ISM London calls on Alicia Keys to withdraw from performance in Israel — Letter




2nd July 2013

FAO Ms Alicia Keys

Sent via email:

Dear Ms Keys,

RE: Your show in Apartheid Israel

First we should introduce ourselves. We are a group of activists that run the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in England, known as ISM London. ISM is a Palestinian led organisation that supports the non violent resistance of the Palestinians against the illegal occupation by Apartheid Israel. We do this in a number of ways but primarily by providing an international solidarity presence with the purpose to use Israeli racism against the occupation and support the Palestinians in their struggle for freedom and justice.

A number of our activists have attended your shows in London and we along with your millions of fans around the world have felt inspiration and enjoyment through your lyrics and music. It is partly through this inspiration that people can conjure up the courage to carry out vital struggles to realise justice, equality and freedom throughout this world.

However, we implore you to hear the call out from Palestinian civil society and adhere to the boycott of Apartheid Israel by cancelling your show scheduled for 4 July 2013 in Tel Aviv. In your response to the great writer and activist Alice Walker you talked about the power of music to unite. We entirely agree with you.

However, your music will not unite as millions of Palestinians are barred from sharing in the joy of your music by the Apartheid policies of Israel. This includes some 6 million refugees still living in camps around the world, while you perform on the land that their villages once stood and that they are barred from seeing.

As British citizens we feel a strong responsibility to support the Palestinians given the British history in the region. That history and continuing tragedy continues through the support of our Government but also yours, the American Government. As your songs tell us, it’s important to stand up and support your fellow man, upholding not just international law but humanitarian principles particularly where our Governments are mute or fail to.

You are a great source of inspiration for many and we sincerely hope you will stand on the right side of history:

This is for all the mothers fighting

For better days to come

And all my women

All my women sitting here trying

To come home before the sun

~Alicia Keys, Superwoman


In solidarity and hope,

ISM London