A letter to artists contemplating support for the BDS movement

The occupation has been around long enough for you to decide on whether or not to perform in Israel

Dear artists worldwide, famous and less famous,

I’m writing to you in light of Macy Gray’s decision to perform in Israel, despite pressure from BDS activists to cancel. I’m glad she asked her fans to express their opinions on her Facebook page. But I do have my issues with the way the whole thing was handled.

Some of you guys are really talented. Some of you a bit less. But all of you are pretty smart people, and you’re entitled to your opinion. Which is why I’m writing you this letter.

If you think BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) is the way to go to end the occupation – fine (I don’t agree, but fine). It’s a very legitimate standpoint, and I believe it’s fair to support it, if you wish.

But if you do, I have a request: Please decide on supporting BDS before you book a concert. As far as I know, the global BDS movement does not call for this type of action: booking concerts and then cancelling them as a way to harass fans. This sort of “punishment” is unnecessary, and makes you lose the fans you do have here.

Just a bit of history: Israel has been occupying the West Bank and Gaza for over 43 years. That’s a very long time. In fact, I think it’s just about long enough for most of you to already have an opinion about the matter. Also, I think I’ve even seen the story in the headlines, once or twice. Even in some major newspapers.

There’s really nothing wrong, in my opinion, for you to put up a message on your website, your Myspace page or whatever, that you support BDS and therefore will not even consider booking a concert in Israel. That’s fair play. That way, you don’t have to even go through the whole booking, cancelling and apologizing stuff.

I’m just sayin’…