Sunday, May 20, 2007

Would Rolling Stones Gather Peace in Israel?

Today is Day 14,281 of the Maintenance of the Immoral (and Illegal) West Bank Settlements and almost the 40th anniversary of the start of the immoral (and illegal) occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Micah.6:8 “He has told you, O man, Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God

Would Rolling Stones Gather Peace in Israel?

There is an effort on Sam Bahour's Blog to solicit endorsers for an open letter to the Rolling Stones to ask the group to cancel its planned performance in Israel.

You may have read recently about Sam Bahour. If not, you can read about this Palestinian entrepreneur and his GOI/Kafkaesque family reunification administrative roadblocks on the Meretz USA website: "Lilly Rivlin, Meretz USA’s president, writes: This makes me mad.... We have been in denial too long. One of the most important sections in the article below is "We Israelis should be interested in keeping Sam Bahour and the thousands of others like Sam as our neighbors in the West Bank. The chances for building real peace increase when people like Sam Bahour can be our neighbor. Shame on any government of Israel that would force people like Sam to leave." The story continues by reprinting "The Sad Story of my friend, Sam" by Gershon Baskin, a director of IPCRI, the Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information.

I scanned Sam Bahour's Blog and did a little more research but could not find an update on whether and, if so, how he has been permitted to rejoin his family and manage his businesses in person in the West Bank.

Here is a quote from the proposed open letter to the Rolling Stones:

"Performing in Israel at this time is morally equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era. We all remember how leading Rolling Stones musicians played a prominent role in enforcing a cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa in the 1980’s, and participated in recording the timeless song, Sun City, which had a singular influence on raising public awareness about apartheid and its injustices. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights Prof. John Dugard, and South African government minister Ronnie Kasrils have repeatedly declared, Israel has created a worse system of apartheid than anything that ever existed in South Africa.

"Indeed, Israel’s policies throughout its illegal military occupation of Palestinian territory, which have surpassed their South African counterparts, include house demolitions; Jews-only colonies and roads; uprooting hundreds of thousands of trees; indiscriminate killings of civilians, particularly children; incessant theft of land and water resources; denying freedom of movement to millions under occupation, cutting up the occupied Palestinian territory into Bantustans, some entirely caged by walls, fences and hundreds of roadblocks. Sixty years since the Nakba, Israel’s planned campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people, and 40 years into its military occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territory, Israel has consistently and relentlessly violated basic human rights and relevant precepts of international law with utter impunity. Moreover, Israel’s war of aggression against Lebanon last year caused more than one thousand civilian deaths, not to mention massive destruction to infrastructure and decimation of entire residential neighbourhoods."

As I mentioned, the rest of the proposed letter can be found here.

My wife, Joan, and I were in London last October and within a few hours after we landed sleepless from the plane trip, we were at a theatre seeing Tom Stoppard's new play, "Rock and Roll". Although the play was heavily philosophical and I could hardly keep my eyes open, I did catch the theme - the fall of communism was caused by the infiltration of rock and roll music behind the iron curtain. With heavy symbolism, the play ends with pictures of a concert by U2 in in Prague in 1990.

Perhaps the boycott is the best approach, a way to bring pressure on the GOI to end the occupation. Perhaps Stoppard is right and the Rolling Stones will help to TEAR DOWN THAT WALL, Mr. Ohmert.

Perhaps the concert should be in Bethlehem!!

What do you think?

Deuteronomy 16:20 – “Justice, justice shall you pursue that you may live and inherit the land which God gave you” and the footnote in the 1980 Hertz Edition “(T)here is international justice, which demands respect for the personality of every national group, and proclaims that no people can of right be robbed of its national life or territory, its language or spiritual heritage.

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