There are hundreds of artists who perform in Israel every year and almost all of them are being inundated by false accusations about Israel, particularly that it is an apartheid state. They are being pressured to cancel their tours and visits via petitions, open letters, emails and often thousands of tweets and Facebook posts. Presently, legendary music artist, Neil Young, is being targeted with a petition drive urging him to cancel his July 16, 2014 concert in Tel Aviv. It is critical that Neil and other artists and their fans hear from voices that support liberal, open democracies and the independence of artists.

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Don't Let Israel's Detractors Politicize Art

Dear Artist,

We, the undersigned, wholeheartedly support your upcoming tour in Israel and your dedication to your fans across the globe.

We know you are hearing falsehoods about Israel being an apartheid state and unfair comparisons of Israel to apartheid South Africa. These messages are filled with distortions and untruths that seek to malign Israel and distort the discourse of those that seek peace.

Those who have actually been to Israel know that it is a democratic country with a diverse population, where women, Arabs, Muslims, Christians and all minorities have equal rights; a nation where art and freedom of expression flourish. In fact, Arab-Israeli citizens serve on Israel’s Supreme Court and in its Parliament. The recently crowned Miss Israel was born in Ethiopia and quoted Martin Luther King in her acceptance speech! "There are many different communities of many different colors in Israel, and it's important to show that to the world," said the new Miss Israel.

We too wish for a resolution to the complicated Palestinian/Israeli peace process, and we believe that the unique connection between artist and fan is part of the solution. Music is a great tool--one that can be used for building bridges, dialogue and understanding between people. Cultural boycotts drown out freedom and the voices of change. Your voice, your message will touch hearts and minds in a region desperately looking for peace.

We therefore urge you to keep your tour date in Israel, the land Madonna calls "the energy center of the world." Join the ranks of independent-minded artists who have performed in Israel recently, including Rihanna, Alanis Morissette, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Black Eyed Peas, Missy Elliot, Metallica, Linkin Park, Lady Gaga, Seal, Erykah Badu and many others. Your fans in Israel are looking forward to seeing you and know that you will use the power of your music to help bring hope and peace to the region!

Thank you.




City


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