Tuesday, October 30, 2012

OPEN LETTER asks Alanis Morissette to Cancel Her December Gig in Tel Aviv, Israel


Open Letter to Alanis Morissette: You oughta know it’s apartheid, don't play Israel.



Dear Alanis Morissette,
We are writing to you to ask that you not cross the Palestinian picket line by playing in Israel in December. As we write, the people of Gaza, who live in the world’s largest open-air prison,  are being subjected to nightly airstrikes by Israel, a few miles from where you would be playing to a segregated audience. Last week, humanitarian activists trying to break the illegal, immoral siege of Gaza were kidnapped in international waters, tasered and imprisoned in Israel. Their crime? Showing solidarity to the Palestinian people.
Last month the United Nations issued a report: “Gaza in 2020, a Liveable Place?” [1] focusing on Gaza’s precarious situation, particularly regarding power supply, water, education and employment. Gaza’s 1.6 million people, most of them refugees and over half of them children, are held in a tiny piece of land with their movements controlled by Israel and their basic human rights denied, they are also terrorised by drone planes and military incursions regularly. Can you imagine that human beings are being treated like this? Can you imagine playing for the state that does this? Amnesty International, an organisation that you have supported, has documented Israel’s war crimes in Gaza, as have many other NGOs. [2]
Were this Israel’s only breach of human rights, it should be enough for you not to play in Tel Aviv. However, Israel is also guilty of gross human rights violations against the Palestinian people living in the West Bank and the Palestinian citizens of Israel. In November 2011 the Russell Tribunal on Palestine determined that Israel is practising apartheid against the Palestinian people. [3] Its session in New York this month saw submissions from Alice Walker, Angela Davis and Roger Waters among others and made the following findings:
“Among these violations of international law, several of them are criminally sanctioned: war crimes (Israeli settlements, inhumane treatment, torture, indiscriminate attacks, home demolitions, forced population transfer, collective punishment, 1996 ILC Draft Code of crimes against the peace and security of mankind, Art. 20; 4th GC, Art. 147, Rome Statute Art. 8), crimes against humanity (persecution defined by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Statute cited here as expression of international custom, Art. 7), and the crime of Apartheid (1973 UN Convention, Art. 1 ; on Apartheid and persecution, see 2011 Capetown findings of this Tribunal). Because of their systematic, numerous, flagrant and, sometimes, criminal character, these violations are of a particularly high gravity.” [4]
Archbishop Desmond Tutu described the situation thus: “I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. International Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against the Apartheid regime, combined with the mass struggle inside South Africa, led to our victory … Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong … to perform in Israel“. [5]
As a means of resistance to this apartheid, Palestinian civil society, like its South African counterpart during their struggle, has called for a boycott of Israel until it complies with international law and Universal Principles of Human Rights. The PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) call [6] for BDS, made by over 200 civil society organisations,  is growing in international support daily and the list of artists respecting the call includes: Santana, Cat Power, Elvis Costello, Cassandra Wilson, Massive Attack, Jello Biafra, Faithless, Leftfield, Gorillaz, Pixies, Gil Scott Heron,  and many more who have refused to play for apartheid. If there is any doubt that the state uses artists’ performances in Israel as endorsement of its policies, this quotation from the Israeli foreign ministry where it stated that it “sees no difference between propaganda and culture”, should dispel that. Indeed, the official state twitter was boasting about your upcoming performance when it was announced. [7]
Just this week the African National Congress (ANC) International Solidarity Conference voted to support the Palestinian-led campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, cementing the links between the two struggles against apartheid. [8]
When a performer playing last week asked his Israeli interviewer if Palestinians could attend the concert, the response was: “We have to check.” Playing to a segregated audience is not worthy of you, Alanis, and would be a terrible disappointment to many of your fans.
Every day the Palestinian people endure Israeli oppression with dignity and immense courage – all they are asking is that you do not cross their picket line. In solidarity with them, we are asking you to not to play for apartheid. Alanis, please cancel.
Warmest Regards,
Don’t Play Apartheid Israel
We are a group of 950 members, representing many nations around the globe, who believe that it is essential for musicians and other artists to heed the call of the PACBI, and join in the boycott of Israel. This is essential in order to work towards justice for the Palestinian people under occupation, and also in refugee camps and in the diaspora throughout the world.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

BaBa ZuLa in Apartheid Israel? Not this Year.



