Gaza Kids to Ireland 2017– Media

Here’s some of the coverage of this year’s brilliant visit from the kids from the Al Helal Football Academy, Gaza, Palestine #COYBFG

Leitrim Observer

FAI Report

FAI Palestinian children take part in Irishtown friendly

Warm welcome for children from Gaza ahead of football tour around Ireland

From Gaza to Sandymount: Teens living under blockade enjoy first trip abroad and enjoy kick-about on Dublin beach

Gaza Kids to Ireland welcomes young footballers for Irish tour

Children Arrive for ‘Gaza Kids to Ireland’ Football Tour

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Beautiful shots at Ballinteer St. John’s GAA
PICTURED: Gaza children arrive in Dublin to play hurling and raise awareness

A GAA-s time for Gaza kids

Great TV3 Report on Sandymount Strand – about 11.30 minutes in
Gaza Kids on Sandymount Strand

‘Gaza Kids’ soccer tour #COYBFG kicks off in Ireland with welcome by Dublin City Mayor

Galway Bay FM: Gaza Kids Come Back to Galway

Gaza Kids To Tallaght call on local community for support

Gaza Kids to Ireland welcomes young footballers for Irish tour

Ocean FM: Palestinian children to take part in Manorhamilton Rangers matches

Great piece by Emmet Malone in the Irish Times

Palestinian visitors melt Irish hearts as football finally takes centre-stage

“By the middle of next week, they will be back home again, and trying to play their football again in what has often been described, even by then British Prime Minister, David Cameron, as open air prison. In 10 years time, if they get the chance to develop their talent, they might be representing it and the rest of what they regard as their country in international competition. As things stand, though, there is absolutely no basis to believe that the challenges they face will be any different to now.

Fifa will still be kicking to touch with perhaps the most likely thing to have the changed, the number of clubs defying the rules and making life a little awkward for handsomely rewarded officials who just want to be liked by all the members of the great, dysfunctional fiction that is the football family.”

Video: Gaza Kids touch down in Dublin

RTÉ Video Report on Manorhamilton Visit

Palestinian footballers taste success on Leitrim visit

Cork: Palestinian youth side to play against Blackpool’s Castleview tomorrow

Today FM, Al Porter Show Gaza Action Ireland Coordinator Zoe Lawlor 40 minutes in

Zoe Lawlor Today FM

Young footballers from Gaza arrive in Cork for Mardyke Arena game

Strong piece in the Irish Times on the Cork visit

Gaza academy u-15 team get warm welcome in Cork for soccer friendly

Academy president, Ayed Abu Ramadan was delighted with the welcome they received in Cork. “We are overwhelmed at the generosity of the Irish people for inviting our young players here and I can see the impact that it has on them, not just as footballers but also in terms of their personal development as it teaches about the other,” said Mr Ramadan. “It’s great that they get to see that the world is not all like Gaza because back home we don’t see any other people – we see just ourselves and the Israeli army and they think the whole world is like Israel so a visit like this reinforces hope for them for the future.”

GKI23

 

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The Shebab from Gaza Came Back

They came back again, the shebab from Al Helal Football Academy in Gaza came back! Big brown eyes, big wide smiles and huge hearts, that’s what they brought to us, again. After bringing the Gaza Kids to Ireland last year and how successful and uplifting it was, we decided to do it again. The project is about practical solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza and opening up windows between here and there. We want to show the people there that although they are living under a brutal, illegal siege, with the full complicity of the international community, including the Irish government, that there are lots of people here who care and who want to show solidarity. It is also a way to raise awareness of what is going on in Gaza, in Palestine. The media here ignores the constant violence that Israel inflicts on Gaza, it ignores the power cuts, the raw sewage flowing into the sea, the mass poverty and unemployment, the chronic state of the healthcare system, the prison conditions and the daily cruelty of the siege, the occupation, the apartheid. They only talk about Gaza when it’s being militarily attacked, and then it’s through an Israeli and racist prism.

We want to share and amplify the voice of Palestinian children, to let them show how brilliant and lovely and deserving of the exact same rights as all kids they are. And we want people to see their football skills!

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It seemed like it might not happen this year, with the worsening squeeze on Gaza and the total unpredictability of Israel’s control of people’s movement, Palestinians need permits from Israel to exit and enter Gaza, with most refused and even thousands of severe medical cases denied every year. It is essentially a prison with all movement controlled by Israel.

