Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Macy Gray concert: they're checking race cards at the door

For background on Macy Gray's internal, and public, dilemma over whether to play in Tel Aviv, see my Mondoweiss post (for the public's opinion on the concert, see my supplementary post). 

Max Blumenthal interviewed Sa'id from Na'alin village, about whether he thinks Macy Gray should play Tel Aviv. 

The takeaway point is that Sa'id cannot attend the concert based on his ethnicity, not on his place of residence, as many would have you believe. Neighboring Jewish settlers, living in the West Bank, can attend the Macy Gray concert. Palestinians living in the West Bank cannot. That's a racist system. And Macy's part and parcel.


Anonymous said...

I"m trying to understand how Macy Gray is to blame. My knowledge of the area and geography is limited, but the video makes it sound like the problem is that Said cannot leave the area he is in, and nothing to do with anything Macy Gray is doing. Does it not make sense that she would visit such a highly populated area rather than the rural area depicted?

Samuel Nichols said...

The problem is, in fact, Israeli policy which privileges one ethno-religious group over another, all within the same territory. These policies, this system, is not Macy Gray's fault, it's Israel's fault and the fault of the international community (specifically the United States) for their failure to hold Israel accountable. Palestinians have called for the support of the international community in their struggle for freedom, and part of that call is for the boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Part of BDS is the call for musical artists to not play in Israel, until Israel's racist policies are amended. Just like in South Africa under the boycott campaign, many artists have chosen not to play Tel Aviv or Jerusalem because of the apartheid system that privileges Jews over non-Jews. Macy Gray didn't cause the system, but she is complicit by playing in Tel Aviv. The idea isn't to play in the rural area depicted, the idea is to not play in Israel. Israeli settlers living in the West Bank could attend, while Palestinians from the West Bank could not.