Tel Aviv University
Rachel Giora wants the Pirate of
the Caribbean to help her Make Israel walk the Plank!
Tel Aviv University's Rachel Giora (Dept of
Linguistics) joins the rest of the Jews for a Hamas Victory in
demanding that Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp boycott Israel
Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp, Please do not allow the state of
Israel to use your reputation to whitewash its crimes!
cancelled her performance in Israel
Dear Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp,
We are Israeli citizens. It has come to our attention that Ms.
Paradis is planning on performing in Israel in March 2011, and that
you are both expected to meet Israeli President Shimon Peres. You
may not be aware, but there is an ongoing Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, due to its policies of
apartheid and occupation. We, as Israeli citizens endorse this
boycott, and we are urging you to take this opportunity to
take a stand on an issue crucial to human rights and as such,
to human lives as well.
You may be asking yourself what all this means and what it has to
do with you. Indeed, you may feel you are being thrust into a
situation which you had no interest in entering in the first place.
However, we hope that we can help the both of you overcome your
feelings of disconnect, outline the realities of the grim world you
have entered, and give you the opportunity to choose to make a
difference. Make no mistake; Because of your celebrity status, the
choice you make will have an instant effect on the lives of millions
of children, women and men.
Palestinians are living under a brutal military regime which
practices policies of apartheid in what is known as Israel and the
Occupied Territories. The army that controls everyday Palestinian
life, at the barrel of a gun, is Israel's army. This means that
Palestinians depend on the mercy of this army, controlled by the
Israeli government, which for over 60 years, has been murdering,
maiming, arresting civilians, all the while stealing their lands by
extreme and brutal force. While illegal Israeli settlements in
occupied Palestinian Territories flourish, under the guise of
"natural growth" (http://www.jewcy.com/uncategorized/unnatural_growth),
Palestinian land is being robbed, homes are being demolished, whole
communities left homeless, in the occupied territories as well as
inside Israel. (background:
The system of the Israeli occupation is far too complex for such
a short letter to cover (we will gladly answer any question that
arises, as a result of its complexity), but it is important for us
to convey to you the second half of the story:
In 2005, Palestinian civil society (students, worker's unions,
women's groups, children's rights advocacy groups and many others)
united in one voice, asking that people, institutions,
states and corporations stop cooperating with Israel. Thus the
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement was born (http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/52).
We stress: If Palestinians had equal rights in
Israel and in the occupied
territories, under the law of Israel, they would have no reason to
appeal to the international court and communities.
How is this relevant to you? Much like the appeal made to artists
in the 80's, who considered performing in Sun City, South Africa (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjWENNe29qc),
we are appealing to you now. In the asymmetry of relations between
the growing state of Israel and the shrinking lands of Palestinians,
performing in Tel Aviv and socializing with senior Israeli
politicians is a deeply
partisan act. The appeal to you, Ms.
Paradis and Mr. Depp- as individuals, as artists-creators of
culture, as influential celebrities- is this: Please do not
entertain apartheid! Please do not legitimize the senior figures
responsible for this apartheid at the expense of its victims. Please
remember that a Palestinian girl who is a fan of your music and
lives in the occupied West Bank
village of Bil'in will not be
allowed by Israel to come and see you in Tel Aviv.
Furthermore, in light of the eagerness you have expressed to meet
Israeli President, Shimon Peres, (so reports our local media:
feel we must address the issue specifically. Consider the following:
is notorious for a long list of
alleged war crimes, as well as being the architect of various
Israeli policies founded in grave violation of international law and
in blatant disrespect of universally recognized human rights. These
- Shimon Peres initiated or
supported several wars of aggression in which civil infrastructure
was targeted and numerous innocent civilians were either killed or
maimed, including many children (notably "operation Grapes of Wrath"
- Shimon Peres master-minded
Israel's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program, making it the
4th largest nuclear superpower in the world today.
- Shimon Peres Ordered the
kidnapping and mistreatment of Mordechai Vanunu, an Israeli nuclear
whistle-blower who was illegally drugged and kidnapped by Mossad in
September 1986 and kept in absolute solitary confinement for 11.5
years. Even after completing his 18 year prison term, he is still
Shimon Peres vehemently opposed the rule of International Law, as
demonstrated in his refusal to let Spanish courts
apply universal jurisdiction against Israeli war criminals, as well
as his attack on the legitimacy and the findings of the UN report
led by Judge Goldstone.
- Shimon Peres has dealt most
of his life with the procurement and the manufacturing of weapons,
- Shimon Peres was a driving
force in the illegal settlement development in the Occupied
Palestinian West Bank.
This list is far from exhaustive, but we believe our point has
been made in that respect. It is also important for us to make it
clear that your meeting with Shimon Peres is already being used for
propaganda purposes, as you can see from the article we brought
forth. As one of the talkbackers on this article expresses: "I'm not
a fan..but if they like Israel.. I will LOVE them and will be their
There is no way your presence here can escape being
interpreted as a political act. It will therefore not be about the
sheer joy of your music and films. Instead, it will have the effect
of contributing to Israel's image of normality, to its government as
well as to the rest of the world. We, therefore, ask you to
Please do not allow the state of Israel to use your reputation
to whitewash its crimes!
We encourage you to inquire further and follow your conscience,
Ofra Ben Artzi