The famous Turkish alternative band Baba Zula will not play in Israel this November.  The band removed Tel Aviv from their tour schedule and Auris Media posted that the concert is cancelled.

Cassandra Wilson, Cat Power, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (all from the USA) all refused to perform in Israel this year, and honor the cultural boycott.  Dervish and Fullset of Ireland and Nino Katamadze from Georgia also cancelled concerts in Israel earlier this year.  

Baba Zula features a unique sound, using traditional Turkish instruments, electronica, reggae and dub. The core of their sound is the saz, a Turkish stringed instrument with a bright, high-pitched sound.  

Some artists erroneously think that they should play in Israel, breaking the cultural boycott and thereby spread a message of peace.  Unfortunately musicians who play in Israel are often used by the Israeli government to whitewash human rights violations.  The cultural boycott is an essential part in showing solidarity for Palestinian human rights, and declaring that apartheid is not acceptable.  It worked for South Africa, it can work for Israel.

The vast majority of Palestinian Civil Society has called for a boycott:

As was the case in the international struggle against apartheid in South Africa, taking guidance from broadly-endorsed representatives of the oppressed, in this case the Palestinian leadership of the BDS movement, the BNC, and respecting boycott guidelines set by the great majority in the oppressed society is an ethical obligation for any conscientious person or group genuinely standing in solidarity with the oppressed.
http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1850

Roger Waters played in Israel, under the misguided notion that his concert was for peace.  His concert in Israel drew many fans, but it did not result in any changes for Palestinians under occupation or elsewhere.  His concert did not lead to peace.

Now the former Pink Floyd legend is one of the strongest advocates for the boycott.  Waters said:

Artists were right to refuse to play in South Africa's Sun City resort until apartheid fell and white people and black people enjoyed equal rights. And we are right to refuse to play in Israel until the day comes – and it surely will come – when the wall of occupation falls and Palestinians live alongside Israelis in the peace, freedom, justice and dignity that they all deserve.

The difference is that now Waters realizes that the best way forward is to respect what the majority of Palestinian Civil Society has called for:  the boycott.  

We are awaiting word from Baba Zula, to the effect that they too support BDS:  Boycott, Divest and Sanctions of Israel.   

Baba Zula can be contacted the email their website provides:  
babazula@babazula.com
Ask them to stand firm in support of the boycott.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Regional Groups in Spain Unite for Palestinian Rights and Boycott of Israel

Plans for next years conference to include accommodation
for large crowds as support for boycott, divest and 
sanctions of Israel grows across Spain.
"Yesterday South Africa, Today Palestine" brought together for the first time all the BDS regional groups in Spain order to exchange information and coordinate BDS at the state level.  

BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions against Israel) groups from Catalonia, Madrid, Basque Country, Andalucía and more made Barcelona their destination from October 19-21.

Workshops on the commercial boycott, the academic boycott, the cultural and sports boycott as well as the industrial boycott through trade unions drew unexpectedly large crowds.

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Rafeef Ziadah and Ilan Pappé were guest speakers.  Videos of their speeches in English can be viewed at http://conferenciabds.wordpress.com.  Pappé reiterated the importance of the cultural and academic boycott.   He also emphasized that a two-state solution gives 80% of the territory to Israel, denies the right of return, and gives no real independence to the Palestinians if they are condemned to a system of Bantustans. International Law and the Russell Tribunal were addressed by David Bondia and Sabrina Senouci.  Military relations between Spain and Israel was presented by Spanish expert Alejandro Pozo.

"Roadmap to apartheid" was screened, and emphasis was made on the clear link between South Africa's and Palestine's apartheid and the need for educating the public on its existence.  

The three goals or demands of the movement are:


  • End the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall.
  • Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.
  • Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.



