Courage Céline, Fellow Artists ask you to say NO to Apartheid
As fellow artists we rejoice in your “Courage” world tour you have undertaken. However, there is a country on the tour whose actions undermine the values we as fellow artists espouse very deeply. We are dismayed that you have chosen to schedule performances in Israel, a state that practices apartheid.
We write to ask you to cancel your August 2020 concert performances in Israel.
In 2018, Israel proclaimed the Nation State Law to officially enshrine ethnic/racial discrimination in Israel’s Basic Law — the state’s constitutional equivalent. The legislation stipulates that “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it.” It also establishes Hebrew as Israel’s official language, and downgrades Arabic — a language widely spoken by Arab Israelis — to a “special status.” It also enshrines that “Jewish settlement as a national value” and mandates that the state “will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development.” In addition, there are over 60 additional laws that discriminate directly or indirectly against Palestinian citizens in Israel and/or Palestinian residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) on the basis of their national belonging.
On October 23, 2019, Michael Lynk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for the OPT told the United Nations General Assembly that decisive international action was needed, and the “international community has a responsibility and legal obligation to compel Israel to end its 52 year-long “occu-annexation” of Palestinian territory and to remove barriers preventing Palestinian self-determination.” We call on you to join fellow Canadian, Michael Lynk, in leading the way showing this decisive international leadership against Israeli settler-colonialism and war crimes.
When international artists perform in Israel, they help to create the false impression that Israel is a “normal” country like any other. This is the call from Palestinian writers, artists and cultural centers. There is a growing number of anti-colonial Israelis and people worldwide who support the Palestinian civil society BDS call including the cultural boycott of Israel. We are glad to be part of this support and urge you to join by cancelling your concerts in Israel.
Celine, you have been sensitive to social causes in the past and so we urge you to show real courage and say “no” to performing in Israel, a state that is practicing apartheid, ongoing illegal settler-colonialization and war crimes.
We wish you every success in this world tour and trust that you will not allow it to be used by Israel to “artist-wash” its brutality and crimes against entire populations.
Signed by close to 50 artists
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