OPEN LETTER to Barbra Streisand: Don't Play in Apartheid Israel
Dear Barbra Streisand,
We are citizens of Israel who oppose Israel’s continuing displacement of the Palestinian people via military occupation and apartheid policies (http://www.boycottisrael.info/). It's important that you be fully aware of the political role you take, when you choose to participate in official state events such as Shimon Peres' birthday. The national celebrations of the president's birthday are essentially a celebration of decades of oppression, racism and discrimination, in which Mr, Peres has played a leading role. Mr. Peres is not a man of peace, and he does not speak in our names!
According to international law, Palestinians under Israel's military occupation are protected persons, which means that Israel's government is accountable for their lives and safety. Shimon Peres has been a member of, and a senior propagandist for, successive Israeli governments which have used cluster munitions (http://tinyurl.com/43jav55) flechette artillery shells (http://tinyurl.com/6emxsfc), and white phosphorus bombs (http://tinyurl.com/8ycvgk) against civilians in densely populated areas in Gaza (or Lebanon). As Prime Minister, in April 1996, and as part of Israel’s “Operation Grapes of Wrath”, Mr. Peres authorized the mass bombing of villages in Southern Lebanon, aimed at creating a wave of refugees flooding Beirut (http://tinyurl.com/cwcrssc).
The aforementioned governments have also increased the number of Israeli settlers inside occupied Palestinian territories, and imposed separate legal systems for Israeli settlers in the OPT and the indigenous Palestinian population (http://tinyurl.com/cr35buv). As the Minister of Defense in Yitzhak Rabin’s first government, Mr. Peres sided with the settlers of Sebastya, some of the first settlers in the West Bank, in 1975. Later on that year, he planted the first tree in the new settlement of Ofra, and was on the governmental committee which oversaw the establishment of the settlement of Ariel (Hebrew: http://tinyurl.com/d94uxq5) In his role as Minister of Defence, in September 1986, Mr. Peres authorized the kidnapping and torture of an Israeli citizen in Rome, whistle blower Mordechai Va'anunu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordechai_Vanunu). The reasons for Mr. Va'anunu's 18 year incarceration (most of which was served in solitary confinement, once more an act amounting to torture) are clear to anyone who is aware of Shimon Peres' role in Israel's nuclear history. Mr. Peres founded Israel’s military Nuclear Centre in Dimona (http://tinyurl.com/66dkz9), a project which has instigated a dangerous non-conventional arms race in the Middle East. There is also substantial evidence of his involvement in the destabilization of other regions, such as his moral and military support of South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime, and its nuclear project (http://tinyurl.com/3829792). Mr. Peres is engaged in warmongering to this day, through his public statements (http://tinyurl.com/c2rl5nt).
Shimon Peres is not a man of peace, and his political life is not to be celebrated. He is directly responsible for war crimes, which have cost the lives of thousands and have inflicted misery on millions on others.
Ms. Streisand, Please do not legitimize Israel's architect of militarism, occupation and apartheid and. Please cancel your performance in Israel.