    • Read the Declaration from the Conference:

"Declaration from the First Spanish State Conference on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the state of Israel”

 “YESTERDAY SOUTH AFRICA, TODAY PALESTINE”
The Conference, held in Barcelona between the 19th-21st October 2012, takes on the call from Palestinian civil society to join the campaign of international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel and calls on civil society of the Spanish state to do the same.
Regional groups in Spain unite, and show an outpouring 
of support for boycott, divest, and sanctions of Israel.
At the first Spanish State Conference for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), the meeting of more than 500 activists and 50 organisations from civil society of the state of Spain reaffirmed our commitment to the struggle of the Palestinian people and our stance against Israeli apartheid: “Yesterday South Africa, today Palestine” We affirmed the advance of the BDS campaign as central to all the actions and activities of solidarity with the Palestinian people. To this end, the Conference decided in its conclusions to work towards a BDS campaign that transcends the Palestinian solidarity movement. With these objectives in mind, we communicate our intention to coordinate with the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), that heads and drives the international movement in support of the BDS campaign.
The BDS campaign arose from the Palestinian people themselves in 2005. Amongst the demands of their call are the end of the occupation of all Arab territories occupied by Israel in 1967, the right of return of all refugees and equality of rights for all citizens of Israel.
We affirm the necessity to support this non-violent campaign to put an end to the systematic violation of the human rights and International Law on the part of Israel. These violations have again been brought to light by the recent hijacking of the last Gaza Flotilla in international waters. We therefore demand that our government guarantees freedom of passage in Mediterranean waters, puts an end to the blockade of Gaza and brings about the immediate release of those that are, as of today, being held captive by Israel.
As organisations from civil society and activists for the internationalist cause, we hereby call on international civil society (and all people of good will) to join this Palestinian people’s movement,based in the principals of justice, freedom and equality, to put an end to the state of Israel’s impunity.
Barcelona, 21st October 2012

www.bdsmovement.org
www.bdscatalunya.org
www.boicotisrael.net
conferenciabds.wordpress.com/

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jesus & Mary Chain, Israel, Apartheid, and the boycott


The PACBI wrote to band members of the Jesus and Mary Chain, asking them to cancel their gig in Apartheid Israel.  This is a copy of the letter:

It is with great disappointment that the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has learned of your scheduled performance in Israel set for October 16, 2012 [i]. Given that Israel is involved in grave violations of international law and human rights we urge you to cancel this gig until the time comes when Israel is in compliance with its obligations under international law and fully respects Palestinian rights.

