Offene Briefe

Offener Brief an Paul Simon

Paul Simon
1619 Broadway, Suite 500,
New York, NY, 10019 USA

Berlin, June 29, 2011

Dear Paul Simon,

We were dismayed to read that you’re planning to perform in Tel Aviv on July 31, 2011 [1]
For decades, Israel has been systematically violating Palestinian human rights: keeping millions of Palestinians in the West Bank under Israeli martial-law with no civil rights, maintaining an illegal siege on Gaza, denying the UN sanctioned 1948 Palestinian refugees right of return and compensation, and implementing dozens of racist and discriminatory apartheid laws [2] inside Israel. Such violations, documented [3] by respected human-rights organizations such asAmnesty International and Oxfam, have been long recognized as unlawful by the UN.

Yet, while Israel continues to implement its illegal policies and cannot even bring itself to freeze the illegal construction of additional Jewish-only settlemenoccupied West Bank, it is not even slightly held accountable by Western governments for its continued systematic viviolation of human-rights (see UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk’s report [4])

For this reason, inspired by the pivotal role the boycott movement has played in ending apartheid in South-Africa, hundreds of artists, academics, filmmakers, and writers worldwide have declared their suppor for the Palestinian-led BDS campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions
As you may have heard, there is a call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) [5] against Israel until it complies with international law and ends its decades-long systematic oppression of the Palestinian people

This call, launched by over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, is supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu [6], the international alliance Artists Against Apartheid [7], South-African Artists Against Apartheid [8], Creative Workers Union of South Africa, 500 Montreal artists [9], 200 Irish artists [10], and many acclaimed cultural figures worldwide [11] including director Ken Loach, art critic John Berger, musician Brian Eno, UK duo Massive Attack [12] and classical guitarist John Williams.

In 1985, Steven Van Zandt and a group of 49 musicians, among them Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Gil Scott Heron, Miles Davis, collaborated on a song called “Sun City [13], in which they pledged they would never perform at Sun City Festival (South Africa) because to do so would have meant endorsing the South African apartheid regime and its institutionalised form of racism.

We urge you to join them in heeding the call Palestinian civil society has placed in 2005.
Please, don’t create another “Graceland” [14]
Please don’t collaborate with oppression and racism.
Please don’t play for apartheid.
Berlin Academic Boycott
BDS Group Berlin
Kritische Juden und Israelis


This open letter is supported by the following organisations and individuals (June 29, 2011):
BDS Switzerland
Deutsch-Palästinensische Gesellschaft e.V.
Kritische Jüdische Stimme , Austria,
Palestinian Students for Peace, Germany
Women in Black, Munich
Women in Black, Vienna
Erika Christmann, Kaiserslautern
Norbert Christmann, Kaiserslautern
Renate Häberle, Palästinakomitee Stuttgart
Evelyn Hecht-Galinski
Souhail Kahla
Annette Klepzig, Wilhelmsfeld
Rainer Kruse
Manuela Kunkel, Palästinakomitee Stuttgart
Abraham Melzer, Neu Isenburg
Ian Portman, Palästinakomitee Stuttgart
Attia Rajab, Palästinakomitee Stuttgart
Verana Rajab, Palästinakomitee Stuttgart
Ellen Rohlfs, Leer, member of the Deutsch-Palästinensische Gesellschaft e.V.
and Gush Shalom (Friedensblock,Israel)
Karl Schmidt, Pfarrer i. R, Stuttgart
Angelika Schneider
Katrin Sinn, Palästinakomitee Stuttgart