Demonstrations are being held all over the world against the Israeli assault on Gaza, hear is a picture from Shibuya Tokyo.
Last fall José Gonzalez was invited to do a few shows in the middle east starting from lebanon, Beirut to Dubai and Israel.
Me and Erik were asked to come along as accompanying musicians.
Of course we said yes, we had never been to any of those countries before and felt exited to experience new cultures and places we unfortunately had seen only on the news.
The promoter from lebanon wrote in his email p.s by the way there is no war here now. I guess to assure us or perhaps break the ice.
Beirut was more intense than I had imagined, traffic was mad and food so delicious!
People we met were warm and proud of there country but tired of the wars, they seemed to have found a way to live in the chaos. Beirut made a strong impression on us and we made plans to come back some time next year.
On our short stay in Dubai we got the feeling that it was kind of like a playground for the rich.
I guess it must be the Las Vegas of the middle east.
An expanding city built in the middle of a dessert.
Of course not all people living in Dubai are wealthy. The people building all the palace hotels are most certainly underpaid and I cant imagine what its like working outside doing construction in 40°C.
We had a few friends of ours who were against us playing in Israel.
I remember I stopped buying certain fruit from Israel at one time because I was against Israeli occupation of Palestine so there reactions were not surprising to me.
I am still strongly against the war and how unfair it is. It feels upsetting to see how clearly it is a violation against human rights. But what kind of boycott is really affective?
There must be plenty of people in Israel who are opposed to the acts of their government.
After all people don't react to bands going to tour in the states just because they don't agree with the bush administration invading Iraq.
I will justify our doing a show in Israel partly because the show was part of Amnesty Internationals Small Places Tour which José mentioned during the concert.
And because I believe at least when it comes to the arts that boycott does not necessarily have to be the best option. As an artist you can always reach out and speak your mind through interviews ( I guess this depends on the country- in Chinas case it would be difficult I imagine because of censorship.) or symbolically donate your fee to amnesty or some human rights group.
Well...please read this article by Naomi Klien
These last weeks the atrocities in Gaza have escalated and everyday more innocent people are being killed. As you probably already heard from the news.
I recommend you to take a look at democracy now a people sponsored news site.