Thursday, May 24, 2012

South Africa Appeals to Red Hot Chili Peppers: Don't Play Israel

An eighth letter was written yesterday, to the band The Red Hot Chili Peppers.  South African Artists Against Apartheid has written what will be the eighth open letter to the California based alternative rock band, which is scheduled to play Israel (part of the Pic.Nic venue) on 10 September later this year.  The letter reads in part:

"You might wonder what purpose refusing to perform in Israel might serve? As a people whose parents and grandparents suffered under (and resisted) Apartheid in South Africa, our history is testament to the value and legitimacy that the international boycott had in bringing an end to the Apartheid regime in our country.  When artists and sportspeople began refusing to perform in South Africa, the world’s eyes turned to the injustices that were happening here. This then created a wave of pressure on politicians and world leaders representing their constituencies, to insist on a regime-change - this contributed to a free, democratic and non-racial South Africa. The same is not only possible for Palestine-Israel, but inevitable. The question is: on which side of history do you want to be? Performing in Apartheid South Africa during the 80s, or in Israel today, is choosing to be on the wrong side of history."
(full text at

On 29 March, 2012 this video was released explaining the parallel between present day Israeli apartheid and the now defunct South African apartheid.  The video is an artistic show of solidarity that unites Palestinians and South Africans.