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Letter From Israeli Citizens to Stevie


(Originally posted here.)

Dear Stevie Wonder,

We are a group of Israeli citizens, who have the utmost respect for your musical and humanitarian contributions to our world. We were quite surprised, even shocked, to learn of your upcoming performance for Friends of the IDF (FIDF). We would like to share our concerns with you, and urge you to reconsider your acceptance of the FIDF invitation.

As an anti-apartheid activist in the several decades ago, you championed a cause which is, in fact, our cause nowadays. As Jewish Israelis, we are privileged citizens in a country which is ethnocratic to its core. Millions of human beings, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, are living under a violent, military occupation enforced by the Israeli army (IDF). The occupation is so discriminatory that even these Palestinians may be stopped, arrested and abused if they board a bus from  the occupied West Bank to Tel Aviv, simply for exercising their right to free travel -- as happened to the Palestinian Freedom Riders exactly one year ago. (Source: Israel arrests "Freedom Riders" challenging apartheid road system)

Furthermore, privileged Jewish Israeli settlers are now trying to have Palestinians removed from buses going from central Israel to the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. (Sources: Attempt at bus segregation appalling; Police order Palestinian workers off buses to West Bank, at request of Israeli settlers)

Discrimination against human beings because of their ethnicity amounts to racism and apartheid. Brave and dedicated activists, such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, rose up against such racism in America, and we thank you for supporting them through your art and your activism.

Israeli governments have created an apartheid and occupation state.  A great deal of Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies are enforced by its so-called “Israel Defense Forces”, the IDF. Veterans of the IDF, combat soldiers who had enlisted in the IDF in good faith, as law-abiding citizens, have testified time and again about military acts of torture, abuse, even murder, which they had witnessed. This regards not just the West Bank, but also the besieged Gaza Strip, whose inhabitants have been subjected to mass killing, indiscriminate bombing, mass demolition of houses and  the denial of medical care, all enforced by the IDF. We are writing this letter as the inhabitants of Gaza are still reeling from an appalling Israeli onslaught, which killed scores of children and infants (Initial Findings: 40 of the Palestinians killed by the Israeli military up to the night of 19 Nov. were civilians, among them 19 minors - Source).

This Israeli attack on Gaza, carried out by the IDF, was in no way proportional to any any action taken by Palestinian militants in Gaza. Moreover, the attack was aimed at more than a million people who had already been subjected to years of Israeli occupation, siege and brutality. (Source: Is Gaza Outside Israel?)

It should be noted that most of the crimes committed by the Israeli army against Palestinians in the occupied territories and the Gaza strip go unpunished
(Source: Rachel Corrie verdict exposes Israeli military mindset)

One can only conclude that the IDF is a part of the problem, and that its conduct should not be celebrated!

Dear Stevie Wonder, please do not sing for Israel’s key instrument of racism, apartheid and occupation!

We will gladly respond to any question or comment you may have.

Sincerely yours,

Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within