Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

R&B Sensation Alicia Keys Pressured to Cancel Tel Aviv Concert

Alice Walker Warns Singer That Going to Israel will Put Her “Soul in Danger”

By: David Shear

Published: May 30th, 2013 in Culture » Society » News

Another misguided “celebrity” is encouraging R&B sensation Alicia Keysto join the all-too-popular Israel-haters behind the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement.

Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, wrote a letter to Keys laced full of the usual lies and vitriol that is the hallmark of the BDS movement.

In her letter, Walker tires to convince Keys to cancel her upcoming concert in Tel Aviv, and even goes as far as to warn Keys that if she doesn’t, she is putting her “soul in danger”, and even compares Israel to racist American institutions in the South that were boycotted to end American apartheid that she calls “less lethal than Israel’s against the Palestinian people.”

Walker’s full letter is printed below.

Dear Alicia Keys,

I have learned today that you are due to perform in Israel very soon. We have never met, though I believe we are mutually respectful of each other’s path and work. It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists. You were not born when we, your elders who love you, boycotted institutions in the US South to end an American apartheid less lethal than Israel’s against the Palestinian people. Google Montgomery Bus Boycott, if you don’t know about this civil rights history already. We changed our country fundamentally, and the various boycotts of Israeli institutions and products will do the same there. It is our only nonviolent option and, as we learned from our own struggle in America, nonviolence is the only path to a peaceful future.

If you go to my website and blog alicewalkersgarden.com you can quickly find many articles I have written over the years that explain why a cultural boycott of Israel and Israeli institutions (not individuals) is the only option left to artists who cannot bear the unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine, whose major “crime” is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own. Under a campaign named ‘Brand Israel’, Israeli officials have stated specifically their intent to downplay the Palestinian conflict by using culture and arts to showcase Israel as a modern, welcoming place.

This is actually a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about something sorrowful, and amazing: that our government (Obama in particular) supports a system that is cruel, unjust, and unbelievably evil. You can spend months, and years, as I have, pondering this situation. Layer upon layer of lies, misinformation, fear, cowardice and complicity. Greed. It is a vast eye-opener into the causes of much of the affliction in our suffering world.

I have kept you in my awareness as someone of conscience and caring, especially about the children of the world. Please, if you can manage it, go to visit the children in Gaza, and sing to them of our mutual love of all children, and of their right not to be harmed simply because they exist.

With love, younger sister, beloved daughter and friend,

Alice Walker

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