If the recent bombardment of Gaza by Israel in the ominously named Operation Pillar of Cloud has confirmed anything, it’s that solidarity is sorely needed, perhaps now more than ever. In the wake of these attacks and the World Social Forum-Free Palestine, recently held in Porto Alegre from November 28th-December 1st, Punks Against Apartheid wishes to answer the call to intensify BDS campaigns worldwide and redouble its commitment to solidarity with the people of Palestine.
As always, we heard the same tired and offensive script about a “two-sided conflict” as the fourth largest military on the planet did their best to lay waste to the world’s largest open-air prison. We heard so much empty twaddle about the Palestinians’ need to “renounce violence” while little pressure was placed on Israel to do anything of the sort. And even now, when the final count of deaths is shamefully lopsided (160 Palestinians, 6 Israelis) we hear close to nothing about holding Israel’s system of apartheid and occupation accountable.
We’re also aware that in the weeks since the declaration of this recent cease-fire (a cease-fire Israel has already broken several times) there have been some significant developments in the Palestinian struggle, and in particular the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel, beyond Abbas’s last-ditch effort to regain legitimacy with his contentious statehood bid.
From the endorsement of BDS by the world’s largest body of public sector unions to Stevie Wonder’s announcement that he would not play the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces gala in Los Angeles, to the University of Oslo’s canceling of its contract with Israeli prison security firm G4S, BDS is continuing to gain ground and generalise the Palestinian struggle worldwide. In the coming months, we will be answering the call to intensify boycott activities by setting up fundraisers featuring local and regional punk bands for the people of Palestine, building even more links between punk groups and the Palestine solidarity movement. But even more importantly, in the true rebel music spirit, we’d like to announce Punks Against Apartheid’s newest and most exciting adventure: releasing our very first music compilation for digital download!
For the price of a beer, or maybe a few, you’ll be able to purchase an online album featuring songs from punk, hardcore and ska groups who are supportive of the Palestinian struggle and the cultural boycott of Israel. All proceeds will go to benefit to-be-determined Palestinian groups fighting for a free Palestine.
If you are interested in contributing to our comp, send us a line. We want to take the cultural boycott beyond the big names, forge links and build bridges too freaky and too militant for their tastes! And our message: decolonize everything, end all apartheids, and free Palestine!
And let’s not forget that the momentum the worldwide solidarity movement is gaining becomes especially poignant as winter closes in, and announcements about summer festival seasons soon start poking their head out. As much as the big names don’t really tickle our fancy, we will not stop TP-ing their reputation and egging their proverbial status until they join the side of justice. What makes this coming music fest season particularly terrifying is that Lollapalooza, one of North America’s largest musical shit-shows, will also be holding a version in Tel Aviv! Perry Farrell, a dyed-in-the-wool Zionist who has raised large sums of the money for the IDF himself, is positively over the moon about delivering Lolla’s cultural cache to the world’s last legal apartheid state.
Rubbing salt in the open wound is the fact that the Tel Aviv Lolla will be held in Yarkon Park, which is built on the ruins of the Palestinian village of Jarisha. We must ensure that the campaigns to pressure bands not to play at Lollapalooza are impossible to ignore. We at PAA will do everything we can to be a part of that. We’re not going away anytime soon–that’s for damned sure.
There’s much work to be done, and the stakes are arguably as high as they’ve ever been. And so, for that matter, are the opportunities to bring Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian front-and-center. We write to you all with loving rage to say that we intend to dive in head first. And we intend to get it done in the only way that we know how: loud and brash and shameless!
Fuck the haters, fuck the state, up the punx and viva Palestina!