April 7, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – The Greek Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People – Intifada issued an open letter today, calling internationally known Greek musician Demis Roussos to boycott Israeli Apartheid and not to perform there.
Full text below:
Dear Mr Roussos,
We are an association from Greece, which consists of people sensible to the drama of the Palestinians, to the repression and the ethnic cleansing that they suffer in their country and to the agony of the displaced refugees worldwide.
We were surprised to hear that you intend to perform in Tel Aviv on the 6th of May 2010. Our surprise came from the fact that your sensitivity towards the injustice suffered by the Palestinians, and your support to them was given to us, because along with 54 other great people of art and culture, including the great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, the British director Ken Loach, the South African writer Andre Brink, the Israeli academic and poet Aharon Shabtai, also the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, and the Anglo-Pakistani writer Tariq Ali, you signed a letter of protest to the celebration of the 60 years of Israel which was published in the International Herald Tribune on the 8th May 2008. In this letter, it is mentioned:
“There is no reason to celebrate! Israel at 60 is a state that is still denying Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned rights, simply because they are «non-Jews.» It is still illegally occupying Palestinian and other Arab lands, in violation of numerous UN resolutions. It is still persistently and grossly breaching international law and infringing fundamental human rights with impunity afforded to it through munificent US and European economic, diplomatic and political support. It is still treating its own Palestinian citizens with institutionalized discrimination.
In short, celebrating «Israel at 60» is tantamount to dancing on Palestinian graves to the haunting tune of lingering dispossession and multi-faceted injustice.
There is absolutely no reason to celebrate! But there are myriad reasons to reflect, to engage, to work towards peace and justice.”
Two years after this letter, the only thing that has changed is that in December 2008 the slaughter of 1500 people was added, most of them refugees and children, trapped and with no possibility of escape in the Gaza Strip. This war crime, unprecedented in recent history, still remains unpunished by the international community. The isolation of the Gaza Strip continues, the settlements, the countless checkpoints and the wall in the West Bank continue to hold the Palestinians prisoners, discrimination against them is an everyday reality and the humiliation of the Palestinians by the State of Israel remains unchanged.
When these crimes occur, we cannot remain indifferent. The civil society but even more the people of culture and art, have a responsibility to help to end the injustice against the Palestinian people.
As you may have heard, the Palestinians have called on citizens of the international community to participate in a campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel as it had been earlier applied successfully against the South African apartheid. Many celebrities of art and culture have already responded to this call.
We are addressing to your own awareness and knowledge of the situation and ask you not to perform in Israel on the 6th of May.
Such apartheid state does not deserve celebrations and brightness. Does not deserve artistic events because they «wash away» the injustices and legitimize Israel as a state that participates in the «culture and the arts» whilst the Palestinians pay the price of occupation and oppression. To the Israeli politicians who see each visit to Israel as an act of support of their policy, any cancellation is a reminder that there is a price for the continued oppression and disregard of the rights of the Palestinians.
We urge you to put into effect the principle, beautifully articulated by the great thinker Edward Said who prefaced the letter of 2008: «The power of culture against the culture of power».
With respect for your work,
We hope that you by cancelling your concert along with more and more citizens and artists worldwide will pass the message to the State of Israel that injustice cannot be continued and tolerated.
Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People – Intifada