Saturday, September 6, 2014

Flash Mob for Gaza Sends Powerful Message and Ends to Applause

(Bosa, Sardinia) Sounds of bombing, a woman falls to the ground, more bombing, people strewn about the square.  A lone trumpeter walks amongst the bodies of young people, men, and women.  An interested crowd gathers.
Families initially react with shock, covering their children's ears, then interest, and finally applause.  
This flash mob tells the story of Israel's massacre of Gaza, in the context of our everyday lives.  It is unsettling because it brings home a piece of the horror that Israel inflicted on the entire population of Gaza.  The death toll is an alarming 2,168: 521 Children and 297 Women.  
The BDS Movement recently explained:
...on August 2nd 2014, three days after the occupation forces bombed the designated UN humanitarian shelter in Jabalya refugee camp, killing 20 civilians and wounding at least 150 people as they slept, the US Congress approved $225 million in additional military aid to Israel. The following day, the occupation forces bombed another UN shelter in Rafah killing ten civilians and injuring dozens. Also during the massacre, Germany sold Israel an attack submarine with nuclear capability, and Britain refused to freeze its arms sales to Israel. These and other forms of criminal complicity from world governments and official bodies pave the way for Israel’s ongoing genocidal attacks. It is up to people of conscience and all those who seek peace with justice worldwide to make sure this complicity ends now.
From small port towns like Bosa, Sardinia to New York City:  Boycott Israel!

Friday, August 22, 2014

OPEN LETTER: Join the Cultural Boycott of Israel, Lady Gaga

Bocyott Israel, Lady Gaga.
Mohammed El Kurd recently wrote this open letter to Lady Gaga, asking her to support the boycott.
Please don’t come to Israel, Lady Gaga.
So, I’m a huge fan of yours. I just want to tell you that you absolutely changed, and saved my life. You helped me accept who I am and help me find the beauty and the good in me. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be alive.

My name is Mohammed, I’m 16 and I’m from Jerusalem, Palestine. And my dream is to meet you, but also I have other dreams like: freedom, safety & having an independent political identity. 67 years ago ‘Israel’ was (and still duh) Palestine, people lived in peace here, just like any other country. But in 1948 the British government decided to give Palestine to Israeli people to live in like, ‘it was a land with no people for people with no land’, but the trouble was is that there is already people in this land; us, the Palestinians. So during the great catastrophe 15th of May 1948 (Which is also my birth day, wow) thousands of Palestinians were brutally murdered, thrown away from their homes, and a lot of them left the country.

It was horrible, but the hard part is that it’s still going on. For example: Israeli settlers and their government took my house, made me homeless (well I live with my grandma now but yea), among side with thousands of other Palestinians. But some cases are even harder, a lot of us get arrested or get killed just for being Palestinians. Our lands get stolen, our olive trees get demolished and our dreams get torn apart. And what they say that is their excuse for doing this that they’re the chosen people of god. But god is no real estate agent, is he?

You sing about love and compassion & how we all should belong together. Not hurt one another, well, Israel isn’t that it’s a war criminal. it has nothing to do peace. I do understand that it is not our fault – your fans here. But boycotting Israel would make such a difference, arguably.

If you do come here, I invite you to my house, because it is my dream to meet you. But also, because you need to see what has been going on in here. I want to invite you into the Palestinian spirit. I want you to see the struggle that we go through. I need you more than anything. It kills me living in a country where the existence of my identity is denied. And seeing the person I love the most; you support or just stay silent about that kills me, it hurts me inside that you may not understand what’s going on in here, but hey you can always try. The only person that knows what fire feels like is the person who’s burned. I’ll be here fighting through every second of my life for my freedom. Please do the right thing to do. Take a walk in my life. Try walking in my shoes, what would you do if you, Papa Joe, Cynthia & Natalie got thrown out of your house, would you sing for the person who stole your house?

