More than 600 musicians have called upon their peers to boycott performances in Israel in a show of support for Palestine. Signatories include Rage Against the Machine, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Serj Tankian of System of a Down, Run the Jewels, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Black Thought and Questlove of The Roots, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Chromeo, Nicolas Jaar, Noname, and Owen Pallett.
In an open letter, the group denounced the recent Israeli attacks against Palestine while demanding “justice, dignity and the right to self-determination for the Palestinian people and all who are fighting colonial dispossession and violence across the planet.”
“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,” the letter reads in part. “We believe this is crucial to one day live in a world without segregation and apartheid.”
It adds, “Complicity with Israeli war crimes is found in silence, and today silence is not an option. Silence is not an option as the brutal Israeli bombardment of besieged Gaza claimed more than 245 lives in the last weeks. Silence is not an option as residents of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied Jerusalem are continuously forced out of their homes.”
Musicians including Roger Waters have long advocated for a cultural boycott of Israel, an act encouraged by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement in an effort to secure Palestinians greater equality under Israeli law. However, in terms of the sheer number of signatories, today’s letter is perhaps the largest and most substantial endorsement to come out of the music community.
Check out the full list of signatories here, and read the full letter below.