This situation also makes planning very difficult, you have to make an itinerary with the proviso that it may all be delayed or may never happen. Until the night before they travelled, the group had no idea whether they would be granted permits to leave Gaza. When they did find out at 9 the evening before, the leader and Chairman of the Academy, Ayed, was in Ramallah and had to get to Gaza and get everyone and everything organised for the following morning. It’s amazing that he did it, that they all did it.

As always with apartheid Israel, nothing is fully ‘allowed’ and every effort is made to mess things around. None of the Al Helal coaches were granted permits to leave, and neither was one player, the brilliant and lovely Khaled Jouda who was here last year. The journey from Gaza to Amman to fly here, although not long, takes a very long time and is arduous. One child who was also here last year, the lovely Yousef Jendaya, was turned back at the Erez crossing, despite having a permit to travel. Imagine the disappointment of that for him, he had to leave the group and go home, he was so upset, what cruelty to do that to a child. And every time you wonder why they do it, why do they behave like this? And it’s because they can, because cruelty is the default and, at all times, power and control must be exercised.  Due to the hold ups and questioning, the group missed their flight and had to scramble to find somewhere to stay late night in Amman and we had to try to find new flights, 21 of them, the next day.

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But they came, they came, and, despite that extra long, tiring journey and arriving into Dublin at 7.25 am, they played football that morning – against the Iveagh Trust and on Sandymount Strand. And they posed for photos and did media and smiled and played football and hurling, they had to be dragged in out of the rain. Their energy, enthusiasm and resilience was constant throughout the trip, they are the absolute best.

The reception the kids get all over Ireland is heartwarming, people are really delighted to meet them. They were welcomed and fed everywhere they went and we could have brought them to every county, so many were the offers. We couldn’t get everywhere but we did get to Dublin, Kinvara, Manorhamilton, Limerick and Cork. The kids played great football but they really missed not having a coach. Although we had the brilliant Azeez Yusuff with us again this year, the language barrier made coaching difficult, it is of course deliberate by Israel to prevent coaches from travelling with a team for a soccer tournament. So, they didn’t win every match this time, but they were always fast, skilled and brilliant. They also sang songs, danced, played the drums, played hurling and Gaelic football, visited waterfalls, parks, beaches, climbed walls, swam, did acrobatics and circus tricks, they had a mental shopping time in Limerick. The Shebab went to the Dubs game in Croke Park, getting recognised and acclaimed all the way to Croker. They were guard of honour for the Shamrock Rovers V Derry City game, in a great initiative by #GazaKidstoTallaght. They had met the President Michael D Higgins last year at Galway United but this year he came to Tallaght, for his first visit, especially to meet them. He made a speech and took loads of photos with the children, he chose to do that and we take it as a serious act of solidarity.

Being with the kids for the whole time they were here is a real privilege and I’m so lucky to have been able to do it. It means you get close and it’s an intense, emotional time. They are kind, funny, sweet, loving boys and they know how to slag! Last year’s bilingual ‘Nothing’ joke was a winner this year, as was a new ‘cooler’ one and the inevitable finger whirl on the high five,the craic of them. We had other jokes about bananas, my attempted banning of Despacito and the various smells on the bus. It was fun. Every night there was much running around corridors, dragging mattresses around the place, Facetime with family (usually sitting in the dark) and the mornings were a manic rush to replenish banana stocks, lash out the cheese and hummus sandwiches, and the ultimate challenge: trying to get everyone on the bus. On time. We never succeeded but Ayed, Azeez and myself gave it our best shot, every day.

This project is a real break for the kids from living under siege and this time they were much more emotional going home, I think it’s because of how much worse conditions in Gaza are now even than last year. At night, talking to the children’s families and friends online, they were almost always sitting in the dark due to only having a few hours of electricity per day. The situation there and what is being done to the people in Gaza is barbaric and it has to stop. From the solidarity shown to the group here, it is obvious that the Irish government is totally out of step with people here in its approach to Palestine. We will do this again, it’s not possible to stop something so enriching, so full of love and solidarity, and fun. This is absolutely a two way experience, in fact, it might just be more rewarding for people in Ireland, I know it lifts me up immensely.

