Lauryn Hill —apparently one of the best known hip-hop artists in the world — announced that she has added her name to the growing cultural boycott of Israel.cancelled her May concert. Sadly, another artist Alicia Keyes recently snubbed the boycott
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) was successful in its attempt to educate performing artists about the apartheid nature of Israel.More than 11,000 people asked Hill to cancel via petition; activists made creative songs and videos; and organizers collected and shared a series of letters from fans encouraging Hill to boycott.
Major media outlets have documented how Israel has prioritized art and culture as a means of branding to whitewash its human rights violations, “so an artist cancellation like this is a big step in the way of responding,” said Andrew Kadi, co-chair of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
Since 2005, over 150 Palestinian solidarity groups in Europe and the United States have supported a campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel over its rank discrimination and abuses of Palestinian human rights.
Roger Waters the former Pink Floyd front man, indefatigable in pursuit of justice in Palestine wrote Hill and contextualized modern Israel:
Performing in Israel today is the equivalent of performing in Sun City South Africa during the apartheid era. (Frank Sinatra, Elton John and Freddy Mercury, Rod Stewart and Linda Ronstadt.) Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and former South African government minister Ronnie Kasrils have repeatedly declared that Israel has created a form of racial apartheid that is far worse than anything that existed in South Africa. As a woman of colour and conscientious artist we urge you not to lend your name to cover up Israel’s crimes.
Miles away from where you are set to perform, over 4.5 million native Palestinians are imprisoned within a system of Bantustans and spatial enclosures between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the largest open air prison in the world.
In a recent May 3 Haaretz column columnist Gideon Levy cheered Water’s indefatigable efforts in this regard.
In a country without a single courageous Waters, I write to him in his own words. Wish you were here.
It is getting harder and harder for cultural artists to play Israel. Greenwashing is no longer working.