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Activists call on Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce to join cultural boycott of Israel


By Bao Yen - February 17, 2016
TAGS:
Section: [Main News] [BDS]
Tags: [BDS] [culture]

Following a recent Ynet report on Jennifer Lopez's upcoming concert in Tel Aviv this summer, activists have urged the artist to cancel her performance in Israel as a way to express solidarity with Palestinian people.

On social media such as Twitter, the hashtag #CancelTelAviv has been actively used to urge both artists, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce to join the cultural boycott of Israel, after rumors of their planned concerts in Tel Aviv spread.

 

Despite claims from Israeli media, neither of the singers nor their representatives have given out any official responses.

Artist and activist Evan Greer, whose petition "Tell Beyonce to boycott apartheid Israel" has gathered much attention, told the Palestine Monitor, "Artists have a responsibility to stand in solidarity with oppressed people. Art and music have been a crucial part of all social movements throughout history. Boycotting oppressive governments is the least any artist can do to show their support.”

 

Recently, activists from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) have also called on Oscar nominees to reject their travel vouchers to Israel. The $55,000 first-class trip, included in Oscar nominees' gift bags, was sponsored by the Israeli Tourism Ministry as an effort to lure the Hollywood's top stars to Israel, according to the Times of Israel.

"Artists who cross the Palestinian picket line provide the veneer of international legitimacy Israel is looking for to continue to violate the rights of Palestinians,” said the spokesperson for the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC).

 

“Israel has for long used international performances to whitewash its crimes against Palestinians but a growing number of artists are refusing Israel's cynical exploitation of their art and acting with conscience," the spokesperson added.

Regarding the news of Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce’s upcoming concerts in Tel Aviv this summer, PACBI told the Palestine Monitor, "We hope that the rumors about Beyonce performing for apartheid Israel turn out to be false, just as previous rumors about her performing there have turned out to be untrue. We call on Jennifer Lopez and artists scheduled to perform Israel to do the right thing and cancel their performances until Palestinians have their human rights.”

 

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has gained momentum as a non-violent approach for political pressure on Israeli government. The cultural boycott of Israel has received a lot of support from many artists and celebrities such as Roger Waters, Elvis Costello or Lauryn Hill, who refused to have their performances in Israel.


 

 

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