“Political or not political, when you stand up on that stage in Tel Aviv, you line yourself up with a racist state,”
wrote a group of British academics in an open letter to Elton John on Monday. The British Committee for Universities of Palestine, wants to convince the singer to cancel his upcoming performance in Israel this June.
Dear Elton John:
Like much of the world, we think youâ€™re a good bloke. You came out when it was difficult; you admitted your addictions were stronger than you were; youâ€™ve poured money into AIDS research. Oh, and then thereâ€™s the music â€“ not bad at all…
â€¦But weâ€™re struggling to understand why youâ€™re playing in Israel on June 17. You may say youâ€™re not a political person, but does an army dropping white phosphorus on a school building full of children demand a political response? Does walling a million and a half people up in a ghetto and then pounding that ghetto to rubble require a political response from us, or a human one?
â€¦Youâ€™re behaving as if playing in Israel is morally neutral â€“ but how can it be? How can the cruelties Israel practices against the Palestinians â€“ fundamentally because the Palestinians are there, on Palestinian land, and Israel wants them to go â€“ be morally neutral?
â€¦Okay, you turn up in Ramat Gan, and it gets to that â€˜Candle in the Windâ€™ moment, and thousands of lighters flicker â€“ but there wonâ€™t be any Palestinians from the Occupied Territories swaying along with the Israelis â€“ the army wonâ€™t let them leave their ghettoesâ€¦
The organization requested that Elton John read the Goldstone Report as well as reports from human rights groups regarding the decades of what they labeled
“crimes committed against the Palestinians.”
Head of the organization, Professor Haim Bresheeth, said:
“The letter we published is on Elton John’s homepage and is already posted on all of his fan sites on the internet, and has drawn responses that we hope will influence him not to come to Israel.”
According to Bresheeth, a similar initiative resulted in the cancellation of Santana‘s Israel show, about two weeks ago.
Bresheeth, who spearheaded the demand to place an academic boycott on Israel more than two years ago, added:
“Unfortunately, we did not succeed in convincing Paul McCartney from canceling his concert, but we will continue to take similar action in order to prevent these respectable artists from arriving in an occupying country that breaks international law. The decision ultimate is in the hands of the artists themselves.”
Here’s why Elton John should not cancel his show:
The fundamental source of the Palestinian and Israeli conflict is the former’s unwillingness to broaden their horizons and accept the impressive artistic and other accomplishments of cultures which are different than their own.
I am quite sure that if residents of Jenin were given to roam freely throughout Ramat Gan, their first stop would not be the Elton John concert. That is ridiculous.
Palestinians are no friend of the arts in England or in America. And if this is unfair or untrue, then by all means, let the good people of Palestine step up and prove it!
The Palestinians have their own universities, artists, industry, etc. So if they’re jealous, let THEM book their OWN Elton John concert.
But please, please, don’t take my Tiny Dancer…