OCTOBER 28, 2007 – Renown Arab musician Ilham al Madfai has called upon all boycott groups to stop threatening and intimidating artists and to respect the freedom of all.
In a recent article published in Engage, a UK resource organisation for the monitoring and the critique of left and liberal antisemitism, Madfai, an Iraqi musician now living in Amman, explained he had received a lot of “threatening phone calls and warnings” from groups opposed to his visit (of the One Million Voices International Concert) but he cherished the day when all logistical and travel challenges, including procuring visas for all his crew and band, could be resolved to enable him “to sing with the Palestinian people and with the people of the world, a song of peace, justice, dignity, respect, and hope.”
According to Engage, PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel), was “determined to scupper (the concert) and set out to get all Palestinians, from the punters and performers to the planning committee, to boycott the event. Some of PACBI’s supporters took things further and threatened violence (well, sure – in the general scheme of things it must be difficult to persuade people that there’s anything wrong with a peace concert). One Voice took the threats seriously and cancelled the Jericho event, and Tel Aviv cancelled in solidarity.”
One Voice is a movement of ordinary citizens that now surpasses 600,000 signatories not just in Palestine and the Arab world, but with citizens in solidarity across America, Europe and Israel, who agree on the imperative of ending the conflict and propelling and supporting their Heads of State to immediately commence negotiations, uninterrupted till the conclusion of a two state agreement.
The Engage article in its entirety can be read at: