Natacha Atlas Boycotts Israel Due to 'Systemized Apartheid'
Belgian singer serving as goodwill ambassador for UN Conference against Racism says won’t perform in Jewish state 'until this systemized apartheid is abolished once and for all'
Several days after announcing Belgian singer Natacha Atlas' arrival in Israel for one concert, the show's production offices in the Jewish state were informed of its cancellation over the weekend.
Atlas, one of the most successful world music artists, known for her fusion of Arabic and Western electronic music, was appointed a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Conference against Racism in 2001.
In the cancellation announcement received via email, Atlas wrote: "I had an idea that performing in Israel would have been a unique opportunity to encourage and support my fans’ opposition to the current government’s actions and policies.
"I would have personally asked my Israeli fans face-to-face to fight this apartheid with peace in their hearts, but after much deliberation I now see that it would be more effective a statement to not go to Israel until this systemized apartheid is abolished once and for all.
"Therefore I publicly retract my well-intentioned decision to go and perform in Israel and so sincerely hope that this decision represents an effective statement against this regime. I would like to thank all my fans for their continued support.
The ICP production company, owned by producer Lior Kameli, told Ynet on Sunday: "We have regretfully received the announcement on the cancellation of Natacha Atlas' December 3 concert.
"Quite a few tickets have been booked, and we regret the singer's decision not to arrive in Israel for her own reasons. Ticket buyers will receive their money back."
This article is reprinted from Ynet with permission.