Dawabsheh, 18-months old, was burnt alive in an arson attack on his home in Douma in the occupied West Bank. Hours later, 14-year-old Laith Khalidi died when Israeli occupation forces shot at civilians protesting baby Ali’s death.

[…]

You spoke truth to power in 2005 by declaring, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Won’t you stand up for justice today by showing you care about the Palestinian people?

The concert event was first announcing in early August by the pro-Israel news site JNS.org, which noted:

This will not be West’s first visit to Israel. Three months ago, he visited the Jewish state with his wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, and their daughter North, who was baptized at an Armenian church in Jerusalem.

The producers who have organized West’s upcoming performance are the same ones behind the recent performance in Israel by Chris Brown as well as the upcoming show by Mariah Carey.

Kanye West with daughter North traveled to Jerusalem in April for the latter's baptism.
Kanye West with daughter North traveled to Jerusalem in April for the baptism of the latter.

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