Israel Haters Focus Boycott Effort on Red Sea Jazz Fest
ONLINE PETITION CREATED TO SUPPORT ARTISTS PERFORMING IN ISRAEL
Music lovers the world over will be gathering in Eilat, Israel later this month for the annual Red Sea Jazz Festival. Jazz aficionados are especially excited as this year’s event will feature some of the biggest talents in the Jazz realm. Yet as the saying goes every party needs a pooper, and this holds no less true for the upcoming party in Eilat. A group of Israel hating (or maybe just fun hating) malcontents have been harassing artists slated to participate in the event, urging them to join in their boycott of the Jewish state.
Sharing his concern, Keith Dvorchik President of Seattle’s Jewish Federation informed TMR that boycott proponents have gathered nearly 16,000 signatures to their petition encouraging artists to cancel their performances at this major international event.
The text of the anti-Israel petition proclaims that The Red Sea Jazz Festival “is a government event of propaganda, which uses Jazz music as a tool for whitewashing military occupation, apartheid and oppression of the Palestinian people.”
Dvorchik explained that The Jewish Federation of North America’s Israel Action Network (IAN) has been at the forefront of battling this extremist campaign to delegitimize Israel. IAN has joined with the Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), a group which works to counter cultural boycotts. CCFP is comprised of prominent members of the entertainment industry who believe that music and the arts promote peace, oppose cultural boycotts that single out Israel. The group encourages all artists to experience and see Israel for themselves. Additionally CCFP utilizes behind-the-scenes relationships to speak with artists and their reps on a one-on-one basis to introduce them to Israel and reveal the true aims of the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in order to prevent show cancellations.
IAN and CCFP have created their own online petition thanking the Jazz Festival artists for performing in Israel. The statement to the artists reads in part…
We know you are hearing falsehoods about Israel being an apartheid state and unfair comparisons of Israel to apartheid South Africa. These messages are filled with distortions and untruths that seek to malign Israel and distort the discourse of those that seek peace. Those who have actually been to Israel know that it is a democratic country with a diverse population, where women, Arabs, Muslims, Christians and all minorities have equal rights; a nation where art and freedom of expression flourish.
We therefore urge you to keep your tour date in Israel, the land Madonna calls “the energy center of the world.” Join the ranks of independent-minded artists who have performed in Israel recently, including Rihanna, Alanis Morissette, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Black Eyed Peas, Missy Elliot, Metallica, Linkin Park, Lady Gaga, Seal, Erykah Badu and many others. Your fans in Israel are looking forward to seeing you and know that you will use the power of your music to help bring hope and peace to the region!