(USA Today) --Alicia Keys is being urged to cancel a July 4 concert in Tel Aviv in a petition by Palestinian-American groups signed by more than 12,000 people.
A delegation representing coalitions of more than 500 U.S. organizations, delivered the document to the New York City office of Alicia Keys' non-profit aimed at fighting HIV/AIDS, Keep a Child Alive. The petition asked Keys "to stand on the side of justice and cancel her gig in Tel Aviv, Israel," and to "join us now in the cultural boycott of Israel, and help stop entertaining apartheid."
The delegation met with staff at the organization, who explained that they were aware of the ongoing efforts to encourage Keys' cancellation. Delegates passed along materials that included details of the global boycott campaign and reports from rights organizations documenting Israel's violation of Palestinian children rights, which they confirmed was received by Peter Twyman, executive officer of Keep a Child Alive.
Keys recently told The New York Times that she planned to go ahead with the show, despite letters calling on her to cancel from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic Cultural Boycott of Israel, novelist Alice Walker, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and the Israeli group Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from Within.
Andrew Kadi of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation who delivered the petition explained, "We assume Alicia Keys wasn't familiar with Israel's abuses of Palestinian human rights, when scheduling, because her performance is legitimizing a country that systematically undermines her non-profit's mission, that 'every person has the right to health care and that all children deserve a future.' "
In response to Israel's large-scale abuses of Palestinian rights, Palestinian Civil Society launched a call for a global campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel in 2005, modeled on the call by black South Africans for a boycott of apartheid South Africa that helped bring an end to the racist system.
In response, numerous musicians, including Elvis Costello, Santana, The Pixies and others have canceled concerts or refrained from playing in Israel. In May, physicist Stephen Hawking canceled his planned participation in a conference in Israel, responding to Palestinian requests.