SA rap hip-hop group urged to cancel visit to Israel
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organisation Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Against Israel in South Africa (BDS South Africa) has urged local rap hip-hop group Die Antwoord to respect the international boycott against Israel and withdraw from touring that country.
Die Antwoord is due to perform in Israel on June 8. According to their website they will perform in Europe, the Middle East, and the US over the next few months.
In the letter to Die Antwoord, BDS SA also requests a meeting, but according to BDS SA the music group is yet to respond to the letter or request for a meeting.
Meanwhile, a group of Israeli peace activists belonging to the organisation Boycott From Within have also written to Die Antwoord urging the group to postpone their music tour.
BDS SA spokeswoman Kwara Kekana said: “It’s been a while since we wrote to them. Unfortunately, they have not responded. We are making follow-ups on the letter, but there is no response.”
“We are asking for Die Antwoord to please reconsider their position,” said Kekana.
BDS and Palestinians called on the global civil society, artists and multinational corporations to participate in a non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel until it complies with international law in respect of its treatment of Palestinians, she said.
Parts of the letter reads: “We are urging you to join the growing list of artists and musicians who are choosing to be on the right side of history by boycotting Israel, turning down its invites and cancelling Israeli gigs.”
Boycott From Within wrote in their letter: “While many people in Israel may enjoy and appreciate the talent of Die Antwoord (and rightly so), we request that you postpone your visit to Israel until the time when Israel complies with international law and stops its discriminatory occupation and apartheid policies of mass violence against the Palestinian people.”
“We are hopeful you will take the ethical position of refusing to perform in Israel at this time given your history as South Africans, as people who know about the bitterness of injustice and live with the consequences of apartheid,” read the letter.
Attempts to contact Die Antwoord were unsuccessful.