In 2004, inspired by the triumphant cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa, and supported by key Palestinian unions and cultural groups, PACBI issued a call for the academic and cultural boycott of institutions involved in Israel’s occupation and apartheid [ii].  We wish, in our letter to you, to stress the importance of this Palestinian call, and underscore the rationale for the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. 
The 2004 Palestinian call appealed to international artists to refuse to perform in Israel or participate in events that serve to equate the occupier and the occupied [iii] and thus contribute to the continuation of injustice.  Following this, in 2005, an overwhelming majority in Palestinian civil society called for an all-encompassing BDS campaign based on the principles of human rights, justice, freedom and equality [iv].  The BDS movement adopts a nonviolent, morally consistent strategy to hold Israel accountable to the same human rights standards as other nations. It is asking artists to heed the boycott call until “Israel withdraws from all the lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; removes all its colonies in those lands; agrees to United Nations resolutions relevant to the restitution of Palestinian refugees rights; and dismantles its system of apartheid." [v]  
Your performance in Israel would constitute a rejection of the appeal from over 170 civil society organizations that comprise thePalestinian BDS movement. 
Israel subjects Palestinians to a cruel system of dispossession and racial discrimination
Perhaps you are not familiar enough with Israel’s practices, widely acknowledged as violations of international law. If this is the case, then we hope you will reconsider your planned concert after thinking through some of Israel’s trespasses.  Your performance would function as a whitewash of these practices, making it appear as though business with Israel should go on as usual. Concretely, Israel routinely violates Palestinians’ basic human rights in some of the following ways:
  1. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip live under a brutal and unlawful military occupation.  Israel restricts Palestinians’ freedom of movement and of speech; blocks access to lands, health care, and education; imprisons Palestinian leaders and human rights activists without charge or trial; and inflicts, on a daily basis, humiliation and violence at the more than 600 military checkpoints and roadblocks strangling the West Bank.  All the while, Israel continues to build its illegal wall on Palestinian land and to support the ever-expanding network of illegal, Jewish-only settlements that divide the West Bank into Bantustans.
  1. Palestinian citizens of Israel face a growing system of Apartheid within Israel's borders, with laws and policies that deny them the rights that their Jewish counterparts enjoy.  These laws and policies affect education, land ownership, housing, employment, marriage, and all other aspects of people's daily lives. In many ways this system strikingly resembles Jim Crow and apartheid South Africa.
  1. Since 1948, when Israel dispossessed more than 750,000 Palestinian people in order to form an exclusivist Jewish state, Israel has denied Palestinian refugees their internationally recognized right to return to their homes and their lands.  Israel also continues to expel people from their homes in Jerusalem and the Naqab (Negev).  Today, there are more than 7 million Palestinian refugees still struggling for their right to return to their homes, like all refugees around the world.
  1. In Gaza, Palestinians have been subjected to a criminal and immoral siege since 2006.  As part of this siege, Israel has prevented not only various types of medicines, candles, books, crayons, clothing, shoes, blankets, pasta, tea, coffee and chocolate, but also musical instruments from reaching the 1.5 million Palestinians incarcerated in the world’s largest open-air prison [[vi]].
The apartheid wall, cutting off people from their
farmland, making access
 to school and healthcare very difficult.
Could you possibly perform in such a state with a clear conscience?
Israel uses arts and culture to whitewash its violations of international law and human rights.  
In December 2008 and January 2009, Israel waged a war of aggression against Gaza that left 1,400 Palestinians, predominantly civilians, dead [vii], and led the UN Goldstone Report to declare that Israel had committed war crimes [viii].  In the wake of this assault and to salvage its deteriorating image, Israel has redoubled its effort to “brand” itself as an enlightened liberal democracy [ix]. Arts and culture play a unique role in this branding campaign[x], as the presence of internationally acclaimed artists from the West is meant to affirm Israel’s membership in the West’s privileged club of “cultured,” liberal democracies. But it should not be business as usual with a state that routinely violates international law and basic human rights. 
Your performance would serve this Israeli campaign to rebrand itself and will be used as a publicity tool by the Israeli government.
Numerous distinguished cultural figures and public intellectuals have joined the call for BDS.
After the Gaza assault and even more so after the flotilla massacre in May 2010, many international artists, intellectuals, and cultural workers have been rejecting Israel’s cynical use of the arts to whitewash its Apartheid and colonial policies. Among those who have supported the BDS movement are distinguished artists, writers, and anti-racist activists such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu [xi], John Berger, Arundhati Roy, Adrienne Rich, Ken Loach, Naomi Klein, and Alice Walker [xii].
World-renowned artists, among them Bono, Zakir Hussain, Cat Power, Snoop Dogg, Jean Luc Godard, Elvis Costello, Gil Scott Heron, Carlos Santana, Devendra Banhart, Faithless, Cassandra Wilson, The Yes Men, Mike Leigh, and the Pixies have also cancelled their performances in or visits to Israel over its human rights record.  Maxi Jazz (Faithless front-man) had this to say as he maintained his principled position not to entertain apartheid,
While human beings are being willfully denied not just their rights but their needs for their children and grandparents and themselves, I feel deeply that I should not be sending even tacit signals that [performing in Israel] is either 'normal' or 'ok'. It's neither and I cannot support it. It grieves me that it has come to this and I pray everyday for human beings to begin caring for each other, firm in the wisdom that we are all we have. [xiii]
Please say no to performing in Israel. 
If you remain unconvinced because of claims that a cultural boycott of Israel may infringe on freedom of expression and cultural exchange, may we recall for you the judicious words of Enuga S. Reddy, director of the United Nations Center against Apartheid, who in 1984 responded to a similar criticism voiced against the cultural boycott of South Africa by saying:
It is rather strange, to say the least, that the South African regime which denies all freedoms... to the African majority... should become a defender of the freedom of artists and sportsmen of the world. We have a list of people who have performed in South Africa because of ignorance of the situation or the lure of money or unconcern over racism. They need to be persuaded to stop entertaining apartheid, to stop profiting from apartheid money and to stop serving the propaganda purposes of the apartheid regime. [xiv]
Today, Palestinian civil society groups are calling on artists to shun Tel Aviv in the same way that South African activists called on artists to boycott Sun City.  All we are asking is for you to refrain from crossing a picket line called by Palestinian society, endorsed by international organizations, and increasingly supported by progressive-Israelis [xv].  Palestinian civil society is asking this of you as the most essential contribution to their struggle to achieve peace and justice.
Respectfully, 
PACBI
Notes:


