Red Hot Chiling Silence

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer, Chad Smith, professing a liberal language of equality and harmony for all.

You book some tour, receive some award, get an event invitation. “They love me! They really love me!” you think. Or maybe “Woah, cool! I always wanted to go to Murmansk!” All of a sudden, out of nowhere, you start getting letters from Arizona: “Dude, we’re trying to have a picket line here, you’re seriously treading on our turf! Boycott racism!” Panicked, you call your agent: “But I just wanted to make music!” Your agent, being payed to be in contact with the corporeal world tells you how it is: “We’ll have to loose some revenue, but let’s donate this concert’s proceeds to these people’s organizations!”, better yet “let’s buy activists off with free tickets!” Without much debate, you happily pack your bags and head off in your private airplane to the Congo. After all, what do you know about politics?

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Boycotting the White City: Good for Tel Avivians

rev·o·lu·tion noun \ˌre-və-ˈlü-shən\

2
a : a sudden, radical, or complete change
b : a fundamental change in political organization; especially : the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed
c : activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation
d : a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm <the Copernican revolution>
e : a changeover in use or preference especially in technology <the computer revolution> <the foreign car revolution>

~ Merriam Webster Dictionary

Almost a year ago a wave of massive popular protests began within the state of Israel. Though my initial criticisms still stands, I’d like to add that over the past year, at least in the south of Tel Aviv, there’s a constant learning about egalitarian politics, co-ops and community projects. People are changing and that can’t be a bad thing. Still, on the Palestinian liberation front there’s little change. The protests have remained Jewish-centered and protesters are still hostile to the mere mention of Arabs (Palestinians are people from another country, of course).

Dr. White City and Mr. Tel Aviv

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Story of the Wiping Out of the Indigenous People of a Land Formerly Known as Falastin

Dear Red Hot Chili Peppers,

It’s me again. After 11 letters from all around the world, a petition with over 6400 signatories that just keeps growing, and a couple groups on Facebook [1,2], it seems like you’re determined to go through the motions of a performance in apartheid Israel. Sure enough, after a long silence from you, we’re seeing the standard Shuki Weiss promotional video, reassuring fans that past cancellations won’t repeat, and that the world still in fact loves Israel. I can reiterate what was written in other letters and statements, but I much rather just respond to one thing you said in the video, which burns with irony: “We love playing for people. Children, middle aged, and old people. So come one come all.”

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/44799712 w=400&h=300]

So here goes, the 12th letter asking the Red Hot Chili Peppers to heed the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against the apartheid military regime of Israel.

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Hasbara goal?

Starting today, and for the next two days, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) will hold its Congress and Executive Committee meeting in Tel Aviv. The draw for the Euro 2010 qualifying groups will also take place.

From an article in Ha’aretz:

This is the first time that Israel has ever hosted the annual gathering, which is taking place two months before the World Cup kicks off in South Africa.

Congress participants include FIFA President Joseph (Sepp) Blatter, UEFA President Michel Platini, former German footballer Franz Beckenbauer and the heads of international football teams.

Hosting the UEFA Congress is the culmination of a years-long effort by the Israeli Tourism Ministry.

“Israel is an ideal country for training camps and sporting activities and matches, year-round and especially during the European winter,” said Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov. “I am sure that the combination of the climate and the infrastructure for training and matches, alongside the many tourist sites and entertainment and leisure options, will make our guests choose Israel for both personal and professional visits in the future.”

The Tourism Ministry is working to increase Israel’s cooperation with European countries in order to boost tourism by improving Israel’s international image as a safe and modern country to visit.

Blair’s Million Dollar Israeli Peace Prize

Former British Prime Minister and Mideast mediator Tony Blair, right, Israel's President Shimon Peres, center, and Dan David, attend the $1 million Dan David Prizes in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, May 17, 2009.
Former British Prime Minister and Mideast mediator Tony Blair, right, Israel's President Shimon Peres, center, and Dan David, attend the $1 million Dan David Prizes in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, May 17, 2009.

Last Sunday Tony Blair was presented with a cheque for $1 million, the Dan David prize, at a ceremony at Tel Aviv university.  The prize was awarded for his “foresight”, “exceptional intelligence” and “steadfast determination” to end conflicts.  It gets better as the BBC report explains his entry to the competition hails him as “one of the most outstanding statesmen of our era” praising his “morally courageous leadership” over Kosovo.

Iraq is conspicuous by its absence, after all it was the beginning of a Neoconservative Likudnik plan to reshape the Middle East in Israel’s interest, killing around 1.5 million Iraqis in an illegal war of aggression.  For this act alone, Blair should be recognised as a warmonger ineligable for any kind of peace prize, however, in Israel, the more Arabs you kill, the greater a statesman peacemaker you’re considered. This is the immorality they are celebrating and they only respect Blair’s support in “ending” conflicts through the defeat and total destruction of Israel’s adversaries, such as Iraq.

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