Gabor Maté urges Imagine Dragons to cancel apartheid Israel show


Dr. Gabor Maté has joined thousands of people in calling on Imagine Dragons to cancel their show in Tel Aviv, scheduled to take place Tuesday next week.

The Canadian physician, author and public speaker said, “I respectfully urge the progressive and humane-minded artists Imagine Dragons to stand by their principles and support both Palestinians and courageous Israelis by not performing in this apartheid country.”

Maté, a Holocaust survivor, known for his work on trauma, ADHD and addiction, added, “I have personally witnessed the depredations of Israel’s apartheid regime: and apartheid is precisely what international and Israeli human rights organizations have called it.”

Thousands of people have contacted the group through an email tool by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Adalah Justice Project that says, “Imagine Dragons has used its music to support human rights in the past, advocating for refugees and the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Another petition by the US-based Jewish Voice for Peace says the group is “currently set to play in Tel Aviv in a venue built on the ruins of the Palestinian village of Jarisha, which was destroyed by Israel.” The letter also argues that, “Palestinians are routinely denied their basic human rights under Israel’s illegal military occupation simply because they’re Palestinian.”

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a founding member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, also called on the group to cancel: “Palestinians recognize and applaud Imagine Dragons’ vocal advocacy for the rights of LGBTQ+ people. At the same time we deeply appreciate the many queer artists and allies who have supported our peaceful movement, including opposing Israel’s pinkwashing.”

Using the hashtag #ImagineEndingApartheid, fans of Imagine Dragons have been calling on the group to cancel the show. In a video posted by the BDS movement, a fan named Fatima said, “I urge you to join thousands of artists around the world who raised their voice and refused to perform at Israeli venues that are complicit in the oppression of Palestinians.”

The letter from the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Adalah Justice Project adds: “the band has the opportunity to stand on the right side of history by supporting Palestinian human rights.”

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