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I miss the shebab and I talk to most of them every day online, still getting slagged…!

I want to see them again but it’s almost impossible to get into or out of Gaza. Will they be able to come again? Will all of them grow up with freedom of movement, with their rights upheld? That’s our job, to work as hard as we can to support the Palestinian struggle, especially through the BDS campaign.

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There are many people to thank for their brilliant efforts and organising, that’s for another post. This is just my personal gratitude to the kids for being, and for being here.

For now it’s #COYBFG and shukran shebab!  Ana mishteklekum. Abdelatif, Tamer, Khalifa, Abunajie, Karam,  Ahmed Abunajie, Seyam, Abu Nada, Abdelrahman Awad, Hanafy, Wael, Ismail, Motasem, Mohammed Abushar, Mohammed Yousef, Kemo, Abood Abusafia, Mahmoud.

Natalie Imbruglia, Please Don’t Make a Big Mistake

Dear Natalie,

We are writing to you to ask you to please reconsider your performance in Israel, scheduled for the 1st March, 2017. We understand this will be your first appearance in Israel and would like to inform you that playing there will be in breach of the Palestinian call for artists to respect the cultural boycott of Israel until it adheres to international law and Palestinians have their civil and political rights which they are currently denied by the apartheid Israeli government. [1]

Like Aboriginal people in Australia before 1966, indigenous Palestinians who live in Israel are prevented from enjoying full citizenship in that state. Full citizenship is available only on theocratic grounds, to people who are defined as Jewish by the State. Furthermore, Palestinians in Israel are subject to more than 50 laws discriminating against them – de facto apartheid.  Palestinians who reside in the Occupied Territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza which Israel seized and occupied in 1967 cannot vote at all in Israeli elections. These Palestinian people subsist in segregated bantustans isolated from each other by apartheid walls and fences with their movement controlled by over 500 checkpoints, preventing them from attending universities and hospitals, and seeing friends and relatives – many families have been separated for years due to this system of apartheid. Indeed the International Court of Justice declared Israel’s apartheid wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory illegal in 2004 – further international law that it ignores.

Palestinians persecuted by military occupation naturally wish to live freely with rights in their own ancestral lands. However, illegal Israeli settlements continually expand and encroach upon those lands, despite several United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Most recently, on 23 December 2016, the UNSC passed another resolution unanimously against expansion of the illegal settlements, and again affirmed their illegality under international law, yet Israel refuses to recognise these resolutions.  Israel has now declared de facto war on the resolution’s sponsors, including New Zealand [2] and also intends to withhold UN dues [3]. Since the resolution Israel has accelerated its demolition of Palestinian homes to four times its 2016 weekly average, making hundreds of people homeless.

Nearly 800,000 Jewish people now reside illegally on Palestinian lands, enjoying full political rights while Palestinians languish, brutalised by military occupation and without rights. Palestinian refugees driven out in the 1948 Nakba from the areas which Israel claimed comprise the second largest refugee population in the world and again, despite the requirements of international law, Israel refuses to permit these Indigenous people to return to their homes. In many countries Palestinians are stateless, living in squalid refugee camps for decades, never giving up hope that their right of return will be realised and they can return to their Indigenous home and heritage which has been usurped and colonised.

Zionist colonisation of Palestine follows a similar trajectory to British colonisation of Australia, where Indigenous Australians were forced into isolating missions and reserves, slaughtered and dispossessed of their land and culture, while Palestinians too are subjected to extreme violence and forced into refugee camps and bantustans  We understand you have experienced the end results of these genocidal colonial crimes during your participation in the First Contact SBS programme and are sympathetic to the plight of Aboriginal people in Australia consequent to white colonisation. We ask you to consider also the distressing situation for Palestinian people and the importance of support for their struggle for liberation and justice. Because the international political community has refused to act to support their rights, Palestinians called in 2005 for cultural boycott and asked people of conscience like yourself for solidarity with their movement by refraining from performing in Israel.

By respecting their call, you will also be supporting the women of Gaza who suffer from breast cancer, another area where you have shown empathy. Israel prevents breast cancer sufferers, and indeed most cancer sufferers from obtaining appropriate treatment, due to its collective punishment of two million civilians which it has incarcerated in the largest prison in the world – Gaza – since 2006.

