Guest Post from Waleed.
Madonna just confirmed her last 2009 tour date at Tel Aviv’s Yehoshua Gardens (HaYarkon Park) on September 1st. This is bound to be big news come tomorrow morning as this is going to put an end to all the rumors and speculations of her coming to the region.
A Palestinian village once stood where she would be performing in (the village of Jarisha). As reported in the past, many international artists have canceled their slated tours in Israel including the Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, Kelly Clarkson, Bjork, Snoop Dogg and India.Arie to name a few. Obviously, I think she should join the ranks of all the rest.
Here is the open letter I wrote to Madonna:
As a super fanatic Palestinian-American fan, it’s very sad to learn that you confirmed your last date of your Sticky & Sweet Tour in Israel. At a time when the international community is sickened by the unconscionable, merciless attacks and wanton destruction rained down upon the Palestinians of Gaza, your final tour date suggests that you don’t acknowledge Israel’s continued international law violations and pending war crimes against its indigenous population, nor do you realize that you will only be performing to one people in a land shared by two.
It’s hard to fathom that you didn’t see the absolutely gruesome and harrowing scenes in Gaza during its massacre. This year alone, Israel killed over 1,400 Palestinians in the blockaded strip with 5,300 more casualties either injured, blinded, amputated or brain dead after the assault as its citizens celebrated the destruction of the encaged people. During its bombing campaign, Israel experimented its new weapons on a population under siege and long suffering from fear, hunger and hopelessness with no where else to go.
For someone that has been so concerned with human rights as you have, please understand that while half the population lives in a vibrant first world, the other half is confined to a life of ghettoized misery by the Israeli military occupation. Palestinians not only suffer from a siege in Gaza, but the remainder are either discriminated in Israel proper or have to deal with systematic killings, dehumanizing checkpoints or have their land and water confiscated and houses demolished in the West Bank. The state of Israel usurps, suppresses, denies and continues to destroy its native inhabitants on a daily basis. The occupation it maintains does not discriminate between men and women, old and young, or gay and straight Palestinians; Israel’s treatment of its native inhabitants violates many international laws and contravenes basic fundamental human rights.
Madonna, I urge you to recognize Israel’s barbarity towards the Palestinians. Your arrival to Israel would serve a slap in the face to the Palestinian struggle for freedom and sovereignty; not only to those living under the brutal occupation, but to the continued efforts of the international community and the many peace activists who are encouraging a boycott of this aggressive state.
You’ve stood up for everything from rights of minorities in this country to being the very first to speak out against the Iraq war at a time when it wasn’t the most popular thing to do. And you have no idea how elated I was when you ended your Re-Invention tour with the message of peace with both Palestinian and Israeli flags side by side; but now it hurts to know you want to perform in Israel – preferring this state whose newly elected government does not even recognize the Palestinian’s right to exist. Please stand up and join the many others who are criticizing the excesses and inhuman policies of the Israeli government.
Cancel your Tel Aviv date and don’t support a country whose policies of ethnic cleansing and oppression have endured for over 60 years.