Here’s a link for a documentary of me called “My Neighborhood” this was in 2011 and it shows what happened here.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Israeli Mass Media Portrays Gaza Massacre as Charming Summertime Project for Twenty-Somethings

Heeding the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel often takes immense courage, but it also means that in the future, thousands of innocent lives may be spared.
Writing messages on bombs used to kill civilians in Gaza.

Recently, marches in Tel Aviv blocked streets while Israeli youths chanted in favor of mass death amounting to genocide: [1]
They’ll take their papers away.
Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé
In Gaza there’s no studying
No children are left there…
Another young Israeli bragged that he killed 13 children in Gaza.  He used instagram to further threaten the deaths of more people. [2]

A chilling video emerges

This chilling video emerged[3], showing soldiers joyously playing games and eating sushi take-out. Flirty girls who need “refreshing” with outdoor hair-washes appear as if they are just one step above a girl-scout camp trip away from mom and dad. (0:55 Yes, they even [my parents] came to visit).

This Israeli media video report depicts Israeli mass murderers as normal. [1] Upbeat music accompanies this video, created for Israel public consumption, and released on 3 Aug 2014 via Israeli Channel 2 in Hebrew. The BDS movement has added English subtitles to expose the blatant disregard for human life as seen on the pert -often jovial- faces of these young Israelis participating in genocide.
At 1:17 an Israeli female soldier confirms she with the other 20 female soldiers in that particular military base fire missiles on Gaza every 2 minutes. With such frequency for sure these female soldiers are committing war crimes in which Palestinian babies and mothers are being massacred.
Their pleasure in destroying Gaza is shown in their facial expression and language, as well as the messages they inscript on the bombs.
From 2:45 the Israeli propaganda film shows the most banal messages being inscripted on the bombs that will kill Palestinians in Gaza.
At 2:57 one of the male soldiers tells about having a birthday (translation: "My birthday, birthday 24, she dedicated a bomb for me" and shows a very long hand written message on a bomb and concludes with "Fantastic.”)
At 3:03 one of the female soldiers tells about another bomb message:
"On this one I wrote this for not having a shower for a week"
(Hebrew: "על זאת כתבתי: 'זה על זה שלא התקלחתי שבוע")

Almost manic happiness as IOF soldiers bomb Gaza and play games.
Would any conscientious musician really want to appease and entertain these mass murderers?  When artists and others ignore the Palestinian call for boycott, the message is clear to these young Israeli war criminals:  Business as usual.  We are not being held to account for our crimes.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Internationals Won't Appear at Israeli Boom Box Festival: Event Completely Cancelled

Boycott Israel:  Wyclef Jean with wife Claudinette
Israeli fans of Wyclef Jean won't be rocking while Gaza is burning on August 14 in Hadera, Israel. The entire Boom-Box Festival has been cancelled.  Boom Box organizers claim they will reschedule the event, but international musicians of conscience are urged to join the cultural boycott of Israel and commit to NOT rescheduling.  
Boom Box organizers have openly declared their support for IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) soldiers that are brutally massacring hundreds of children in Gaza.  Boom Box organizers are happy to mix music with Israeli pro-Zionist politics.

Boom Box Mixing Music with Ethnic Cleansing 
Boom Box had also featured US Rapper Talib Kweli.  On July 1, Kweli used twitter to publicly announce his choice to honor the cultural boycott of Israel.  Using twitter, he announced “As much as I want to play Israel, I have decided not to in solidarity with Palestinians who will not have access to my show."[1]

Normalization and Denial of Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing 

Last April, Wyclef Jean joined with Israeli musician David Broza to create a video for "peace."  Jean sings in the opening track "Same face in the Gaza is the same face I see out in California." [2] Except the Gaza face is being torn apart or burnt by the Israeli face.  The faces of over 400 (that number climbs every day) beautiful Palestinian children have been frozen in death by the Israelis.  Jean's effort in co-creating "East Jerusalem - West Jerusalem" is categorized as normalization.  Israel's crime of apartheid and ethnic cleansing is denied and the Palestinian call for solidarity through the cultural boycott of Israel is ignored.  