Dozens of female cancer patients in the Gaza Strip have launched a protest against Israel’s refusal to allow them to cross into Israel to seek medical treatments in hospitals in Israel, East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The women say the ban or delay of their treatments is a “premeditated death sentence.” [4]

Due to Israel’s military attacks on Gaza and its illegal, immoral siege which prevents the import of fuel supply and parts, sickness is common there since the water supply is contaminated by dysfunctional sewerage treatment plants and electricity supply is currently down to a mere four hours per day [5]. Physicians for Human Rights comments on Israel’s deprivation of medical equipment:

There are no syringes, no bandages and no tubes. When one of our surgeons asks for a specific scalpel or bandage during surgery he’s told that there aren’t any available. When we train a local doctor and teach him techniques and procedures he has nothing to work with.” [Ibid.]

The UN has estimated that without major reconstruction, Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. [Ibid.] Should you play your concert in Israel, be aware that this crime against humanity is being perpetrated just miles from you.

Certainly, Israel will continue to carry out its injustices against the Palestinian people if we are silent and do not act. We implore you to recognise your performance in Israel cannot create bridges over apartheid, oppression and suffering, merely obscure it so Israel can continue to pretend that its crimes are “normal” and blame Palestinians for their own plight. This is clearly not the case any more than the myth proliferated by white supremacists that Aboriginal people in Australia are responsible for their own immiseration.

The reality is that for Israel any show that isn’t cancelled because of boycott appeals is considered a political victory over the Palestinian struggle and international solidarity with it. Performing in Tel Aviv means playing for a segregated audience, on ethnically cleansed land. We really hope you can’t see yourself doing this and you join Lauryn Hill, Cassandra Wilson, Sinead O’Connor, Cat Power, Massive Attack and thousands of other artists who have refused to play in Israel – in Ireland over 540 artists have pledged to boycott the state, as have over 1,190 in the UK, and many more all over the world.

Please respect the Palestinian call to boycott Israel – you can make a real difference here and help tip the moral scales toward justice.

DPAI

We are a group, of over 2000 members from many nations around the globe, who believe that it is essential for musicians & other artists to heed the call of the PACBI, and join in the boycott of Israel. This is essential in order to work towards justice for the Palestinian people under occupation, and also in refugee camps and in the diaspora throughout the world.

Palestine Support Network Australia (PSNA)
Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA)
Australian Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions Campaign for Palestine (BDS)
Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (CJPP)
Sydney Staff for BDS
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

Samah Sabawi, Palestinian Australian playwright and Al Shabaka policy adviser
Kollaps, Melbourne band
Candy Royalle, Writer, Performer, Activist, Educator
Amy McQuire, Indigenous Writer
Penelope Swales, Musician
Sara Dowse, Writer
Trish Nacey, Videographer and Musician
Walbira Murray, Indigenous Research Officer
Ken Canning, Indigenous Playwright
Jeff Sparrow, Writer, Editor and Broadcaster
Marcelo Svirsky, Writer

Notes:

  1. https://bdsmovement.net/pacbi/cultural-boycott-guidelines
  2. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/why-israel-should-fear-new-zealand
  3. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/israel-halts-6m-protest-unsc-settlements-vote-170106205417524.html
  4. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.763355
  5. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.763280

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Blixa Bargeld and Teho Teardo, Don’t Play Apartheid Israel

Dear Blixa and Teho,

Since the beginning of this campaign, we have been pondering the fact that Blixa has made a film for television on the ex-Israeli musician and activist Dror Feiler, which is due to air on the Arte TV channel four days before Blixa’s own planned concert in Tel Aviv on 15 September.

It is commendable that this film will shine a light on Dror’s activities, which most significantly include his participation in several of the flotillas to break the Israeli government’s brutal siege of Gaza. However, Blixa’s planned concert in Tel Aviv, four days after the broadcast of this film, would completely negate any positive impact coming from it, and would amount to both an affirmation and amplification of Israeli propaganda. The proximity of the broadcast to Blixa’s scheduled breach of the Palestinian BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) call inevitably gives the impression that the former in some way is expected to justify the latter. The Israeli government, by viewing “culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank”, has created a zero-sum game scenario, the iron logic of which allows for no ambiguity and can only be successfully opposed by a boycott. By weaponising culture itself, the Israeli government further compels artists to decide between providing it with further ammunition or refusing to be complicit in this. It is precisely for this reason that Palestinian civil society has called for a cultural boycott of Israel.

