USACBI Responds to Unsubstantiated Claims of Threats

The Organizing Collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel celebrates the increasing number of international artists who are cancelling performances in Israel. Accompanying this success are allegations that artists receive threats that lead them to cancel their performances. To counter these charges, USACBI wants to be clear about the work we do, and how we do it.

USACBI (& our many partners – including PACBI, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Adalah – NY, Boycott From Within, InCACBI, et al.) contacts artists scheduled to perform in Israel. We actively appeal to these artists and inform them about the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.  We make sure these artists know that boycotts and divestment initiatives are non-violent strategies of global solidarity, and that the BDS movement will be maintained until Israel complies with international law and ends its illegal occupation; dismantles the Wall; recognizes the fundamental rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and respects the Palestinian Right of Return as stipulated by UN Resolution 194.

The many artists who have heeded the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel include Elvis Costello, Roger Waters, Alice Walker, and Mira Nair.  Most have issued statements explaining their decision as an act of solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people.

Although we and our allies urge artists not to cross the international picket line by performing in Israel, and although we make sustained efforts to educate performers about the reason for boycott, we have not and never will issue any threats against anyone who does not heed the boycott call.   Recent claims of threats from ex-Animals singer Eric Burdon in an article published by Ha’aretz are vague and unsubstantiated. We do not know if they are made up by media hostile to the BDS strategy, or by artists and/or their agents, or if they are inflated reports of remarks made by individuals who do not represent the movement. USACBI advances the BDS movement not through threats, but rather by exposing Israel’s wrongs, and promoting non-violent ways to redress them, and achieve the rights of the Palestinian people.

If you are an academic or cultural worker, and wish to endorse the Palestinian call for academic and cultural boycott, please email us at

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