'Human Gaza Strip' joins cultural boycott of Israel

Natacha Atlas.

Natacha Atlas, the award-winning electronic-worldbeat artist, has canceled her upcoming show in Israel and will be boycotting the state until the apartheid regime is dismantled.

statement on her Facebook page reads: "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 systemised 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."

Atlas' music has always dug beneath the apparent "contradictions" of her own identity. She is the daughter of an Egyptian-Palestinian man and an English woman who converted to Islam. Her music has always sought to bridge the gaps, incorporating middle eastern rhythms with drum 'n' bass and a variety of other "Western" genres, as well as expanding her palette into reggae and hip-hop.

She has long referred to herself as "a human Gaza Strip", and always stood firmly on the side of the Palestinians when the issue came up. That she would think what she did initially (that playing in Israel would somehow be an opportunity to buck apartheid) speaks to the power of the Israeli concert industry globally ― arguably the strongest in the region.

That she did indeed cancel, however, speaks to the power of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement ― as well as the strength of her own commitment to human rights.

[Reprinted from www.rebelfrequencies.blogspot.com .]

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