Dears Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa,
As longtime admirers of your music and as activists we have got upset to hear that you intend to perform a new concert in Israel on July 30.
As part of the Palestinian civil society call in 2005 for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and inspired by the cultural boycott to the apartheid in South Africa, the Palestinian people calls for international artists to join the BDS movement canceling concerts and events in Israel, which are only useful for equalizing the occupier and the occupied, thus promoting the further of the injustice.
In October 2011, the South African, Desmond Tutu, awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize for his struggle against apartheid, appealed to the opera from his country to cancel the scheduled presentation in Israel. A concert in Israel weakens the call for the BDS until Israel complies with the basic requirements of international law by ending with its military occupation, the taking of land and the construction of new settlements in Palestine, respecting human rights and the refugees’ rights to return to their lands.
Taking part ina concert in Israel is not a neutral act, devoid of any political message. As said by the late American historian Howard Zinn: ‘You cannot be neutral on a moving train’. When participating in an event in Israel, you support the Israeli campaign to conceal violations of international law and to project a false image of normality. Any statement through your participation in this event would be overshadowed for the fact that you are going through an international picket line established by the vast majority of the Palestinian civil society’s organizations. In fact, a fair message of peace would reach far more people, including Israelis, if you called off your participation.
Since Israel’s war against Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, that left 1,400 Palestinians dead and led the Goldstone Report to declare that Israel committed war crimes, many international artists has been refusing to play in a country that stands itself up the human rights and the international law. After the Israeli attack on a humanitarian aid ship bound for Gaza in May last year, the number of artists has grown. Elvis Costello, Gil Scott Heron, Carlos Santana, Roger Waters, Devendra Banhart, and the Pixies are just some of the artists who have refused to hold concerts in Israel recently.
We kindly ask youto join the growing list of artists who have respected the boycott request.
During the last decades, as from the civil rights movement in the U.S. until the anti war movements throughout the world, when our governments fail to deter those responsible for serious violations of human rights, we have the responsibility to do so. The South African Desmond Tutu said that «if the apartheid times ended in South Africa, Israeli occupation will also end, but the moral strength and the international pressure will have to be as determined as they were with South Africa.» The Palestinian call for the BDS comes from Palestinian civil society to the whole world, including Israel, to join this movement of liberation.
We would be happy to discuss this in more detail with you, and support you in whatever is necessary. We are simply asking you to do so in a way that does not harm the global growth led by the BDS movement of the Palestinian cause. With all due respect for your enduring legacy in the Brazilian military dictatorship, for freedom and against racism around the world, we invite you to participate in this struggle for justice and thus cancelling your concert in Israel in July.
To suport the campaing you can contact Gal Gosta and Gilberto Gil Cultural Events in these address below:
Mattoso Vinicius Produções Artísticas ltda
Rua: Visconde de Piraja, 414 sala 512
Ipanema – RJ – Brasil
Phone: 55- 21 – 2523.1553 /0676
With deep respect,
FRENTE EM DEFESA DO POVO PALESTINO-SP – FRONT OFIN DEFENSE OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE-SP
Centro Cultural Árabe-Palestino de Mato Grosso do Sul – Palestinian-Arab Cultural Centre of Mato Grosso do Sul
Centro Cultural Árabe-Palestino do Rio Grande do Sul – Palestinian-Arab Cultural Centre of Rio Grande do Sul
Comitê Brasileiro de Defesa dos Direitos do Povo Palestino – Brazilian Committeeto Defend the Rights of the Palestinian People
Comitê Catarinense de Solidariedade ao Povo Palestino – Santa Catarina StateCommittee of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
Comitê Democrático Palestino do Brasil-PalestinianDemocratic Committee in Brazil
Comitê Pró-Haiti e Luta Popular/Brasil – Committee for Haiti andPopular Struggle/ Brazil
Sociedade Árabe-Palestina de Corumbá – Arab-Palestinian Society of Corumbá
Anel – Assembleia Nacional dos Estudantes – Livre! – ANEL- National Assembly of Students – Free!
Associação Islâmica de São Paulo – SãoPaulo Islamic Association CAS – Coletivo de Artistas Socialistas – CAS- Socialist Collective of Artists
Ciranda Internacional de Comunicação Compartilhada – International Mobilisationof Shared Communication
Coletivo de Mulheres Ana Montenegro – Collective ofWomen Ana Montenegro
CSP-Conlutas – Central Sindical e Popular – CSP-Conlutas – Trade Union Federation – Social and Popular
DCE Unifesp – Diretório Central Estudantil da Universidade Federal de São Paulo– DCEUnifesp – Central Directory of Federal University of São Paulo’sStudents
MML – Movimento Mulheres em Luta– MML– Movement Women in Struggle
MMM – Marcha Mundial das Mulheres- MMM- Women World March
Mopat – Movimento Palestina para [email protected]– MOPAT– Palestine Movement for All
MST – Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra– MST– Movement of Landless Rural Workers
Setorial de Cultura da CSP-Conlutas– Cultural Sectorof CSP-Conlutas
PCB – Partido Comunista Brasileiro– PCB– Brazilian Communist Party
PSTU – Partido Socialista dos Trabalhadores Unificado– PSTU– Unified Socialist Workers Party
Tribunal Popular– People’s Court
July 5, 2013