So Alicia Keyes took the money and played in Israel in the past summer.
This is a young woman, plainly gifted but living in a parallel universe to the world of so much suffering, living in the protective bubble of so many celebrities. It is very difficult for good people like her to hear the cries of the poor. Young divas take a while to get with it.-if they ever do. money and fame are perennial prophylactics against the tears of the victims of history. Realistically, they young need time.
More admirable however than Keyes are those wonderful and equally young people who work hard to bring this festering cancer in apartheid Israel to the attention of popular performers. One such blogger phrased it well, seemed to totally understand what Israel is doing and in particular their intensive propaganda campaign aimed at the west. The blogger wrote:
By insisting on performing in Israel despite its grave violations of international law and human rights, Alicia Keys has consciously lent her name to the Israeli state’s propaganda campaign that aims at projecting Israel’s false semblance of normalcy, and concealing its inhumane and racist colonial policies. Keys has in fact gone further than this. She chose to open her show in Tel Aviv with Israeli artist Idan Raichel, who shamelessly states that he and his band “certainly see ourselves as ambassadors of Israel in the world, cultural ambassadors, hasbara [propaganda] ambassadors, also in regards to the political conflict.”
Amazing as well is the ongoing passion of Alice Walker for Palestinian justice. She does not need the aggravation that comes with her persistent witness but she will not let go. She sees clearly what is happening and did attempt to educate the much younger Alicia Keyes. She reminded her a fellow African-American of their quite similar struggle in the United States:
You were not born when we, your elders who love you, boycotted institutions in the US South to end an American apartheid less lethal than Israel’s against the Palestinian people.
If you go to my website and blog alicewalkersgarden.com you can quickly find many articles I have written over the years that explain why a cultural boycott of Israel and Israeli institutions (not individuals) is the only option left to artists who cannot bear the unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine, whose major “crime” is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own. Under a campaign named ‘Brand Israel’, Israeli officials have stated specifically their intent to downplay the Palestinian conflict by using culture and arts to showcase Israel as a modern, welcoming place.
This is actually a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about something sorrowful, and amazing: that our government (Obama in particular) supports a system that is cruel, unjust, and unbelievably evil. You can spend months, and years, as I have, pondering this situation. Layer upon layer of lies, misinformation, fear, cowardice and complicity. Greed. It is a vast eye-opener into the causes of much of the affliction in our suffering world.
I have kept you in my awareness as someone of conscience and caring, especially about the children of the world. Please, if you can manage it, go to visit the children in Gaza, and sing to them of our mutual love of all children, and of their right not to be harmed simply because they exist.
With love, younger sister, beloved daughter and friend,