Leonard Cohen, Amnesty partner with Settlers for phoney peace gig in Tel Aviv
Update 8/18/2009: Amnesty has withdrawn their support for this colonial project.
Palestinians are being ethnically cleansed in Jerusalem and yet still, Leonard Cohen and other artists insist on playing in Israel. Because appearing righteous is so important to Mr. Cohen, he has gone to great lengths, and even gotten Amnesty International to partner with Israel Discount Bank (which finances and pays rent in Jewish only settlements located on occupied Palestinians lands) in providing the financial mechanism to whitewash his appearance in the apartheid venue.
Entertaining Apartheid Israel Deserves No Amnesty:
An Open Letter to Amnesty International, Signed by:
• The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
• Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East
• The Alternative Information Center (AIC)
• American Jews for a Just Peace (US)
• BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within (Israel)
• British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP)
• Independent Jewish Voices (Canada)
• International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
• Jews Against the Occupation-NYC
• New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel (NYCBI)
• New York City Labor Against the War
• Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK)
• US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel
In May, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) called on singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen to heed the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and avoid complicity with Israel’s violations of international law by cancelling his planned September concert in Israel, particularly in view of Israel’s war crimes in Gaza earlier this year. Sadly, according to a July 28 article in the Jerusalem Post, Amnesty International USA has agreed to cooperate with Cohen in dealing with Israel on the basis of business as usual. Amnesty International USA will serve as sponsor of a new fund that will whitewash the money raised at Cohen’s concert in Israel by using it to finance programs for “peace.” Being one of the world’s strongest proponents of human rights and international law, you shall thus be subverting a non-violent, effective effort by Palestinian and international civil society to end Israel’s violations of international law and human rights principles. We call on you to be true to your values and immediately withdraw support for Leonard Cohen’s ill-conceived concert in Israel.
This concert laundering scheme is the 2nd attempt by Leonard Cohen’s NYC based publicity team to impose their own “cultural peace process” on the Palestinians. The first attempt by Cohen to reject the cultural boycott entailed a proposed concert of appeasement in Ramallah, also involving Amnesty International and the nearly-duped Palestinian Prisoners Club Society, which is part of the BDS Movement. The Prisoners Club and venue withdrew their support upon being informed by PACBI of its context within the Cultural Boycott of Israel. Similarly, the Palestinian Happy Child Center, has clarified their lack of support for this colonial scheme.