In addition, while the tension arising from the broadcast of the film and the breach of the boycott immediately afterwards appears to give rise to an interesting dialectic, this scenario is achieved at the expense of Palestinian suffering. It seems, therefore, that Blixa is instrumentalising Dror Feiler, but also, and more importantly, the wider political situation as a whole purely for effect. By the same process the Israeli government will be able to instrumentalise Blixa for its own propaganda aims. We wonder if Blixa feels comfortable being used by a state that employs culture as a weapon while also using physical weapons such as cluster bombs and white phosphorous against the Palestinian people, killing and maiming thousands.

Furthermore, artists should not think that in using their performances in Israel as a platform to criticise the state and its policies they are constructively contributing to the Palestinian cause. They are doing nothing of the sort, but rather they facilitate Israeli government in its propaganda by allowing it to portray itself as a democracy tolerant of criticism, when, in fact, this is not the case.

Nor is the argument valid that there are other states in breach of international law, the point is that the Palestinian people have called for a boycott, just as those struggling against South African apartheid did. All that is being asked of you is that you not cross the Palestinian picket line.

Even if there is no direct government involvement of funding in this particular gig, PACBI’s guidelines stipulate “In general, PACBI urges international cultural workers (e.g. artists, writers, filmmakers)… where possible and as relevant, to boycott and/or work towards the cancellation of events, activities, agreements, or projects involving Israel, its lobby groups or its cultural institutions, or that otherwise promote the normalization of Israel in the global cultural sphere.” And “It must be emphasized that a cultural product’s content or artistic merit is not relevant in determining whether or not it is boycottable.”

The reality is that for Israel any show that isn’t cancelled because of BDS appeals is considered a political victory over the Palestinian struggle and international solidarity with it. Hence any artist that’s been appealed to and refused to boycott is a win for Israel, in the view of the state.

Performing in Tel Aviv means playing for a segregated audience, on ethnically cleansed land, can you really see yourselves doing that?

For these reasons, we must repeat, with added emphasis, what so many international groups wrote to you in their first letter: “The call to boycott Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights was first made in 2005, by over 170 (now over 200) Palestinian civil society groups. The boycott is a non-violent tactic against oppressive state power. It would be extremely disappointing if artists of your stature chose to break this call for solidarity with the Palestinian people, particularly at a time when Israel is escalating its daily attacks on them.”

In all of this the plight of the Palestinians is once again pushed into the background and the foreground struggle becomes that of yet another high-profile western artist refusing to use their position of privilege to stand in solidarity with people who have only asked that they do no harm. Therefore we would like to conclude by quoting the Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel’s letter to you:

“We are asking you to not side with the oppressor by performing in Tel Aviv 15th September. Don’t let your music normalize the racist brutality and the ethnic cleansing Palestinians suffer from day in day out under the control of the Israeli Apartheid regime. Instead, let your music stand on the right side of history. If you do so, you will look back with a clean conscience when the day arrives that we Palestinians are granted the same human rights as anyone else.”

Letters

From Gaza

 From International Groups

From Boycott from Within (2

  From Don’t Play Apartheid Israel

From Boycott from Within (1)

PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-GAZA-FLOTILLA

Palestinians hold their national flag as they ride boats during a rally to show support for activists aboard a flotilla of boats who are soon to set sail for Gaza in a fresh bid to break Israel’s blockade of the territory, at the seaport of Gaza City on June 24, 2015. Freedom Flotilla III

Tel Aviv https://electronicintifada.net/content/jaffa-eminence-ethnic-cleansing/8088

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Blixa Bargeld and Teho Teardo – Please Don’t Play Apartheid Israel

Dear Blixa and Teho,

 

We are very dismayed to see that you have a concert in Israel on 15th September this year and are writing to ask you to reconsider playing there and breaching the Palestinian picket line.

Many principled musicians chose to take a stand and cancelled their gigs in Israel and we hope you will join them. As Thurston Moore explained after he cancelled last year: “It was with serious deliberation that I eventually arrived at the personal conclusion that to perform with my band in Israel was in direct conflict to my values. With the realization that a cultural and academic boycott is central to its purpose in exposing a reality of brutal human rights violations – including those accompanying Israel’s discriminatory laws and occupation of the West Bank – I felt the need, with humility, to cancel the engagement.”

