Thousands call on Christina Aguilera to cancel Israel concert – Mondoweiss


Thousands are calling on Christina Aguilera to cancel upcoming concert in Tel Aviv. The Grammy Award-winning singer plans to play her first show in the country on August 10th.

On July 28 activists dropped off an Adalah Justice Project petition to Aguilera’s management agency, Roc Nation, calling on her to honor the call from Palestinian civil society groups who have asked artists to refrain from playing Israel until it abides by international law.

“From featuring queer and trans people in your music videos, to fighting for marriage equality – we know you value using your platform to uplift others and challenge the status quo,” reads the petition. “Whatever the intentions may be, this performance will be promoted as an endorsement of the Israeli government and a blow to the Palestinian-led freedom movement. It will be seen as tacitly condoning the violence and oppression the Israeli government commits against Palestinians every day.” 

“Boycott is a proven peaceful tactic that was famously used by peoples struggling for freedom in the U.S. civil rights movement,” it continues. “In the fight against apartheid South Africa, a cultural boycott by international artists was particularly powerful and played a large role in the freedom struggle.”

Aguilera was greeted by Jewish Voice for Peace-New York City members at Pride event in New York City last month. “Artists have the power to amplify Palestinian’s calls for freedom by refusing to play,” wrote the group on Instagram. “We can’t let them be used as props by Israel’s anti-BDS propaganda.”

Across Twitter fans have been attempting to pressure Aguilera with the hashtag #XtinaDontGo.

Pro-Israel organizations and outlets have expressed support for the concert. “Can’t wait for Christina Aguilera to experience Israel when she performs her first concert in Tel Aviv next month,” tweeted Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “Thank you..for not giving in to hateful anti-Israel BDS campaigns. Music can play a special role in bringing people together. It’s going to be #Beautiful.”

In recent years number of musicians have backed out of shows in Israel, including Lorde, Lana Del Rey, and Big Thief. In May Sam Smith canceled their show in Tel Aviv. The English singer cited “unforeseen technical and logistical problems,” but they had been pressured by Palestine activists to skip the concert. More than 11,000 also signed that petition.

“When an eminent artist like Christina Aguilera opts to cancel a scheduled performance, it commands attention in the news cycle unlike many other expressions of solidarity,” Adalah Justice Project Executive Director Sandra Tamari told Mondoweiss. “Such an action disrupts the prevailing narrative of Israeli innocence and amplifies the influence and outreach of long-standing grassroots efforts advocating for Palestinian freedom.”

The Aguilera petition references recent human rights abuses carried out by Israel, including the invasion of Jenin refugee camp in which 12 Palestinians were killed and more than 120 were injured.

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