Locals oppose Israeli musical ‘whitewash’ in Nelson

29 Jan

Supporters of the Te Tau Ihu Palestine solidarity group in Nelson pictured at an earlier protest.

The Te Tau Ihu Palestine solidarity group in Nelson have posted a full-page advertisement in the local newspaper, calling on readers to shun a series of performances by the Israeli group, Jerusalem Quartet at the Adam Chamber Music Festival starting in Nelson this week.

Here is their appeal:

To the citizens of Nelson

We, the undersigned, object to the presence of an Israeli group, The Jerusalem Quartet, at the forthcoming Adam Chamber Music Festival, in Nelson.

What is the background to our objection? In 2005 after 57 years of struggle against Israeli oppression, Palestinian civil society came together to call for a comprehensive boycott of Israel’s regime of occupation and oppression, and all the corporations and institutions that are involved in its human rights violations. It’s called the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and came after all other attempts at applying international pressure on Israel had failed. The aim is to repeat the success of the non-violent international boycott of South Africa to overturn the apartheid system. Israel also imposes an apartheid system on its Palestinian citizens, as a report published by a UN agency in 2017 affirms.

In 2017 the New Zealand singer, Lorde, played her part in supporting this campaign and decided to cancel her scheduled 2018 performance in Tel Aviv.

The Jerusalem Quartet claim that they are purely independent, non-political musicians with no alignment to the state of Israel. However, in recent years, in Croatia in 2015, the Ukraine in 2017 and in the USA in 2018 their performances were sponsored by local Israeli embassies, including one event that ‘celebrated’ 70 years of Palestinian dispossession. They are therefore part of the Israeli Government’s propaganda attempt to project a ‘normal’ image to the world in order to whitewash its crimes against the Palestinian people. However, there is nothing normal about a government that illegally occupies and builds on Palestinian land in the Occupied Territories, that routinely abducts and imprisons children from their families, that last year killed over 150 Palestinians at the Gazan border and still denies the right of millions of Palestinian refugees to return home.

We therefore urge people who are planning to attend the Jerusalem Quartet performances to stay away; to stand in solidarity with Palestinians, who have suffered for so long, and to be part of the international movement to end apartheid in Israel.

Nga mihi
Te Tau Ihu Palestine.

Contact email: palestinenelson@gmail.com

Facebook: Te Tau Ihu Palestine Solidarity

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