Many artists of conscience have chosen not to play there since Palestinians are denied their most basic human rights by Israel. They have heeded the Palestinian call to boycott which was issued in 2005 and has the support of more than 200 civil society organisations.

Large swathes of Palestinian land have been stolen and ethnically cleansed for the development and expansion of illegal Israeli settlements. Currently over 500,000 illegal settlers live in the West Bank in direct contravention of international law.

Palestinians are denied their fundamental right to freedom of movement. A vast matrix of checkpoints, roadblocks, walls and fences separates local villages and towns from each other, and sometimes even cuts entire towns in half. Israeli settlers face no such restrictions, they travel on Jewish-only roads and live in illegal Jewish-only settlements at the expense of Palestinians. This Israeli government policy of segregation has had a devastating effect on the livelihoods and family life of millions of Palestinians and is uniformly condemned by human rights groups.  Many of those who resisted and protested South African apartheid are horrified by the brutality of Israeli apartheid and how it is used against the Palestinians. You will be playing to a segregated audience if you play this gig.

In 2014 Israel’s bombardment of Gaza’s dense civilian population killed over 2,200 Palestinians, with 550 children murdered and thousands more injured. Over 100 thousand people have been left homeless. Israel carried out similarly devastating massacres in 2012 and in 2008-2009. UN reports have found significant evidence of war crimes in these attacks including the use of white phosphorus – a chemical weapon, and the murder of unarmed civilians carrying white flags. Of course, no sanction has been invoked against the perpetrator of these crimes which is why it is so important that civil society act.

To compound the misery, virtually no building materials are allowed due to the ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza which controls what commodities enter, even down to the amount and type of food and medical supplies, and leave the territory.

Palestinians are also subjected to mass imprisonment. The Israeli military has detained around 750,000 Palestinians since 1967. The Israeli army tries prisoners – including minors – in closed and unaccountable military courts, denies them access to lawyers, subject them to tortures and abuses, all in contravention of international law.

Further to the situation of the 4 million + Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, the 1.5 million Palestinians having Israeli citizenship face racial discrimination enshrined in more than 50 Israeli laws that systematically, directly or indirectly, discriminate against them. There are also approximately 5 million Palestinian refugees scattered worldwide who are denied their right to return to their homes.

Since October 2015 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the militarily occupied West Bank.

This Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign, modelled on the boycott against apartheid South Africa, is supported by over 1,000 culture workers in the UK alone and many more artists worldwide. The boycott has been respected by many artists, including: Leftfield, the Killers, Thurston Moore,  Lauryn Hill, Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, Brian Eno,  Mira Nair, Ken Loach, Massive Attack and Alice Walker.

Israel is all too aware of the power that artists wield. Since 2006 it has been running an aggressive PR campaign it calls ‘Brand Israel’, deliberately using culture as propaganda. This PR campaign seeks to promote an image of the state as a peace living, fun and vibrant liberal democracy, and obscure its violent and racist reality. The aim is to promote a false image in order to distract from the harsh realities of occupation, dispossession and wanton destruction.

Israeli promoters and propagandists for Israel tell musicians that art should not mix with politics and that artists do not play for the government but merely entertain ordinary people. But in fact,  Israel has been using artists who breached the boycott as a means of legitimising their crimes against the Palestinian people.

You face a choice – you can stand up for human rights and against oppression and injustice by respecting the Palestinian boycott call. Or you can allow yourself to be cynically used for the whitewashing of apartheid.

We hope that you will cancel your planned gig in Israel on September 15th and refuse to entertain Israeli apartheid.

Many thanks for reading, in solidarity,

DPAI (Don’t Play Apartheid Israel)

We are a group, of over 1700, representing many countries around the globe, who believe that it is essential for musicians & other artists to heed the call of the PACBI, and join in the boycott of Israel. This is essential in order to work towards justice for the Palestinian people under occupation, and also in refugee camps and in the diaspora throughout the world.

Blixa Bargeld and Teho Teardo: Don’t play in Apartheid Israel.

 

Blix

Gaza Kids to Ireland -Events and Fundraising

Gaza Kids to Ireland are finally coming!

