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Lebanese DJs participating in ‘Tomorrowland’ festival: Don't unite with colonialism

Dear Lebanese DJs participating in ‘Tomorrowland’ Festival,

Dear DJs Pablo Abouzeid, Fady Ferraye, Mass and MaDJam,

Recognizing the critical role that music plays in overcoming borders towards human rights, freedom and liberation; and recognizing the role of Lebanese musicians in highlighting the cultural identity of our country; we thus appeal to you, on behalf of the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of «Israel» in Lebanon, in this open letter, to boycott the festival of Tomorrowland (July 29, Jbeil) that promotes clear normalization with ‘Israel’ this year.

On the Tomorrowland website (in English) the following description is given for the festival: “People of Tomorrow, prepare to UNITE With Tomorrowland​… On Saturday July 29th, a magical connection will be made with DUBAI – GERMANY – SPAIN – LEBANON – TAIWAN – MALTA – SOUTH-KOREA and ISRAEL.''

This festival, therefore, brings together, within an artistic framework, our country Lebanon, and our enemy, the Israeli entity. It is true that the local operators of this activity in Byblos (Lebanon) claim to have taken measures that take into consideration the 1955 Israel Boycott Law, but, in our legal opinion, their action remains a violation of that Law, and serves to reinforce the normalizing spirit and goals of the festival rather than deny them.

Clearly, in the Boycott Campaign, we recognize the importance of introducing our Lebanese musical creativity in international festivals, spreading it throughout the world, and lending it moral and material support. However, we categorically reject that the price paid for that international recognition is to treat the Israeli entity as if it were a legitimate country, in contrast to the growing domestic and international awareness, especially among the world’s artists, of the aggressiveness and racism of this entity.

It is worth recalling that Mashrou’ Leila, the famous Lebanese band, refused to introduce the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert (September 2012) in Beirut after many Lebanese, Arab and international calls urged that troupe not to "cover" for a band that was to entertain, shortly after, occupation, colonialism, and apartheid in Tel Aviv.  

One may wonder: What has art to do with politics? Art no matter how hard we strive to prove the opposite, in inseparable from politics. Israel recognizes the power of art, and thus officially supports Israeli artists to fight the global boycott movement (BDS)."We will send well-known novelists, writers, theater companies, exhibits [abroad]," said the Israeli’s Foreign Ministry’s deputy director general for cultural affairs, Arye Mekel in 2009 to the New York Times. "In this way, we will show Israel's prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war.". In a further testimony to the importance of seducing artists to normalize with Israel, Israel devoted in 2016 almost $1.5 million to encourage 26 stars of the Oscars to tour through occupied Palestine.

Let us all unite against this soft Israeli war, and let us resist the various attempts at normalization with an entity for which massacres, displacement, and racism are “normal” daily activities.

Say ‘no’ to normalization with the enemy, say ‘no’ to Tomorrowland. We attach a link to our Campaign’s site, and we are keen on strengthening communication to clarify what may be obscured. Please also find attached the petition signed by hundreds of Lebanese artists, intellectuals, lawyers and university professors last year calling for a cultural and artistic boycott of Israel.

We are confident that your role as artists will be empowered when you join the large convoy of international artists and intellectuals who have openly boycotted Israel, such as Roger Waters, Lauren Hill and Alice Walker.

Campaign to boycott supporters of Israel in Lebanon


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عنوان: بيروت - لبنان

عبر الهاتف: T: +961 1 858355 | M: +961 3 434643

عبر الايميل: info@boycottcampaign.com


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