When silence is louder than lyrics: Musicians lend their voices to the boycott against Israel
Click back three decades to 1985’s Artists United Against Apartheid, one of the most effective projects to incite non-violent support for human rights campaigns - quickly politicizing people around the world who might not otherwise have South African apartheid on their playlist. Continue reading below »
Founded by activist and performer Steven Van Zandt and record producer Arthur Baker to protest South Africa’s treatment of its black citizens, this musical conglomerate of stellar talent produced a song, an album, a video and behind-the-scenes documentary film exposing the hypocrisy of high-living in a region ringed by humanitarian atrocities. The artists also vowed never to perform at Sun City because it would indicate acceptance of intolerable human rights violations.
Lou Reed, Miles Davis, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, a wasp-waisted Bruce Springsteen and Bono (sporting a cringe-inducing mullet) joined dozens of other musicians in a music video that, while censored in the USA and banned in South Africa, had far-reaching influence around the globe. Check out the original video.
In 2011, a group of artists called Freedom OneWorld released the first ever mainstream single in solidarity with Palestine and a video intended to break the music industry’s wall of silence. A noble attempt, which enjoyed moderate success.
Now, with the summer concert season looming, maybe it’s time to launch a modern anthem about respecting the pro-Palestine “international picket line”?
Today, Israel’s been experiencing a wave of cancellations by major musical acts, triggered in part by the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and also by the artists’ personal ethics. How about a new hip-shaking blockbuster to rev up awareness?
Let’s hear a fresh musical consensus against the actions of Israel, and let it play until Israel ends its occupation, grants full equality to Israeli Arabs and allows Palestinian refugees right of return. Here are some of the recent MIA musical numbers to have pulled out from performing to Israeli fans.
Do you subscribe to their point of view?