Seeger Urged To Scrap Israel Show

Folk music legend PETE SEEGER has been asked to abandon an upcoming concert in Israel and show his support for a Palestinian-led cultural boycott of the nation.
The singer/songwriter is billed to perform at the With Earth and Each Other: A Virtual Rally for a Better Middle East - an event organised by the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and the Jewish National Fund in November (10) and his involvement has upset activists calling on all musicians to scrap Israeli shows.
Officials at steering human rights group Adalah New York insist they are among 40 organisations urging Seeger to change his mind about the show, and join the likes of the Pixies, Elvis Costello and Carlos Santana in boycotting concerts in Israel.
A spokesman says, "The organisations have called on Seeger to support the Palestinian-led movement for a cultural boycott of Israel, modelled on the artists’ boycott that helped end Apartheid in South Africa.
"The event is presented as a support effort for Arava, which claims to carry out environmental projects in the Negev desert in Israel. Arava has said and done nothing about the destruction of the Bedouin village Al-Araqib in the Negev by Israeli forces this summer to make way for a forest to be planted by the Jewish National Fund.
"The destruction of Al-Araqib is part of a larger Israeli government strategy of dislocating Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel, to facilitate the expansion of communities for Israeli Jews.
"And the Jewish National Fund promotes Jewish land ownership and settlement on land from which Palestinians have been displaced, according to our reports.
"We have called on Pete Seeger to join the growing list of artists who have respected the Palestinian boycott call."
Seeger has also been asked to call off the gig by Israeli activist Jeff Halper, chairman of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions - an organisation to which Seeger has been a donor for over 10 years.
He writes, "I hope that you will decide to join these artists of conscience and once again make a bold stand for justice."
And New-York based Artists Against Apartheid have also asked Seeger to reconsider performing in Israel in a letter to the folk star.


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Comments

David Weisberg's picture

David Weisberg

Dear Friends,My name is David Weisberg, and I serve as Executive Director of Friends of the Arava Institute (www.friendsofarava.org), the sole lead organization responsible for putting together “With Earth and Each Other: A Virtual Rally for a Better Middle East” (www.withearthandeachother.org).I feel it necessary to note that a number of the assertions made in this article are simply not factually correct and indicate that some may have completely misunderstood the purpose and message of the event, which is not, in fact, to support or endorse Israel or any other government, but instead to celebrate the many efforts in trans-boundary cooperation occurring on the micro-level, like the important work of the Arava Institute, that are making a practical difference in bettering the quality of life for Palestinians, Israelis, Jordanians, and others. I should also note that Pete Seeger’s participation in “With Earth and Each Other” does not, in fact, involve him performing anywhere in the Middle East.It is also important to note that one of the chairs of “With Earth and Each Other,” Mohammed Atwa, is, in fact, a Muslim Palestinian from Gaza, who finds the endorsement of the virtual rally by the Jewish National Fund and the exposure of their constituents to our strong and positive message about coexistence and equality to be an important step in the right direction. (I should note that, contrary to what has been asserted, the JNF is no more a “lead partner” in the rally than the thirty other organizations that have signed on as partnering organizations.)I invite anyone reading this that has questions about “With Earth and Each Other” or Friends of the Arava Institute to contact me at david@weaeo.org. And I hope all of you will consider joining us for this amazing event on November 14.Thank you.With Great Respect,David Weisberg, Executive DirectorFriends of the Arava Institutedavid@weaeo.org(717) 503-9207
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peanutjake's picture

peanutjake

Pete Seeger belongs to the Whole World.The right-wing idiots silenced his voicefor years. Now the supporters of the terroristsare trying to do the same thing.Pete Seeger keep on singingThe whole world needs you.
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Seeger Urged's picture

Seeger Urged

Any urge to boycot anyone`s efforts is shameful and destructive in view of the fact that most humans wish to enhance and negociate for peace. Pete Seeger is everyone`w hero of good-will amongst men. Hopefully he will not abide and refuse to cooperate with such an "urge". And this off course shouldn`t mean that support for the Palestenian cause is not fair nor legitimate. One can support the Palestenian cause without necessarily "boycotting" their partners for peace...Yehuda Yalon
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desertson's picture

desertson

@ David Weisberg. Remove all the doubt and mmisconeption. Cancel the event and support the Free Gaza campaign, OR hold the event in Gaza City -anywhere except the country of the brutal oppressor.It cannot be right that only a few miles away from the concert, people in Gaza lack water, medicine and food, because of the policies and violence of the people being sung to. To even contemplate that one of the world's greatest humanitarians can even think of ssupporting this event in a land of nuclear weapons, and a recent record of bombing innocent people, is inconceiveable. It will overturn the respect of many of his followers. I will destroy my entire Seeger collection and my Albert Hall programme. And Woody Guthrie will be spinning in his grave.
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Mehnaz Afridi's picture

Mehnaz Afridi

Dear Friends,I am on the board of FAI. I am a Pakistani Muslim, and have seen how much the Arava Institute and FAI support co-existence through enviromental issues. JNF is one of the many partners for this rally and because of their involvement with us they are making great strides for peace. At the Arava Institute we educate palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians, Jewish-Americans and Israelis. We are a unique institute with Arab, Israeli, Palestinians faculty and alumni. See the light and path of peace as we all can only learn from education, dialogue, and engagement! Pete Seeger will NOT be performing in Israel, this is a virtual rally. Please help bridge the gap and not widen it!Sincerely,MehnazPro-Humanity
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