Israel:  No Place to Headline

All artists, including Wyclef Jean, are urged to refrain from playing in Israel.  They are encouraged to join people of conscience everywhere who advocate for the cultural boycott of Israel.  
[1]  and

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lana Del Rey is Being Asked to Respect the Boycott of Israel

(July 27, 2014)  Lana Del Rey is being asked to respect the boycott of Israel, as called for by the majority of Palestinian Civil Society. A new facebook page titled Lana Del Rey, Don't Endorse Apartheid Israel's Violence states:
"American singer, Lana del Rey is expected to perform in today's Sun City --Tel Aviv, Israel in August 2014, at the Nokia Arena, tickets for Lana Del Rey are on sale now. It is especially pertinent that Lana cancel her gig and respect calls for a boycott of Israel, given that Israel is massacring hundreds of children and innocent civilians in Gaza, an inescapable open-air prison. We seek to let Lana know about the reasons for a boycott on this page."

Monday, July 21, 2014

Massive Attack Shows Support for Gaza at Longitude 2014

(Marlay Park, Ireland) Several tweets following Massive Attack's set at Dublin's Longitude Festival confirmed the band's strong support for Gaza.  Safe From Harm was performed to graphic images from Gaza.  The Irish Mirror reported that during Unfinished Sympathy, graphics and music paused to display the number of lives lost in Gaza.  Massive Attack was featured at the three day festival as the closing act on the main stage.

In 2010, Robert Del Naja affirmed his commitment to the cultural boycott of Israel in an interview with William Parry:
“I think musicians have a major role to play," Del Naja says. "I find the more I get involved, the more the movement becomes something tangible. I remember going to 'Artists Against Apartheid' gigs, and 'Rock Against Racism' gigs around the same sort of time. Bands like the Clash and the Specials had a lot to do with influencing the minds of the youth in those days."[1]

[1] The Silent Treatment
see also "More from Robert Del Naja on the Israel Boycott"

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Israeli Trance Scene: Isle of Dreams is Just a Dream

Israeli trance fans won't revel in trance music this August with Avicii, Maxwell, Afrojack, Above & Beyond, Alesso, R3hab, Ingrosso and tens of others.  
The Isle of Dreams trance music festival planned for August 7, 8, and 9 in Israel has been cancelled.  Trance music is immensely popular in Israel, and this was a highly anticipated festival featuring the top names in trance music.  Several trance artists have been called on to boycott Israel since the inception of Trance Addicts Against Apartheid in 2013.  The cancellation is welcome by boycott activists because it gives artists more time to learn about Palestine and the BDS movement and decide not to reschedule if they choose to.  It also allows Israeli trance fans to realize in a concrete way that life and trance music do not go on as usual when Israel massacres hundreds of refugees in Gaza.  

According to Trance Addicts Against Apartheid: "...the scale and influence [of trance music] is so massive that the country [Israel] is now credited with being the birthplace of "Full on", a form of psychedelic trance. While freedom of expression and a jubilant state of mind sit at the heart of trance music, Israel is anything but to Palestinians whose daily lives are subject to an apartheid system that denies them the basic rights and freedoms to live on their lands, to mobility, to education among other denied rights. Trance's deep roots in Israel have only helped to normalize Israel's false image among trance artists and trance fans as a country that is progressive, democratic, ordinary, and peaceful. Israel's list of violations of human rights go unnoticed. Israel's continuing siege on Gaza and control of the West Bank subjects millions of people to a cruel, unjust system of oppression that has been called worse than South Africa's former apartheid."

America, Thanks for not playing Israel.

Folk rock band "America" will not be entertaining Israeli fans on August 7 as planned.  They are best known for their 1970's hit "Horse with No Name."  All cancellations are welcome.  Cancellations allow musicians more time to learn about the plight of the people under siege in Gaza, the call for boycott, and the many reasons BDS is effective as a method to achieve justice for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and as refugees.