This July, the kids from Al Helal under 14s football team are coming to Ireland to play football and meet you! Al-Helal’s clubhouse was damaged in the Israeli assaults of 2012 and 2014. It stands close to the beach, but the sea there is usually too polluted with sewage for the children to play in.

The children will play against teams from Dublin, Tipperary, Limerick and Antrim during their visit and will participate in family events. We want to show them some hospitality while they’re here so we hope you’ll come out to our events and support them.

If you want to give some money to the project, please do so here:  Donate!

Or here:  Donate 1!

These are some upcoming events, please support and share. If you want to organise a fundraiser too that would be brilliant, please email us. And, as ever, please give our social media a twist, thanks! 

July 9th Gig for Gaza Kids! 8.30pm The Hotspot Music Club, above the Beach House, Greystones Harbour, Greystones, Dublin

July 10th Afternoon Tea Party and Family Fun Day 1pm Christchurch Hall, Sandymount, Dublin

July 16th From Gaza to Ireland – John Spillane, and Inny-The Moat Theatre Bass

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Past Events

May 12th  Gaza Kids to Ireland Quiz Night

May 14th  Art Auction. Fundraising Event for the Al- Helal Children’s Football Team in Gaza to come to Ireland this summer

May 20th  Ballad Session Nenagh

June 10th Auction 8pm Teachers’ Club, Dublin

We have a number of brilliant paintings,  Palestinian ceramics, jewellery and books to auction. There will also be a raffle on the night.  It’s going to be great! All donations welcome. Email contact: maggiemae168@gmail.com

June 16th Quiz Night for Gaza Kids to Ireland. 9pm Bobby Byrne’s pub, Limerick

June 17th An Evening with Paddy Casey and friends, The Cobblestone, Smithfield, Dublin from 8.30 pm

June 23rd Concert and Poetry  The Purty Kitchen Dún Laoghaire – Solarix, the Dubtones, Dave Lordan

June 23rd Table Quiz,  Na Gaeil clubhouse Tralee 19:30 Table 4 €20.

June 24th Table Quiz Fundraiser for Gaza Kids to Ireland  9pm Hibernian Inn, Nenagh, Tipperary

June 30th Solidarity Party -Galway Grassroots Network   9pm Arus Na Gael

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Facebook   Gaza Action Ireland
Twitter @GazaAI1

Email: infogazaactionireland@gmail.com

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From Besieged Gaza to Tricky: Show us solidarity, boycott Apartheid Israel -PACBI

21 February 2014

Dear Tricky, dear Adrian,

It grieves us to learn of your scheduled gig in Israel set for 26 February 2015, at a time when Israel continues unabated with its colonial and apartheid designs to further massacre, oppress, dispossess and ultimately violate our very basic rights as Palestinians.

In 1948, Israel ethnically cleansed the Palestinian people from their land in order to systematically form an exclusivist Jewish state (reference Ilan Pappe). It has since denied Palestinian refugees —constituting today more than 7 million people, which roughly corresponds to 70 percent of all living Palestinians who are scattered throughout the world and displaced inside their country— their internationally recognized right to return to their homes and their lands.

In 2004, inspired by the triumphant cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa, and supported by key Palestinian unions and cultural groups, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) issued a call for the academic and cultural boycott of Israeli institutions involved in Israel’s occupation and apartheid.  The movement calls for a boycott until “Israel withdraws from all the lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; removes all its colonies in those lands; agrees to United Nations resolutions relevant to the restitution of Palestinian refugees rights; and dismantles its system of apartheid.”  I wish, in my letter to you, to underscore the importance of this Palestinian call, urge you to cancel your appearance in Tel Aviv and stress the rationale for the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

In fact, I was struck —in a very powerful way— by reading the description on your web site of your latest single, My Palestine Girl:

My Palestine Girl is the album’s heaviest and most political track. A relationship with a Paris-based Palestinian inspired Tricky to think about the challenges of a relationship with someone who lived in Gaza. “Imagine if the love of your life was there,” he says. “It’s a political thing to divide and rule. I’ve been to Israel. The kids I met don’t hate Palestinians. It’s a political thing.”

