This blog currently appears in The Times of Israel:
BDS (Bigoted, Destructive and Salacious) has been at it again. They have bullied yet another international artist into cancelling a gig in Israel. It would appear that BDS have no confidence in their arguments and their intentions are so thinly veiled that they have to resort to threats of violence and bullyboy tactics to make themselves heard.
The latest target of BDS belligerence is Malian maestro, Salif Keita. Keita who was scheduled to perform at the Sacred Music Festival has been inundated with a barrage of nasty threats and blackmail attempts. The following is an extract of a letter published on Keita’s Facebook fan page:
August 22, 2013
Dear Sacred Music Festival, Hadassah Hospital, Salif Keita fans,
On behalf of Salif Keita and the Salif Keita Global Foundation, we would like to thank you for organizing a magnificent unifying music festival, and a visit of the albinism treatment center in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Mr. Keita will not be able to attend either event because of the cancellation of his show at the Sacred Music Festival.
Although, the show was cancelled, Mr. Keita (and his foundation for albinism) would like to convey his most sincere apologies to all concerned, such as the concert organizers, the Albinism Treatment Center and especially all his wonderful and diverse fans in Israel. The reason for the cancellation is not one which was made by Mr. Keita, but by his agents who were bombarded with hundreds of threats, blackmail attempts, intimidation, social media harassment and slander stating that Mr Keita was to perform in Israel, “not for peace, but for apartheid.”
These threats were made by a group named BDS, who also threatened to keep increasing an anti-Salif Keita campaign, which they had already started on social media, and to work diligently at ruining the reputation and career that Mr. Keita has worked 40 years to achieve not only professionally, but for human rights and albinism.
Isn’t it ironic that the very movement that expresses such concern for human rights has threatened the well being and career of a man who is a symbol of humanity? BDS and their ilk get highly offended if you call them anti-Semites. In the case of Keita, BDS supporters claimed victory and gave credit to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, saying it was a letter from the Arch that did the trick. Now you can’t call Archbishop Tutu and anti-Semite, because like Roger Waters, some of his best friends are Jewish! In fact, his dentist is Jewish! Arch has nobody ever told you to beware of drill-bearing, root-canal performing Jews…?
We salute the artists like Eric Burdon, Sir Paul McCartney, Alicia Keys and others who have come to Israel to perform.
BDS love to spoil a good concert.
At a concert held at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg two weeks ago featuring Israeli jazz musician, Daniel Zamir, protestors were reportedly shouting “Dubula e Judah (shoot the Jew). This was tweeted live from the concert by a Wits Journalist. So what was their rationale behind this despicable slogan? BDS SA protagonist, Mohammed Desai,
justified the chanting of this hateful slogan by saying that during the Apartheid years, “Shoot the Boer” was a song sung by activists at the funerals of struggle veterans. To quote him directly, ““just like you would say kill the Boer at a funeral during the eighties and it wasn’t about killing white people, it was used as a way of identifying with the apartheid regime”. In South Africa the amount of farmers who have been brutally murdered is staggering. In order to prove hate speech, one must be able to attribute an act of violence directly to a statement or comment. With alarming statistics of over 3000 murdered farmers which many attribute to the chanting of “shoot the Boer”, it is not difficult to see why many do not dismiss these slogans as struggle songs. See footage of protest at Zamir concert:
This from the “peaceful and non-violent protesting” BDS movement? Well I guess the cat is out of the bag now…
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….
We Jews do not take the chanting of any kind of death threat lightly. Thousands of years of persecution, inquisition, Holocaust, exile, every day hate crimes and threats to destroy Israel have made us extra vigilant.
So the next time the loons from the BDS movement threaten the lives of artists/board members/shop owners/students ask yourself if the issue is REALLY about Palestinian human rights or if these protests and campaigns merely provide a convenient smoke screen for them to screech their hatred. Why are they so scared of artists coming to Israel? Is it because they may see something they like or the truth?
The line between legitimate protest and hate speech has been blurred. Perhaps we should thank BDS – through their behaviour they have exposed themselves to be the frauds and bigots they really are.