Thank "America" for their cancellation on their official facebook page, and let them know about the call by Palestinian Civil Society for the boycott of Israel at

A representative at the band's management group in Los Angeles, California could not comment on the specific reason for their cancellation.  Their booking agent could not be contacted.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

OPEN LETTER: Roger Waters asks Neil Young to Support the Boycott of Israel

"Enough is enough".
In January this year I wrote a private letter to Neil Young, it was sent via his manager Elliot Roberts' email, I never received a reply of any kind.
More recently I spoke openly about The Rolling Stones performing in Tel Aviv.
In light of the appalling recent events in Israel and Gaza and my dismay at the the lack of any response from our governments and in a final appeal to Neil's possible attachment to the rights of all human beings, not just the disenfranchised natives of North America, but all human beings all over the world, I am publishing that letter now.
Here it Is.

Dear Neil Young.

There are rumors flying about that you are considering doing shows in Tel Aviv this year.

The picket lines have been crossed in this last year by one or two lightweights from our community but no one of your stature. Woody Guthrie would turn in his grave. Neil Young! You are one of my biggest heroes, you are one of a very short list, you, John Lennon, Woody Guthrie, Huddy Ledbetter, Harry Belafonte, Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday and, like some others, but not many, your songs have always been redolent of love and humanity and compassion for your fellow man and woman. I find it hard to believe that you would turn your back on the indigenous people of Palestine. That you would lend support to, and encourage and legitimize, with your presence, a colonial apartheid regime, largely settled from Europe, that seeks to confine the native people of the land, either in exile or in second class status in reservations and ghettos. 

Please, brother, tell me it ain't so.

As I recall, back in the day, along with the rest of us (Stevie van Zandt, Bruce, Led Zep etc etc etc etc)  you would not "Play In Sun City" I am asking you to stand on the same moral ground now. The late, great, Nelson Mandela lives on in us, we cannot let him down. He was explicit in his position and I quote, " We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians".  It is time for "Rock Against Racism" to show some of it's muscle by refusing to lend our names to the whitewashing of the illegal colonization of Palestinian land and the systematic oppression of its indigenous people. Unfortunately the opposition lobby has a lot of muscle too. They spend millions on their "Hasbara"(If like me you have no Hebrew)”Explaining” or to you and me "Propaganda". The propaganda machine is well oiled and ruthless. We, on the other hand, have only our commitment to non-violent resistance to lie down in front of the IDF caterpillar tractors that would raze the native people from the land of Palestine. We stand with those people, and with all the brave people of Israel and Palestine, Jewish and Arab alike who oppose The Israeli Governments brutal policies. We stand with Rachel Corrie, the young American woman who gave her life under the caterpillar's tracks. Please join me and countless other artists all over the world in solidarity with the oppressed and the disenfranchised. It is time to heed the peoples call. People like The Bedouin, the nomadic people of the Negev in the arid south of Israel, please research their plight, one village, Al-Araqib has been destroyed 63 times by IDF Bulldozers. If you are in doubt about any of this, I will go with you to Palestine, and Israel, if they’ll let me in, you will see what I have seen, and then let us figure out the right thing to do.

By the way I watched your Bridge School concert on YouTube last year, it was very moving, you were, of course magnificent. You had asked me to perform, and as I explained to your management, I would have gladly done so had I not already been committed to The Wall Tour in Europe and Stand Up For Heroes in New York. This year I will be pleased and proud to come and support you if you call. 

With respect, and love.

Roger Waters.

Fyi. Nice Christmas present.

Bedouin Village Demolished For 63rd Time
Thursday December 26, 2013 18:18 by Chris Carlson - 1 of International Middle East Media Center Editorial Group

For the 63rd time, Israeli forces have demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib, in the Negev, Thursday morning.

A Ma’an reporter in Beersheba said that bulldozers, escorted by 25 police patrols, raided the village at 9 a.m. and demolished all of its steel houses.

“Forces of demolition and destruction raided our village in the morning and demolished our houses, for the 63rd time. This is a barbarian assault, as they left residents homeless during wintry weather,” local resident Aziz Sayyah al-Touri told Ma’an.  He highlighted that the assault has come following the Israeli announcement to abandon the Prawer Plan in displacing Negev Bedouins. Bedouins claim the are as their ancestral lands, while Israel considers al-Araqib and all Bedouin villages in the Negev illegal. There are about 260,000 Bedouin in Israel, mostly living in and around the Negev, in the arid south. More than half live in unrecognized villages without utilities, with many living in extreme poverty.

