Marc Almond cancels Israel performance
Marc Almond has canceled performing in Israel. Almond's statement was released on the official website and can be viewed by going to the "News" section on that site. PACBI welcomes any cancellation to perform in Israel regardless of the stated reasons. The statement reads:
"Unfortunately, Marc has had to withdraw from the concert in Tel-Aviv, Israel on 14 May 2011. Marc would like to make it absolutely clear that this is not for any political reason. We are very sorry for any inconvenience to fans who have bought tickets."
The artist whose hits include “Tainted Love” and “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart” was scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on 14 May
A Marc Almond concert was picketed in London on May 7.
On May 9, the UK Palestine Solidarity Campaign sent the following letter to Marc Almond:
Dear Marc Almond,
I was shocked to hear that you were scheduled to perform in Israel. Listening to your music, I always assumed that you had a clear and unstinting compassion for those who face discrimination and oppression. Your music provided the soundtrack to many lesbians and gay men growing up in a hostile society. And as a lesbian who has been actively supporting Palestinian rights for over a decade, I felt obliged to write to you personally.
Israel is attempting to ‘pinkwash’ itself as tolerant, and gay-friendly in an attempt to paint over the discrimination, racism and apartheid that Palestinians face on a daily basis. It is an attempt to cover up Israel’s flouting of international law and its violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Those who support Israel’s crimes continue to propogate the colonialist fantasies of a civilised and gay-friendly Israel, as opposed to hostile, homophobic Palestinians. This not only denies the real homophobia confronted by the LGBT community inside Israel, but also the reality of life as a lesbian or gay Palestinian living under a brutal military occupation. By propogating this fantasy, Israel is attempting to co-opt support from LGBT artists and activists in other countries for its violence towards Palestinians.
I have worked with the Palestinian community in Britain and internationally, travelled to Palestinian towns and villages, and I was on the Mavi Marmara last year when it was attacked by Israeli commandos whilst in international waters, taking aid to Gaza. Our shared experiences of homophobia and discrimination should make us even more sensitive to, and supportive of, the cause of equality, freedom and justice for Palestine.
I urge you to listen to the voices of Palestinian gay and lesbian organisations, for example Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (PQBDS). Please listen to those of us in the LGBT community in Britain, who believe that until Palestinians are free, none of us are free.
The cause of Palestine is the cause of justice and freedom. Please do not taint the love of the LGBT community for your music by playing in Israel.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK