Dear Bryan Adams,
We’re writing to you as fellow artists who salute you for having stood with the Palestinians in 2014, when Israel’s war on Gaza left thousands of dead and injured and whole neighbourhoods pulverized. You tweeted, ‘I say the war against Gaza was a crime against humanity.’
Brave words, Bryan. They’re one of the reasons we can’t quite understand why you’ve agreed to give concerts in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem this December. Those crimes against humanity – can you have forgotten them, and which government committed them?
You also tweeted the world in 2014 that Israel’s blockade on Gaza, then in its eighth year, was ‘leaving its 1.7 million inhabitants destitute.’
We’re puzzled. That blockade is now entered its eleventh year. Do you think things in Gaza have got any better for its inhabitants?
Here’s what the United Nations said in July this year: ‘The two million inhabitants of Gaza are suffering through a humanitarian crisis that is entirely human-made’. The UN went on to describe ‘hospitals in precarious conditions, water shortages growing, and untreated sewage being dumped into the Mediterranean’.
Amnesty International describes Israel’s blockade of Gaza as ‘collective punishment of Gaza’s entire population’ (for what, we’re tempted to ask). Amnesty says, ‘some 51,000 people’ are still displaced from the 2014 war, and unexploded ordnance is still causing deaths and injuries.
We’d like to ask you to think again about playing Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Please don’t let people think you stand with Israeli apartheid and war crimes. Please take a principled stand for Palestinian human rights, and international law.
We know you haven’t been afraid to act on principle before. In 2016 you cancelled your Mississipi tour date because of that state’s anti-LGBT law. Let the world salute you again: stand with the Palestinians, and cancel Israel.