This July, American R&B artist Chris Brown will rap his way across the apartheid walls of “Israel” to perform, 48 hours later, in Beirut. Brown is slated to sing at the Rishon LeZion amphitheater in Tel Aviv on July 27, 2015 before appearing on stage at one of Lebanon’s major exhibition centres, Biel on July 29.
The Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon (CBSI) calls on R&B fans in Lebanon to join the growing global call for the cultural boycott of “Israel” and boycott the Chris Brown show in Beirut if Brown does not cancel his performance in “Israel”.
Hundreds of artists from around the globe have heeded the call of the absolute majority in Palestinian civil society for a “cultural boycott of Israel” and refused to perform there, given the system of injustice that prevails. These include Roger Waters, Massive Attack, Tindersticks, Leftfield, Faithless, Gorillaz Sound System, Elvis Costello, Carlos Santana, Bono/U2, Devandra Banhart, and Snoop Dogg. These artists have cancelled their Israeli performances or refused, to start with, to lend their good names to whitewash Israeli crimes and human rights violations.
The call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) was initiated in 2005 by the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society as a reaction to Israel’s ongoing policies of occupation, displacement, and racism towards Palestinians, including the denial of Palestinian refugees their fundamental right to return to their homes, as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
The Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon was founded in 2002 for similar goals, but also seeks to isolate the Zionist State and its supporters because of its ongoing occupation of parts of Lebanon, its terror against Lebanese civilians, and destruction of Lebanese infrastructure. In 2006 Israeli planes dropped an estimated one million cluster bombs into Lebanon that continue to harm children and farmers today.
The BDS call is “inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid and in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression.” As Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu pointed out, “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Tutu and other South African leaders today describe Israel as also an apartheid state.
When urging South Africa’s Cape Town Opera to turn down an invite to perform in Tel Aviv, Archbishop Tutu wrote: “Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong for Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel.”
Global support for this civil form of resistance to Israeli crimes is growing. Over 700 British artists have vowed to boycott Israel culturally. More recently, singer Lauryn Hill canceled her May 7 concert in Tel Aviv, after being appealed to by BDS activists worldwide.
In addition to his planned performance in Israel, Brown was convicted of assaulting his then girlfriend and pop singer Rihanna and employs derogatory language towards women in his lyrics.
Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon (CBSI)
This letter was published by the Daily Star - Issue 14,654
عنوان: بيروت - لبنان
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