Google “Prawer plan” and follow a few links, you may catch a glimpse of the tip of an extremely large and terrifying iceburg.

Neil, we’re talking about the occupation, subjugation, dispossession, eviction, ghettoization and possible eventual eradication of a nation.

You, more than most should find this, taboo, story, more than a little disquieting. 


Monday, July 7, 2014

Why is Neil Young Afraid of a Youtube Video?

Neil censors Vancouver fan's video exposing the Palestinian reality behind scheduled concert in Israel

For immediate release: July 7, 2014
Neil Young has claimed copyright infringement forcing Youtube to remove the video entitled "Neil Young - Honour the Boycott" criticizing Neil's scheduled concert in Israel on July 17. The censored video mashup is part of a campaign calling on Neil to honour the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and cancel his concert in Tel Aviv. The censored youtube link now leads to a blank video with the statement "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NeilYoung."
The removed youtube video - NOW AVAILABLE ON VIMEO -  legally incorporates copyrighted material on the basis of "Fair Use" and strictly follows the "Online Video Best Practices for Fair Use" that is linked from the Youtube copyright fair use page.
Vancouver-based video remixer Gordon Murray said "Neil Young is a hero to many progressives for his courageous stands against the Vietnam war, Gulf war, George W. Bush's war mongering, and especially his support of indigenous people in their fight against the Tar Sands and the Keystone XL pipeline. But if Neil entertains and whitewashes Apartheid Israel, many people will see him as a Disposable Hero of Hypocrisy."
To quote Neil back to Neil: this is your defining moment, you can take a stand on the right side of history or you can make a few bucks… and sell out to Israeli Apartheid.
A growing list of progressive musicians are honouring the cultural boycott and refusing to “musicwash” Israel. Less than a week ago, renowned New York rapper Talib Kweli cancelled his gig in Israel to show "solidarity with Palestinians" - so it's not too late for Neil to take a stand.
The censored video makes fair use of documentary footage of Neil Young's speech to the Reject & Protect Rally against the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington DC on April 26, 2014. In his speech Neil claims to stand with the "people of the earth" - farmers and indigenous people.  By juxtaposing portions of Neil's speech with video of Palestinian farmers and indigenous people being attacked by Israeli soldiers and military warplanes, the video exposes his hypocrisy in abandoning the Palestinian "people of the earth" despite their direct appeal to Neil to honour the cultural boycott and cancel his concert in Israel.
One final question for Neil - Why use bullying tactics to assail your fans' freedom of speech instead of engaging with them about the issues involved in breaking the cultural boycott of Israel?
The video was mashed-up by Murray who was also a defendant in a 2007 SLAPP suit (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) by the Vancouver Sun for producing a parody newspaper that satirised the Sun's anti-Palestinian bias.
For more information, please contact Gordon Murray at
Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS)
In 2005, more than 170 grassroots Palestinian organizations called for a global campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the State of Israel - inspired by the campaign against South African Apartheid. The BDS campaign, including a cultural boycott, demands that Israel recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law.
A growing list of progressive musicians are honouring the cultural boycott and refusing to “musicwash” Israel including: Natacha Atlas, Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Gorillaz, Gil-Scott Heron, Salif Keita, Talib Kweli, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Santana, Pete Seeger, Roger Waters, and Stevie Wonder.
Israel is confining indigenous Palestinians to open air prisons and “Bantustans,” as world leaders and South African anti-Apartheid activists including Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are accusing Israel of practicing Apartheid. International expert bodies such as the Russell Tribunal and the South African Human Sciences Research Council have also declared that Israel is guilty of the international crime of Apartheid.
Archbishop Tutu wrote to a South African music group that violated the Palestinian Cultural Boycott of Israel: “Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong for Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel.”

