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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours

posted by on April 16 at 12:54 PM

This video was sent by Morrisey to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz announcing a performance in Tel Aviv this summer. Apparently he’s been canceling summer performances there at the last minute for 20 years now, but this year promises to make it happen for reals. This news has of course made Palestine pissed. Here is part of an open letter from The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel:

You end your message with the words “God bless Israel, stay nice!” This message and your planned Israel gig are indicators of either a serious lack of understanding of what Israel is or a conscious bias towards Israel, despite its colonial and apartheid reality. Celebrating Israel, as you plan to do, at a time when it is persistently committing war crimes and other grave breaches of international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in Gaza, is an act of complicity in maintaining Israel’s illegal occupation and regime of racial discrimination against the people of Palestine.

It is ironic that your persistent affection for outsiders and misfits has often driven you to write in their voices. Someone hated, rejected and violently attacked by a racist, nationalistic society has her point of view expressed in these lyrics, which you wrote:

We’re old news
All’s well
Say BBC scum
One child shot, but so what?
Laid my son
In a box, three feet long
And I still don’t know why
A short walk home becomes a run
And I’m scared
In my own country

Singing in Tel Aviv despite the fact that more than 800 Palestinian children have been killed—many in a willful manner—by the Israeli occupation army and settlers in the past 7 years alone would effectively tell us, in our faces: “One Palestinian child shot, but so what?”

They continue:

On December 3, 2007, you said “I abhor racism and oppression or cruelty of any kind and will not let this pass without being absolutely clear and emphatic with regard to what my position is. Racism is beyond common sense and I believe it has no place in our society.”

It is “absolutely clear” that your performance in Israel would betray a regrettable double standard, if not a categorical negation of those noble ideals.

I understand not wanting celebrities to take the side of your enemy, but Morrisey is a unifier, not a divider. The fact that the Palestinian organization is familiar enough with his lyrics to quote him so pertinently (or had to read through all of them to find a pertinent example) should have been enough to clue them in that they’re accusing the wrong guy of “double standards.”

(ht daily swarm)

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