Reading your words, I’ve decided to write you very shortly, partly about life in Gaza, and partly in the hopes that you will open communication with me as a Palestinian woman in Gaza. Here, in Gaza, where I have been living all my life, we have been subjected to a criminal, inhumane and immoral siege since 2006.  The siege is considered illegal as it represents a form of collective punishment, and entirely hampers the freedom of our movement and our access to the most life-saving services such as health and education. As part of this siege, Israel has prevented not only various types of medicines, candles, books, crayons, clothing, shoes, blankets, pasta, and chocolate, but also musical instruments. We are literally caged inside this overcrowded, tormented and strangulated enclave, and face a very tight Israeli security cordon that has sharply restricted our movement in and out — including even international solidarity activists and cultural figures who try to reach the 1.8 million Palestinians incarcerated in the world’s largest open-air prison. The future becomes unimaginable and hope is hard to maintain.  Could you sing for us in Gaza under these conditions, Tricky?  Would the Israelis allow us to attend your show?  The answer is an unequivocal no.

I have survived three Israeli assaults on Gaza between 2008 and 2014. Three of my relatives were martyred by Israel’s “precision-guided” missiles in the offensive of 2012. In the 51-day massacre in Gaza last summer, Israel ferociously slaughtered more than 2,300 people— wiping out entire families and leaving more than 1,500 of Gaza’s children orphaned — not to mention the hundreds of injured civilians who are now suffering long-life disabilities. 10,000 Gaza residents are still sleeping on the floors of United Nations-run schools. Many more mothers with their siblings are surviving the heavy winter storms in makeshift shelters or huddling in their bombed-out houses with no heating or running water. All told, 100,000 people remain homeless.

In the wake of this assault— just one latest episode of the long history of Israel’s atrocities— and to salvage its deteriorating image, Israel has redoubled its effort to “brand” itself as an enlightened liberal democracy. Arts and culture play a unique role in this branding campaign, as the presence of internationally acclaimed artists from the West is meant to affirm Israel’s membership in the West’s privileged club of “cultured,” liberal democracies. But it should not be business as normal with a state that routinely violates international law and basic human rights.

Your performance would certainly serve this Israeli campaign to rebrand itself and will be used as a publicity tool by the Israeli government. “It’s a political thing,” as you say.

Please don’t be persuaded by the argument that music builds bridges and can bring smiles to people’s faces, thus ultimately spreading peace! We hear no music here, but buzzing drones, bombs and F16! Again, “It’s a political thing”.  And this is why I am convinced of the importance of artists’ public stances backing the cultural boycott of Israel since it applies the continual pressure that’s needed. Many prominent international cultural figures and artists including John Berger, Ken Loach, Arundhati Roy, Roger Waters, Sting, Snoop Dog, among others, have also heeded our call and cancelled their participation in festivals or gigs in Israel. Recently,

1,000 influential British artists signed on to a cultural boycott of Israel. I wholeheartedly urge you not to turn a blind eye to the realities of Israeli apartheid and to heed our call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it recognizes Palestinian rights and fully complies with international law.

As these words are penned, I have no electricity and the only source of light I have is that of the laptop screen. My heart is truly broken for all the undignified suffering we are witnessing and for being confined and unable to smell the air of freedom like other human beings. Our deprivation of our basic rights under the siege has not only been physical but also mental, cultural and psychological. Under a siege, life is reduced to existence or survival as we are dying slowly without medicine, adequate food and electricity and cooking gas. Culture stagnates as there are no resources and mental space for anything beyond the mundane—to engage in an artistic and cultural discussion is even a luxury for people living in Gaza.

Performing in Tel Aviv today is similar to performing in Apartheid South Africa’s Sun City.  If you are not convinced, I urge you to come and see for yourself if you are lucky enough for the Israelis to allow you into Gaza.  This is not about the kids in Israel; this is about the political and cultural institutions that you legitimize by performing there, and about the Palestinian kids (and people) whose voice you silence by ignoring their call for solidarity through boycott.

 

PLEASE think through Israel’s trespasses and say no to performing in Israel.

Yours Sincerely,
The Palestinian Campaign for the Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel

Tricky_-_August_13,_2009

Tricky, Apartheid Israel is a Murder Weapon – Don’t Play

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Letter from DPAI (Don’t Play Apartheid Israel) Tricky: Cancel your apartheid Israel Gig, recognize BDS!

Letter from BDS France:  Lettre a Tricky: reconsider your planned concert in apartheid Israel