Palestinians call on Imagine Dragons to skip apartheid Israel concert
Palestinians are calling on Imagine Dragons to skip their August 29 concert in apartheid Tel Aviv, due to take place on the ruins of Jarisha, an ethnically cleansed Palestinian village.
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.
Sam Smith recently canceled a show at the same venue that Imagine Dragons are due to play, following appeals from Palestinian and international artists and human rights advocates. As Palestinians and allies know, there’s No Pride in Apartheid.
Aswat – Palestinian Feminist Center for Gender and Sexual Freedoms – co-founder Ghadir Shafie had said in a letter to Smith that performing in apartheid Israel, “despite intentions, helps prop up the false image of Israel as a modern, democratic society… It may sound benign, but it is what allows Israel to continue its wholesale theft of Palestinian life, land, and dignity.”
Israel’s current government is the most racist, far-right, sexist and homo- and transphobic in its history. One senior minister describes himself as a “fascist homophobe.”
Amnesty International is the latest major human rights organization to join the growing global consensus that Israel is imposing the crime against humanity of apartheid against Palestinians at home and in exile, reporting that Israel treats all Palestinians as “an inferior racial group.”
Thousands of artists have refused to be used by Israel to whitewash, or artwash its human rights violations. Many have endorsed peaceful measures of accountability.
Citing “unexpected scheduling conflicts,” Macklemore and Ryan Lewis canceled a 2017 Israeli concert after private engagement from activists, and never rescheduled.
Halsey is just one artist to have spoken up for Palestinian rights, tweeting #FreePalestine in 2021. A few years before, Soft Play and YUNGBLUD were among more than fifty musicians joining #ArtistsforPalestine, condemning war crimes and endorsing holding Israel to account.
More than 1,500 artists have joined #MusiciansForPalestine, saying that “silence is not an option” and refusing to perform at Israeli venues that are complicit in the oppression of Palestinians.
We urge Imagine Dragons to join them.