AAW endorses Boycott of Rolling Stones Concert

AAW endorses Boycott of Rolling Stones Concert in Israel

Dear Rolling Stones,

The Palestinian arts community received in disbelief media reports of your upcoming performance in Israel, at a time when Israel continues
unabated with its colonial and apartheid designs to further dispossess, oppress,
and ultimately ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland. If
the news is accurate, we strongly urge you to cancel your plans to perform
in Israel until the time comes when it ends its illegal occupation of
Palestinian territory and respects fundamental human rights as well as
the relevant precepts of international law concerning Palestinian rights to
freedom, self-determination and equality.

Performing in Israel at this time is morally equivalent to performing
in South Africa during the apartheid era. We all remember how leading
Rolling Stones musicians played a prominent role in enforcing a cultural
boycott of apartheid South Africa in the 1980's, and participated in recording
the timeless song, Sun City, which had a singular influence on raising
public awareness about apartheid and its injustices. As Archbishop
Desmond Tutu, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights Prof. John Dugard, and
South African government minister Ronnie Kasrils have repeatedly declared,
Israel has created a worse system of apartheid than anything that ever
existed in South Africa.

Indeed, Israel's policies throughout its illegal military occupation of
Palestinian territory, which have surpassed their South African
counterparts, include house demolitions; Jews-only colonies and roads;
uprooting hundreds of thousands of trees; indiscriminate killings of
civilians, particularly children; incessant theft of land and water
resources; denying freedom of movement to millions under occupation,
cutting up the occupied Palestinian territory into Bantustans, some
entirely caged by walls, fences and hundreds of roadblocks. Sixty years
since the Nakba, Israel's planned campaign of ethnic cleansing against
the Palestinian people, and 40 years into its military occupation of
Palestinian and other Arab territory, Israel has consistently and
relentlessly violated basic human rights and relevant precepts of
international law with utter impunity. Moreover, Israel's war of
aggression against Lebanon last year caused more than one thousand
civilian deaths, not to mention massive destruction to infrastructure
anddecimation of entire residential neighbourhoods.

The resounding failure of the international community to date in ending
Israel's occupation, collective punishment, and other forms of
oppression was what prompted Palestinians to appeal to international
civil society to bear its moral responsibility to put an end to injustice,
just as it did against apartheid South Africa. To this end, Palestinian
civil society has almost unanimously called for boycott, divestment and
sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it fully complies with
international law and recognizes the fundamental human rights of the people of
Palestine. A specific call for cultural boycott of Israel was issued
last year, garnering wide support. Among the many groups and institutions
that have heeded the Palestinian boycott calls and started to consider or
apply diverse forms of effective pressure on Israel are the Church of
England; the US Presbyterian Church; a group of top British architects; the
British National Union of Journalists in the UK; the Congress of South African
Trade Unions (COSATU); the South African Council of Churches; the
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario; Aosdana, the Irish
state-sponsored academy of artists; celebrated authors, artists and intellectuals led by John Berger; and Palme d'Or winner director Ken
Loach. Is it too much, then, to expect conscientious artists like the Rolling Stones to similarly uphold the values of freedom, equality and justice for all by supporting the growing boycott against Israel?

We appeal to your moral principles and your record of standing up for
human rights and human dignity. We sincerely hope that you shall cancel
this ill-conceived and particularly harmful concert in Israel.
Americans Against the War - France

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel