Roger Waters, Patti Smith Among Hundreds of Musicians Accusing Israel of ‘Ethnic Cleansing of the Palestinian Population’
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and rock icon Patti Smith are among the hundreds of musicians who have signed an open letter accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population.” The letter also demands that musicians cut ties with Israel by refusing to perform for the country’s cultural institutions.
“In solidarity and empathy as musicians, we cannot be silent,” the letter starts. “Today it is essential that we stand with Palestine. ”
The letter continues: “The Israeli government operates a settler-colonial project committed to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population. The legacies of system violence, racism, and dispossession shaped by colonialism must stop.”
A group called Musicians for Palestine is behind the letter, which has also garnered support from Questlove, Rage Against the Machine, Run the Jewels, the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, and the Latin-American hip-hop group Cypress Hill.
So far, more than 600 music artists have signed the letter.
Organizer Stefan Christoff, a Montreal-based musician and pro-Palestinian activist, told the Los Angeles Times the letter was the result of a collective effort that tapped into his and his peers’ musical networks.
“We wanted to encourage artists to speak together and hopefully through that people would feel courage to speak in support of human rights in Palestine,” Christoff told the Times. “Because an injustice to one is an injustice to all. That’s where we’re coming from.”
The letter concludes by urging musicians to effectively boycott Israel.
“We call for you to join us with your name in refusing to perform at Israel’s complicit cultural institutions, and by standing firm in your support of the Palestinian people and their human right to sovereignty and freedom.”