Peace activists sent protests to the office of artist Arkadi Duchin, calling upon him to cancel a performance tomorrow at a West Bank settlement.
Gush Shalom: performing at a settlement is not an artistic act but a political one
Tel Aviv area residents who contacted Gush Shalom said that they had sent messages of protest to the office of the well-known artist Arkadi Duchin, of whose music they are fond, and called upon him to cancel his scheduled appearance tomorrow at the Yellow Hill in the Gush Etzion settlements on the West Bank. Settlers there issued an invitation to "come and hear Arkadi Duchin in a refreshing summer concert."
The Gush Shalom movement says that the continuing phenomenon of artists performing in the settlements for monetary gain is a badge of infamy. "We have no problems with such artists as Ariel Zilber, who is an outspoken supporter of the extreme right and for whom settlements are his home grounds. Tel Avivians still deciding to go to Silber's performances or buy his CD know exactly with whom they are dealing. We have a serious contention with Arkady Duchin and several other artists, who display a moderate image to the general public, who do not express a clear political position but who do appear in the settlements in return for substantial payments.
It is important to emphasize that a performance at the settlements is not a neutral artistic event - a performance in a settlement means taking a political stand in the main political controversy which splits the Israeli society for more than forty years. It is an act of support and legitimacy to a phenomenon which the entire world regards as a phenomenon in blunt violation of International Law, and which many Israelis see as a threat to their future and the main obstacle to peace. It cannot be expected that an artist such Arkadi Duchin could go on appearing in the settlements without having to pay a price for it among peace seekers in Israel.
Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson 054-2340749
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