Fair Use: The Transformative Factor (Stanford University Fair Use Website)
In a 1994 case, the Supreme Court emphasized this [transformative] factor as being a primary indicator of fair use. At issue is whether the material has been used to help create something new or merely copied verbatim into another work. When taking portions of copyrighted work, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Has the material you have taken from the original work been transformed by adding new expression or meaning?
  • Was value added to the original by creating new information, new aesthetics, new insights, and understandings?
Roger borrows several quotes from the speech given by the CEO of a logging company. Roger prints these quotes under photos of old-growth redwoods in his environmental newsletter. By juxtaposing the quotes with the photos of endangered trees, Roger has transformed the remarks from their original purpose and used them to create a new insight. The copying would probably be permitted as a fair use

Attachments area

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ester Rada of Israel: Why Rada is a Gig to Boycott

A well-orchestrated hasbara tour:
Ester Rada of Israel tours the US.
Israeli apartheid is not jazzy.
by DPAI (Don't Play Apartheid Israel)
Israeli musician Ester Rada is on a tour of the US to include four gigs in both California and New York as well as many other states.  
The Bio on Ms. Rada's website does not mention the fact that she previously served in the IDF as a singer [1], and that she continues to sing at Israeli state-sponsored events. Her current tour is being sponsored by the Israeli Consulate. [2] On 1 Feb, the official twitter for the state of Israel tweeted "Ester Rada is one of the most promising and #unique artists in #Israel. hear her out" Again on 17 May, Israel's twitter promoted Rada and tweeted, "Meet Ester Rada, Israel's rising #music star." The Israeli consulate in Atlanta also promoted Ms. Rada on twitter.
The Israeli government has a long-standing history of using artists like Ms. Rada as part of a clearly whitewashing campaign, designed to distract the global community from Israel's well-documented human rights abuse and war crimes. 
After the Gaza massacre in 2008-2009, Israel decided to allot an extra $2 million towards "cultural and information diplomacy." Israel's former Deputy Director General for Cultural Affairs, Arye Mekel, was quoted as saying, "We will send well-known novelists and writers overseas, theater companies, exhibits... This way you show Israel's prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war." [3]  

The current use by Israel of Ms. Rada can also be interpreted as an effort to cover up Israel's persecution of African asylum seekers and violent anti-African racism that was outlined in an article by +972 Mag titled:
"A year in review: Anti-African racism and asylum seekers in Israel" [4]
The BDS campaign does not oppose any artist based on their nationality, race or religion. Artists such as Ms. Rada are boycotted not because they are Israelis, but because they are willingly complicit in Israeli criminal activities by being part of the government's whitewashing campaign.
The BDS campaign is a widely supported, historically proven method of resistance. Among the many high profile artists that have either supported the campaign explicitly, or have cancelled performances per the BDS call, are Roger Waters and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd [5], Grammy-winning jazz artist Cassandra Wilson, Stanley Jordan, Nigel Kennedy, award winning filmmaker Mira Nair, Carlos Santana, Elvis Costello, acclaimed guitarist John Williams, and Pete Seeger. Professor Stephen Hawking, the renowned University of Cambridge physicist and cosmologist, has also joined the academic boycott of Israel.

[1]Self Written Solo EP " Life Happens "-Ester Rada
[2] There are many examples showing Rada's sponsorship by the Israeli Consulate, here are just a few:  
A. Consulate General of Israel in Atlanta Annoucement
B. For more, contact Dena Weiss, Director of Public Affairs, Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast
C. Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest,
The Consulate General of Israel

[3]  After Gaza, Israel Grapples With Crisis of Isolation, NY Times, 3/18/09


Friday, May 9, 2014

An OPEN LETTER to Jay Leno: Support the Boycott of Israel for Palestinian Human Rights

Jay Leno asked to Boycott Israel and Mavis (wife) 
Dear Jay Leno,

We, at DPAI (Don’t Play Apartheid Israel), along with the undersigned organizations, both in the USA and in Europe, have heard you are to visit Israel for the first time, and that you will be combining a tourist trip with a gig on May 22 as an emcee for the Genesis Award ceremony in Jerusalem.