[xv] http://boycottisrael.info/

Posted on 19-10-2012

SOURCE

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Paco Ibáñez Shows Support for Palestinians in Gaza

Paco Ibáñez, the Spanish singer and musician has shown support for human rights for Palestinians in Gaza.  Hundreds of supporters of the Swedish Ship to Gaza - the Estelle, gathered on the Basque port in San Sebastián, Spain, also known as Donostia in Basque, on the 26th of August, 2012.


Ibáñez used the Estelle’s deck as a stage, singing L’estaca, a popular song calling for unity of action to achieve freedom.  

The Estelle's voyage to Gaza is a much needed show of humanity, and stands as an important reminder to the world that Israel is imposing a barbaric siege on 1.7 million people.  More than half the population of Gaza are children under the age of 18.

Click photo to enlarge.
The Ship to Gaza’s Official Website published today:

One of the MPs who embarked Estelle south of the Greek islands earlier today, the Social Democrat MP and doctor, Sven Britton. He is joined by his parliamentary colleagues Aksel Hagen from Norway, Ricardo Sixto Iglesias, Spain, and Vangelis Diamandopoulos, Greece. Moreover, sails former Member of Parliament, Jim Manly from Canada, with Estelle.
Three Israeli citizens are also on board and participate in the attempt to break and lift the blockade.
Estelle is expected to enter Gaza this weekend.[1]

On 21 September, eighty Irish parliamentarians, in an unprecedented show of cross-party solidarity,  signed a statement supporting the SV Estelle's mission to break the siege on Gaza by Israel [2].

Fintan Lane of Gaza Action Ireland stated today in the GIA Press Statement:

Israel has no right to stop the Estelle and the ship should be allowed to bring its humanitarian cargo directly to the port of Gaza.
This inhuman blockade has gone on for far too long and must be ended.
The people of Gaza are entitled to their human rights and dignity just like people anywhere else. The Israeli siege is a politically motivated act of collective punishment and is entirely illegal under international law. The international community needs to be more robust in its opposition to this appalling blockade.”
“It is wonderful to see so many parliamentarians take a stand for human rights when governments won’t. We applaud those who boarded the Estelle off the Greek coast today.[3]

Last year Ibáñez sang in Basque at the Théâtre 71 in Malakoff, France.


Ibáñez performed in Israel nearly 50 years ago in 1962.  In 2005, Palestinian Civil Society called for a boycott of Israel. More information about the boycott can be found at www.pacbi.org


[1] Social Democrat MP Sven Britton sailing with Estelle to break blockade
http://shiptogaza.se/Pressrum/Pressmeddelanden/socialdemokratiske-riksdagsledamoten-sven-britton-seglar-med-estelle-f%C3%B6r-a

[2]Unprecedented cross-party call by Irish politicians for an end to the Israeli siege of Gaza  http://www.ipsc.ie/press-releases/unprecedented-cross-party-call-by-irish-politicians-for-an-end-to-the-israeli-siege-of-gaza

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Will Performing in Israel, Advocate Somehow for Peace?

Some artists erroneously think that they should play in Israel, and BREAK the boycott and thereby spread a message of peace.

Roger Waters played in Israel, under the misguided notion that his concert was for peace.  His concert in Israel drew many fans, but it did not result in any changes for Palestinians under occupation.  His concert did not lead to peace, nor did the fact that 60,000 concertgoers viewed this video of the wall and its effects, which he screened during his concert in Israel:

Now the former Pink Floyd legend is one of the strongest advocates for the boycott.  Waters said:

Artists were right to refuse to play in South Africa's Sun City resort until apartheid fell and white people and black people enjoyed equal rights. And we are right to refuse to play in Israel until the day comes – and it surely will come – when the wall of occupation falls and Palestinians live alongside Israelis in the peace, freedom, justice and dignity that they all deserve [1]

The difference is that now Waters realizes that the best way forward is to respect what the majority of Palestinian Civil Society has called for:  the boycott.  

