Thursday, April 9, 2015

Juliette Greco, for the sake of justice, please refuse to whitewash apartheid.

Dear Juliette Greco,

You are an artist who has stood the test of time and whose songs and life story are known to all. With your songs you convey the values of justice and the love of freedom. On many occasions you have carried out acts of resistance, as you did when you bravely sang anti-militarist songs at your concert in Pinochet's Chile.
In the name of those values, we are writing to you today regarding your concert planned for 4 May in Tel Aviv.
Boycott Israel,  Juliette Greco
Israel openly admits that it uses international artists like yourself in an attempt to improve its image. So we sincerely hope that, as you prepare to retire from the stage, you will consider the implications of your appearance in that country and instead choose not to join in the whitewashing and normalisation of Israeli occupation, colonisation and apartheid policies.
Please remember that Israel refuses to respect international law and persists in violating numerous United Nations resolutions, among which are three examples:
- Resolution 194 granting Palestinian refugees their Right of Return
- Resolution 242 demanding that Israel withdraw its army from the Palestinian territories it is occupying.
- Resolution 3236 reaffirming the Palestinian people's right to self-determination.
Israel continues to deprive the Palestinian people of their most elementary human rights. In the West Bank, there are still 150 Israeli colonies and the segregation wall is still standing, despite the 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice which denounced its illegality and called for it to be dismantled. Hundreds of military checkpoints and an apartheid-like pass system prevent Palestinians from going to work, children from going to school, farmers from harvesting their crops, pregnant women and the critically ill from reaching hospital. In Gaza, after Israel directed its criminal bombing at the entire civilian population last summer (during which over 2,200 Palestinians were murdered, including 500 children, according to United Nations figures), the Israeli government is still maintaining its blockade and the population goes on suffering enormously.
In East Jerusalem, over 2,000 houses have been demolished by the Israeli authorities; those same authorities have refused to register more than 5,000 children who are therefore prevented from attending school, and tens of thousands of Palestinians have no homes any more, any rebuilding being banned by Israel.
Faced with Israel's impunity, Palestinian civil society, supported by the most progressive fringe of Israeli citizens, launched in 2005 the BDS (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions) campaign. This international non-violent campaign was inspired by the similar campaign against South Africa in the apartheid era. It does not target individuals, it targets a political regime and its institutions.
Juliette Greco, you recently stated, when speaking about your final round of appearances, that you wanted to make a beautiful exit. To make that beautiful exit a reality, we appeal to you to hear the call for a cultural boycott of Israel, made by an oppressed people to the world's artists of whom you are one, asking them not to perform there.
We are asking you today not to support these countless violations of universal human rights and to join the personalities who have chosen not to appear in Israel as long as that State refuses to respect international law.
Among the artists who have refused to participate in the whitewashing of Israel's crimes are:Cassandra Wilson, Natacha Atlas, Cat Power, Gilles Vigneault, Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, Carlos Santana, Annie Lennox, Vanessa Paradis, Llasa, Gil Scott-Heron, Jello Biafra, Massive Attack, as well as Peter Brook, Susan Sarandon, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh....
We are of course at your disposal to provide you with any further information you might
wish to have.

Yours sincerely,