Open Letter to WOMAD 2018 to remove controversial Israeli performer
We see from the programme that Israeli singer Victoria Hanna is scheduled to perform at the March 2018 WOMAD festival.
Our concern is that Victoria Hanna’s attendance at the festival would be a breach of the international boycott of apartheid Israel. This is referred to internationally as the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement which was launched by 170 Palestinian organisations in 2005 as a way to bring non-violent pressure on the Israeli regime to abandon its racist policies, end its military occupation of Palestinian land and allow the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and land.. see https://bdsmovement.net/
Victoria Hanna is currently based at the University of California as part of the Visiting Israeli Artist Programme of The Israel Institute who describe their role in these terms –
“By presenting Israeli art, music, film, dance and literature to an international audience, the Israel Institute showcases an important aspect of modern Israel that few people get to see firsthand, and fosters the deeper understanding of Israel that the Institute is committed to inspiring”.
The “deeper understanding of Israel” is code for Israeli propaganda. In other words Hanna’s visit is part of a propaganda tour for the Israeli state.
This letter is therefore a formal request from PSN that you withdraw the invitation for Victoria Hanna to perform at WOMAD 2018.
Just as most New Zealanders stood with black South Africans in the fight against apartheid in South Africa we must also stand in solidarity with the Palestinian victims of Israeli apartheid.
We look forward to hearing from you shortly.
Note the meme the letter begins with, which minimizes the violent rock throwing of palestinians (which can, and has, caused serious injuries and even deaths), and implies it is only ever in response to the IDF killing someone (a blatant lie).
But even more than that; these haters are asking to dis-invite an Israeli just because they are Israeli. Victoria Hanna is an religious Jewess, the mother of 3 children. Her parents are from Egypt and Persia – no doubt kicked out or otherwise forced out due to persecution. She performs Aramaic hip hop and rhythmic raps on ancient Hebrew texts. She is not at all political from what I can see, and is not active on social media. Her crime here is being from Israel. She is not part of some conspiracy as they suggest – she just wants to do what she loves, which is performing.
If that is not bigotry, I do not know what is. And that is just assuming their motivation is not antisemitism (which it more often than not is, when it comes to hating on Israel).
Once again, the true face of BDS is revealed. And it is ugly as hell.