Palestinian Civil Society has called for a boycott.  Even artists who happen to disagree with the boycott, should still respect it.   “Normalization” does not lead to peace, and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel makes that clear:  

As was the case in the international struggle against apartheid in South Africa, taking guidance from broadly-endorsed representatives of the oppressed, in this case the Palestinian leadership of the BDS movement, the BNC, and respecting boycott guidelines set by the great majority in the oppressed society is an ethical obligation for any conscientious person or group genuinely standing in solidarity with the oppressed [2].

Natacha Atlas

Natacha Atlas, felt somehow her concert in Tel Aviv would also lead to peace, but she publically changed her mind, and announced via facebook that respecting the boycott has an impact:

I had an idea that performing in Israel would have been a unique opportunity to encourage and support my fans' opposition to the current government's actions and policies. I would have personally asked my Israeli fans face-to-face to fight this apartheid with peace in their hearts, but after much deliberation I now see that it would be more effective a statement to not go to Israel until this systemised apartheid is abolished once and for all. Therefore I publicly retract my well-intentioned decision to go and perform in Israel and so sincerely hope that this decision represents an effective statement against this regime [3].


Among those who embrace justice, human rights, and freedom, there is enormous support for any artist who decides to cancel a planned concert in Israel.  The list is growing of artists of conscience who have refused to play in Israel.  


[1] Waters’ full statement can be read at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/11/cultural-boycott-west-bank-wall   
[2] Debating BDS:  On Normalization and Partial Boycotts http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1850
[3] See Natacha’s post at https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=257850224253526&id=125501987488351

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Power Behind Israel's Harp Contest


Let's take a close look at some of the sponsors of the Israel International Harp Contest contest.  Understanding who finances the contest helps to show why its a good idea to refrain from participating.  The contest website shows these sponsors. 
  1. State of Israel Ministry of Tourism  http://www.tourism.gov.il/Govheb Participates in promoting migration to illegal settlements in the West Bank.
  1. Jerusalem Municipality  (implicated in  home demolitions of the indigenous people of Palestine, see a video of a Palestinian home being demolished by the Jerusalem Municipality) http://www.jerusalem.muni.il/jer_main/defaultnew.asp?lng=1
  2. Tel Aviv Municipality http://www.tel-aviv.gov.il/Pages/HomePage.aspx  (Tel Aviv Municipality operates schools that are segregated and funds programs to prevent Jews and Arabs from dating.).  Building permits are denied to Palestinians. More at http://bit.ly/sGG0mC
  3. State of Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport  (actively promotes “Zionist culture” and penalizes Israeli artists who will not perform on the illegal settlement Ariel)
  4. Tel Aviv Univ. - A state funded university involved in research serving the occupation and which recruited the lawyer who authorised the phosphorous attack on Gaza.
  1. Israeli Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumiand Israel Discount Bank, all three are involved with and/or finance the illegal settlements and violations of international law.
Young harpists should not be falsely lured into thinking it is a good thing to have Israel on their resume.  Its not prestigious to be seen as endorsing Israel's policies. Harpists are being sold the notion that historical sites in  "the Land of Israel await you,"  and then expected to blindly think that Israel is a normal, or even advanced nation through its "vibrant musical life."  
The boycott seems to have taken hold in other genres of the musical world, with well known Roger Waters of Pink Floyd among many others.  Should harpists be expected to leave behind their conscience, and go ahead and ignore the boycott?  Roger Waters wrote not long ago:
Artists were right to refuse to play in South Africa's Sun City resort until apartheid fell and white people and black people enjoyed equal rights. And we are right to refuse to play in Israel until the day comes – and it surely will come – when the wall of occupation falls and Palestinians live alongside Israelis in the peace, freedom, justice and dignity that they all deserve.                                                                             (see http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/11/cultural-boycott-west-bank-wall)