Dear Macy Gray,
I am writing to you in the hopes you will read this. Sadly I have heard the news that you are considering canceling your concerts in Tel Aviv.
Please do not do this, it will be a tragically immoral action to take.
By doing this you will be doing the exact opposite of fighting for peace.
Israel is no Apartheid State.
Israel is the only true Democracy in the Middle-East; one in which Israeli Arabs enjoy greater freedoms than any other Muslims in the Arab world or the world in general.
There are thirteen Israeli Arab Knesset members; something that would be impossible in an apartheid state. In Israel there is no division: Arabs can live and work where they wish. One good example almost never discussed is that some of the finest and most expensive restaurants in Tel Aviv, Haifa and other cities are Arab owned and operated.
This is just one example of a minority group in Israel. Organizations like BDS do not want you to know about our Israeli Druze population. The Druze of Israel -- some of her strongest supporters -- were persecuted throughout the Arab Muslim world. They are fiercely patriotic because Israel is the first country to truly offer them equality and freedom.
Another example of why Israel is a democratic country is the newspaper Haaretz. Please read it one day. If you do, you will know immediately that an apartheid regime like that of South Africa would never have let a newspaper like Haaretz exist!
Ms. Gray, you say what my government is doing to the Palestinians is disgusting. What exactly is government doing to the Palestinians? Offering up to much peace while the Palestinian government endlessly call for my countries destruction?
Let us talk a little bit about what Israel has done for peace. Israel accepted the “Two State Solution” when she accepted the UN’s partition plan. The Arabs did not and started a war they ended up losing. Just to let you know, The Kingdom of Jordan and Egypt both occupied the Palestinian Territories of the Gaza Strip (Egypt) and the West Bank (Jordan) until they lost them in another war with Israel that they also started, in 1967.
At Camp David, President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat 97 percent of the West Bank, all of Gaza, East Jerusalem -- including the Muslim and Christian Quarters of the Old City -- and the ability for the state of Palestine to accommodate Palestinian refugees. All of this would have comprised the Independent State of Palestine.
What Israel asked of Arafat was to acknowledge an end to conflict, give up the Right of Return to Israel (which means destroying Israel) and recognize Israel as the democratic Jewish nation state. It was Arafat who said NO to Peace, and NO to Palestinian Statehood. He then continued (as has been admitted recently by HAMAS strongman Mahmoud Zahar) a war with Israel, which he called “The Second Intifada.”
You may have heard of the hideous suicide bombings which occurred in Israel during Arafat’s war: Sbarro restaurant and a night club in Tel Aviv; a huge seder celebration in Netanya. These were but a few, and hundreds of Israelis were killed in these bombings, until Israel constructed the much-maligned wall. Since the construction of that wall, there has not been another Israeli death from suicide bombing.
In 2005 Israel completely pulled her citizens out of the Gaza Strip, in the hope of creating an atmosphere encouraging peace. Ms. Gray, these people had been living in their homes for forty years or more. Israel did this with no deal, no guarantees; just the hope of creating an opportunity for Peace. That has been met with over EIGHT THOUSAND ROCKETS shot into Israel by the Palestinian Population in Gaza. Just so you know Ms. Gray these rockets are pointed at CHILDREN AND OTHER CIVILIANS.
Israel has an open Gay community, and gays have been serving in the IDF openly for years. In face, if you were a gay Palestinian you would be doing everything possible to get into Israel. We have a Gay Parade in Tel Aviv and in JERUSALEM. Could you imagine a gay parade in Mecca or Medina? Remember, Ms. Gray, Jerusalem is the Holiest City to the Jewish Nation.
The people fighting Israel and the people behind the BDS and ISM movements are virulently anti-Semitic and tragically, also racist. They propose imposing on an EIGHTY PERCENT Jewish Nation State, Arab Muslim sovereignty. That is true Apartheid. They say Israel must recognize Palestinian Arabs’ right to statehood, then they say that Israel does not have the right to exist as the Jewish Nation State.
It is members of the Palestinian Leadership, including President Mahmoud Abbas and top negotiator Saeb Erekat who have stated on several occasions that not ONE JEW WILL BE ALLOWED TO LIVE IN THE PALESTINIAN STATE. Again, that reeks of segregation, apartheid and racism.
BDS and ISM are much like the Nazi Brownshirts of the early 1930s. They are effective at spreading fear against supporters of Israel. They are even more effective at scaring people like you.
They know you cannot stop and read all the history behind this conflict (which would, of course, crush their argument). So they threaten you as the Brownshirts did in Germany, and as they do on college campuses around the United States and Europe
The Palestinian leadership and organizations like BDS and ISM are the ones responsible for the fact there still is no state called Palestine. We Israelis cannot force it on them. For them, destroying the Jewish Nation in its homeland has always been more important. They are the true supporters of apartheid
Incredibly, in a recent poll the MAJORITY of Palestinian Arabs of East Jerusalem would choose Israeli citizenship over Palestinian citizenship when the two state deal is finished! How could that be, if Israel is such a racist, apartheid state? Have a look: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/would-east-jerusalem-arabs-rather-be-citizens-of-israel-or-palestine-1.336758.
I will not threaten you, nor will I suggest that others do so. I just hope you make the right decision and come to Israel.