PACBI Statement

Palestinians call for boycott of Open Source Festival in Germany over its censorship of Talib Kweli

Black American rapper Talib Kweli was cancelled by German festival due to his support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights

Open Source Festival in Düsseldorf canceled black American rapper Talib Kweli’s scheduled performance after initiating a failed attempt to persuade him to distance himself from the BDS movement for Palestinian rights.

Talib Kweli had said that he’d “rather be a decent human being and stand up for what’s right” than “lie about BDS for a check”, adding that “to equate a peaceful push for the rights of Palestinian people to the horrors of Nazi Germany is a false and offensive equivalency.”

Open Source Festival canceled Kweli’s performance following pressure from the Ruhrbarone blog, which previously called for genocide against Palestinians in a now-deleted tweet.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a founding member of the largest Palestinian civil society coalition leading the global BDS movement, urges conscientious artists and those who value free speech, whether or not they support BDS, to show solidarity with Talib Kweli and to boycott Open Source Festival.

Open Source Festival has demonstrated glaring complicity in Israel’s far-right regime of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, settler-colonialism and occupation, through its shameless attempt to shield Israel from criticism and accountability by censoring Talib Kweli over his anti-racist views.

Anti-Palestinian hate and McCarthyism has reached new lows in Germany with its parliament’s recent declaration that BDS is antisemitic. This put it at odds with 240 Jewish and Israeli scholars who responded that they “reject the deceitful allegation that BDS as such is anti-Semitic and maintain that boycotts are a legitimate and non-violent tool of resistance.”

More than 40 Jewish groups around the world last year stated that: “The Nobel Peace Prize-nominated, Palestinian civil society-led BDS movement for Palestinian rights has demonstrated an ongoing proven commitment to fighting antisemitism and all forms of racism and bigotry, consistent with its dedication to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Inspired by the movements to end apartheid in South Africa and to achieve civil rights in the US, BDS opposes on principle all forms of racism and discrimination, including antisemitism,  Islamophobia, sexism, homophobia, anti-black racism and anti-Arab racism. BDS aims to end Israel’s military occupation and systematic discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, and for the UN-stipulated right of return for Palestinian refugees.


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