We urge you to please reconsider your plans to accept this invitation.  

When you take your PR tour of Israel, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, the ugly side of Israel will be well hidden from your eyes.  Part of your tour will not include a stop to talk to the wives and children of the many political prisoners that Israel holds in illegal administrative detention without charges.  These men are imprisoned for years and many of them, as well as some women,  have undertaken hunger strikes in a bid for justice  (A)

Your agenda won’t include a visit to the university students who have had to endure checkpoints within the West Bank by the IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces), often during exams, and up to 2 km long, where up to 8000 Palestinians have to walk in the ditch every day on their way to school or work. (B)  

While being hosted by the state you will not be told about the over 30,000 Sudanese and Eritrean African asylum seekers who are in holding camps in the Negev.  Netanyahu, with whom you will shake hands at the award ceremony, has determined that these people be kept in prison-like holding facilities in the Negev. (C)

Jay Leno, you have been described as a rare celebrity who is in touch with the working person,  would you let photographers snap shots of you chumming around with Netanyahu on stage?  That image would be used in the press to normalize the apartheid state of Israel.  

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa said:  
“I was bishop of Johannesburg when police would stop our car and want to body-search my wife and children … and I go and I visit the Holy Land and I see things that are a mirror image of the sort of things I experienced under the apartheid.” (D)

Jay Leno, we urge you to consider that your gig as an emcee for the Genesis Award ceremony could be construed as a political act in support of the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem.  Would you wine and dine with the elite of the Israeli state while, just minutes away in occupied East Jerusalem, Palestinians are being deprived by Israel of their right to education, work, and housing?  Could you close your eyes to their call for a boycott of Israel when their very homes are being bulldozed down in East Jerusalem?  (E)

Would you take your wife Mavis to the church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque while they are all under military occupation by Israel?  Would Mavis take the time to enquire about Israel’s inhumane treatment of woman?  Please take the time to hear the story of Nibal.  Nibal lives in Gaza, only 80 miles away from her family in Jenin, but Israel refuses to allow her to visit her family.  She missed family weddings and, tragically, the chance to see her youngest sister before she was to die of a serious illness last November.  A recent special report by B’Tselem illustrates how Israel’s illegal and inhumane policy affects Palestinian women:  

“who are denied such basic daily experiences such as getting together with one’s mother, inviting a sister for tea, or having a tête-a- tête with one’s father. This, even when there is no claim the individual women pose a security risk.  The policy results in a forced separation between families in cases when a West Bank woman marries a Gaza resident or a woman from Gaza marries a West Bank man. Women are torn between their life with their husband and children and their longing to see the family into which they were born, whom they are rarely allowed to meet.”  (F)

Palestinian women in labor are often delayed at Israeli checkpoints as they try to get to hospitals to give birth. Between 2000 and 2005, 67 Palestinian mothers were forced to give birth at Israeli checkpoints, thirty-six babies died. (G)

In a similar study, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, it was found that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of home births, with women preferring to avoid road trips while in labor for fear of not being able to reach the hospital in time.  The study found that 69 babies were born at checkpoints during those seven years (from 2000-2007). Thirty-five babies and five of the mothers died, an outcome (which she) considered to amount to a crime against humanity.(H)  

Jay Leno, please take the time to learn about the Palestinian-led movement for a boycott of Israel.  Have the courage to think of a humorous joke (we know how capable you are of that) when you decline your invitation to Israel.


(A) Palestinian prisoner’s health worsens after 210 days of refusing food
(B)  Checkpoints and Dignity:  Daily Life in Occupied Territories by Mira Dabit
(C) Netanyahoo Orders Swift Deportation
(D) Asked about Kerry, Tutu says Israel “mirror image” of apartheid
(E)  Palestinians Protest Home Demolitions In Occupied Jerusalem
(F)  Special B’Tselem project: Women illustrators depict stories of Palestinian women in split Gaza-West Bank families and Nibal’s story on youtube at

Letter also published at