Lecturing the Oppressed – from a Position of Privilege

As Palestinians in Gaza are completely locked down under an illegal Israeli siege also increasingly enforced by Egypt, their lifeline – the tunnels destroyed, people stopped from moving in or out; as the Bedouin of the Negev face mass ethnic cleansing;  as the residents of Jerusalem face ever more attempts to remove them from their home city;  as the Palestinians in the West Bank are subjected to ever more Israeli military and settler violence, more land theft, more home destruction;  as thousands languish in occupation prisons; Eric Burdon of the animals has seen fit to cross the picket line, to ignore the call to boycott and to play for apartheid Israel.

Not only is he refusing to listen to the voice of the oppressed, not only is he singing for apartheid, he is patronising those subjected to it by telling them: “we live in a world that also knows war.” The notion that a rock star would know more about “war” than the Palestinians who  have suffered 65 years of oppression, occupation and war crimes at the hands of the state his presence in Israel will be endorsing is laughable.



Of course, such oppression has never touched his privileged life. Burdon is yet another artist who has decided to play in
today’s Sun City, joining the roll of dishonour of those who profess to care for “peace” but in fact play to segregated audiences in an apartheid state, thus helping to bolster its image.

I think the artists who talk about “peace” and lecture to the oppressed are so much worse than the one who just go because they love apartheid Israel or money or both. Somehow the latter aren’t as bad as the ones bullshitting about “peace” while they trample on the Palestinian call for solidarity.

Although there are still artists who choose not to stand against injustice, there are many more who choose not to play for apartheid, to stand with the Palestinian people. And no artist can play Israel without being made aware of the situation, without campaigns and appeals to their conscience – the BDS movement is growing and it is unstoppable.

Boycott apartheid Israel, get active for Palestine. BDS.



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