Palestinian and Jewish activists call on musician and social justice activist Xavier Rudd to cancel concerts in Israel

Xavier Rudd
Tom Anderson

Australian Palestinian and Jewish activists have called on singer and songwriter Xavier Rudd to cancel his planned concert in Israel:

We are Australians, some of Palestinian background, some Jewish, and all for universal and equal human rights, who support the Palestinian call for artists, sportspeople, and others to boycott Israel until indigenous Palestinians win back their equal human rights, rights denied them since 1948 when the new Israeli state used military force and terror to expel 700,000 Palestinians, and have denied them the right to return or redress ever since.

We see that you intend to perform two concerts in Binyamina in Israel in July. We ask you to reconsider this in the light of the increasingly well-known and well-supported boycott that began in 2005.

Rudd is planning two concerts in Israel on 8 and 9 July.

Don’t play apartheid Israel

Palestinians are calling on artists not to play concerts in Israel. The Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott Initiative (PACBI), tweeted in support of the call:

Human rights activists urge singer-songwriter , who has supported the First Nations people in Australia, to stand in solidarity with the indigenous Palestinian people and cancel his shows in apartheid Israel.

According to the Palestinian BDS Movement website:

When international artists perform at Israeli cultural venues and institutions, they help to create the false impression that Israel is a “normal” country like any other. The absolute majority of Palestinian writers, artists and cultural centres have endorsed the cultural boycott of Israel, and there is a growing number of anti-colonial Israelis who support BDS, including the cultural boycott of Israel.

Support for the struggle of First Nations people in Australia

Xavier Rudd has long been a passionate advocate for First Nations people in Australia. Rudd’s great-grandmother had Aboriginal heritage and he has been adopted into an Aboriginal nation in Arnhem Land. In one of his most popular songs Rudd wrote:

Soldier on soldier on my good country man.

Keep fighting for your culture now, keep fighting for your land.

I know its been thousands of years and I feel your hurt and I know its wrong

And you feel you’ve been chained and broken and burned

And those beautiful old people, those wise old souls have been ground down for far too long

By that spineless man, that greedy man

That heartless man, deceiving man.

That government hand taking blood and land, taking blood and land and still they can

But your dreaming and your warrior spirit lives on.

First Nations people in Australia and Palestinians have suffered many of the same oppressions

The Canary contacted Xavier Rudd for a comment about the call for the concert to be cancelled but had not received a reply at the time of writing. We hope he does get in touch.

Both Palestinians and First Nations people in Australia have suffered expulsion from their lands, massacres and mass imprisonment at the hands of colonisers. We hope that Xavier Rudd chooses to stand with Palestine, as he has stood against oppression elsewhere, and heeds the call not to play in Israel until Palestinians achieve justice.

Featured image via Robert Brink/Wikimedia Commons


Get involved

  • Contact Xavier Rudd and ask him to heed BDS Australia’s call
  • Read more about the call for a cultural boycott of Israel

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