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We are asking Aziza Brahim to respect the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel. Initiated in 2005, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) is a call endorsed by the great majority of Palestinian civil society to pressure Israel into ceasing its systematic oppression of Palestinians and abide by their legal right to self-determination and independence. After 67 years of denying such rights, with thousands of Palestinians massacred and millions remaining refugees, Israel has been accused of committing genocide and crimes against humanity. Like the Indigenous Saharawi people, Palestinians also have been awaiting justice, freedom and the realization of their rights since 1948.
Viewing the list of musicians and singers attending the 2015 fourth edition of the “Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival”, it was brought to our attention that the singer Aziza Brahim from occupied Western Sahara is invited to perform a music concert scheduled on September 2nd, 2015, and held at the Tower of David in Occupied East Jerusalem. This festival is organized by Jerusalem Season of Culture which was initiated by the Schusterman Foundation –Israel, a branch of the Schusterman Foundation whose headquarters is based in the USA. Its sponsoring of this annual festival, according to the pamphlet, is in cooperation with the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Foundation, and a dedicated group of founding funders.
It is important to note that the Schusterman Foundation, a prominent donor in the Jewish nonprofit world, is known to be a major supporter of pro-Israeli causes and a fervent back up to pro-occupation policies of the AIPAC lobbyists. An organization as such is willing to overlook Israel’s oppression of Palestinians in exchange of funding. Thus, its sponsoring and organization of this festival is an exposed attempt to cover up its tacit support to Israel human rights abuses against the Palestinians and crimes against Palestinian children.
Seizing the growing popularity of Aziza Brahim, this main funding foundation of this festival is, accordingly, trying the exploit her name for political goals; it is to legitimize the Israeli brutal occupation of the Palestinian land and embellish the hideous face of the state of Israel. Similarly, the festival attempted to exploit Malian singer Salif Keita, who pulled out of the 2013 edition.
Aziza Brahim can be informed on this ploy and why she should cancel and refuse to breach the Palestinian boycott picket line