Normalization extravaganza: Palestinian artists at the ‘Israeli’ Oud festival ~ by @docjazzmusic

Related: Doc Jazz received a music blog award!

Monday, 17 October 2011 17:08| | by Dr. Tariq Shadid

There are various degrees of what we call ‘normalization’. As indicated in a recent article at the Musical Intifada, in some exceptional cases it can even be described as ‘understandable’, or to a certain degree ‘acceptable’ if not entirely ‘inevitable’. However, at the opposite end of that spectrum there are displays of normalization that are completely uncalled for, and nauseatingly reprehensible.

One such upcoming feat of normalization is the participation of Palestinian artists at the ‘Israeli International Oud Festival’ which is being organized by Confederation house, under the patronage of the Israeli Minister of Culture and the Israeli Municipality of (Occupied!) Jerusalem.

It is quite shocking to find Palestinian artists Amal Murkus, Hosam Hayek, Violet Salameh, Taiseer Elias and soloists of the Tarshiha Orchestra participating in that festival as if that is a ‘normal’ thing to do.

If that is ‘normal’, anything is normal. This festival itself proclaims that it was started as a commemoration of the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem. Are these artists so blinded by financial gains that their Palestinian souls have been completely stifled and gagged? How can they face themselves in the morning when they look in the mirror – by what excuses do they claim that they are seeing a Palestinian there who has solidarity with his or her national heritage, who has kept the flame of rejection of Zionism alive, and who deserves the support and admiration of his or her people?

The Musical Intifada fully endorses the call by PACBI, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel: boycott the Zionist Oud festival! We beseech our Palestinian musical brethren and sisters to listen to the voices of their conscience and stand united with their people in rejecting Zionism, rejecting the celebration of it through a Oud festival or any festival of any kind, and in standing firmly on the side of justice and the resistance against oppression, land theft, and ethnic cleansing.

Dear Amal, Hosam, Violet, Taiseer and the soloists of Tarshiha, please restore our confidence in you and your musical excellence. Don’t make us turn away from your talents simply because hearing you play would remind us that those very same sounds were gloatingly applauded by an audience of supremacist colonizers whose inner voice was telling them: “Behold our Zionist victory. The dumb, ignorant and pride-less Arabs of Palestine are dancing and singing for us while we steal their land, imprison their men, and Judaize Jerusalem and every other piece of Palestinian land we can lay our hands on.”

We want to give you the benefit of the doubt, in believing that you were not aware of the normalization extravaganza that you are making yourself a part of by performing at this festival. In the mean time, we will not be silent. We will show our determination to speak out against everything that represents Zionism. And we will help populate this Facebook page, in an attempt to show you how many of us disagree with your joining this concert.

Heed PACBI’s call, save your reputation and dignity, and cancel your performance there. Your sounds deserve a better audience than Zionist ears. We are waiting to see you do the right thing.

Source & more at the wesbite of Doc Jazz Musical Intifada

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