Dame Kiri asked to boycott Israel

March 29, 2011 Agencies
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New Zealand’s iconic opera diva Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, has ignored a request to cancel an upcoming visit to Israel.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Global Peace and Justice Auckland have called on the star to abandon plans to sing at the Israel Festival in late May.

The call has been made in support of the growing international BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign against Israeli apartheid.

In a media release, spokesperson John Minto said

“We have asked her to support the boycott and its aims of

·       Ending Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of the Gaza strip

·       Ending the building of illegal, exclusive Jewish settlements on Palestinian land

·       Allowing the return of Palestinian refugees to their land and homes in Israel


By going to Israel in the face of a call by Palestinians for a comprehensive boycott Kiri Te Kanawa would be turning her back on the Palestinian struggle while giving comfort to Israeli apartheid and its brutal military occupation of Palestinian land.

Letter sent to Kiri Te Kanawa on 27 February 2011

Kia ora Kiri,

Request to reconsider plans to perform in Israel

I’m writing to request you reconsider your plans to sing at the Israel Festival (23 May to 1 June) this year.

For the past five years Palestinian groups representing all aspects of Palestinian society have been calling for the international community to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign against Israel as the best way to support the struggle for Palestinian human rights.

An important part of the BDS campaign is the cultural boycott of Israel and here is where your position is so important. Your support for the boycott would be welcomed by Palestinians who suffer under a brutal Israeli military occupation. It will also help Israel to understand it cannot violate international law with impunity and must treat Palestinians as they would themselves wish to be treated.

The Israeli invasion of Gaza in December 2008 where 1400 Palestinians were killed and the attack on the aid vessel Mavi Mamara last year are just the latest outrages by the Israeli state which the BDS campaign aims to counter.

We appeal to you as a New Zealander to join the boycott of Israel for the same reasons you supported the boycott of apartheid South Africa. I should point out that Bishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela are strong supporters of the BDS campaign for the same reasons they appealed to the world to boycott South Africa.

As far back as 1989 South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu said “if you change the names, the description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank would be a description of what is happening in South Africa.”

Increasing numbers of international performers support the boycott of Israel and we’d like to think New Zealanders would once again be at the forefront of a human rights struggle.

If you would like more information please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Minto added that Dame Kiri is yet to reply to the request which was sent almost a month ago


5 Responses to “Dame Kiri asked to boycott Israel”
  1. Lorraine Fox says:

    I am so pleased that Dame Kiri has not responded to the request to boycott Israel. I hope that she fulfills her promise to perform in Israel. I so enjoyed her when she performed in California and would welcome her most heartily should she come again. The Palestinians need to come to the negotiating table and negotiate in good faith. So far beginning with Yasser Arafat, they have not.

  2. Ariely says:

    The so called human rights protectors don’t protect 21 century vales!
    They support movements that fight against all the values they pretend to defend

    They are silent when Islamists are denying:

    Women equality–human rights–religious freedom–democracy
    However they are practicing:
    hate teaching in schools and children garden–genocide preaching in Mosques and TV—indiscriminately targeting civilians—chasing Christians-slavery on Sudan and Golf states

    And don’t blame:
    1:Muslim brotherhood speech saying:
    ‘Hitler didn’t finish the jog—The Muslims will finish the job”
    2:Hamas charter:
    The day of judgment will not come until Moslems fight killing the Jews.
    The stones and trees will say O MOSLEM, THERE IS A JEW BEHIND ME, KILL HIM
    3: “Hiding among civilians prevents armies with western values the ability to fight.We impose a new non conventional equation in wars”
    Said by Hamas leader Khalid Mash’al on Al-Jazeera.

    They should should support the following values.
    Unfortunately they support the values described in my nest comment:
    Israel values and practice are based on the independence declaration stating:
    *will promote the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants;
    *will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace taught by the Hebrew Prophets;
    *will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex;
    * will guarantee full freedom of conscience, worship, education and culture;
    * will safeguard the sanctity and inviolability of the shrines and Holy Places of all religions

    Despite non stop wars, terror attacks, boycodes and dehumanization Israel has to phase for more than 65 years –Israel still hopes that those values will be achieved one day

  3. Ricardo says:

    There is no Israeli Apartheid .

  4. Robert Hyde says:

    Dear loved ones,

    I hate being angry… its such a useless waste of time and resources. Its like misguided fiery energy… but it is where I am at right now… sad and angry.

    I work with teenagers. I have a business called “Thrive” where I coach and give workshops. In brief its training kids to find their passion, pushing them to step up – be their best and contribute to their world. I love what I do, and I love the kids I work with.

    Tonight I gave a workshop to the most amazing group of kids who I have been working with for 2 months now. They are just fabulous.
    But tonight was not any night for these Israeli / American kids – because today there was another terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
    Monica, Shira and Arielle are only 15, they are gorgeous and funny and so easily excited about everything…they are like 15 year old girls everywhere, but tonight they walked into my workshop whispering about how many wars they had been through in their short lives.

    I had to double take… “How many wars??” was that a serious question?

    I was so caught up in my own stuff today… my husband was not even 200 meters from the blast. He is fine. I selfishly thank god that it wasn’t Saul… I wonder if there is a wife out there who is now crying the tears that I am not?

    I guess at 32 I have no more perspective than these kids, I feel what these 15 year olds were wondering about…does rockets in Beersheva and bombs again in Jerusalem mean that we are in for another round of never ending fear…another war?
    I’ve been married 8 years and Saul and I have gone through 3 wars together. Three emergency call ups, three scary goodbyes…three not knowings…

    Last week a magnificent family was stabbed to death in their beds. Ruti and Udi Fogel, their 3 month old baby Hadas, and their 11 and 4 year old sons Elad and Yoav. They were found by their 12 year old daughter who came home from an evening with friends, only to find her two year old brother screaming for his mom and dad to wake up, her 8 year old brother shaking in his bed…and blood everywhere. 5 slaughtered to death, three little children now orphans.

    The world essentially dismissed them as “settlers” their blood worth nothing.
    But I have heard the stories about this family…they were exceptional people. They were educated, they believed deeply in God, they were so kind, they contributed to the world with goodness in deed and spirit…they were a mommy and a daddy and three tiny innocent little children. They had every right and reason to live…and no reason whatsoever to be so brutally murdered.

    The Palestinian government sort of condemned the act… but made sure to blame it ultimately on the ‘occupation”
    The settlements and so called occupation are not reasons…of this I am now convinced… they are excuses.
    Devilish excuses for allowing evil to truly exist and flourish in this world.

    Don’t mistake me, I don’t hate the Palestinians or the Arab world. And I know that some are very good people. I try hard to be as kind as Anne Frank and believe that at heart all men are truly good.

    But tonight I am angry because I am not sure.

    There is an evil, rotten to its core brewing amongst Islamic fundamentalism. There is a whole fraction of a society being educated to hate and to kill mercilessly. And the western world is funding and supporting it.

    Nothing justifies the kind of murder and violence we are experiencing.

    I have a friend Caryn, who wrote a blog whereby she compared suicide bombers, with Israeli soldiers standing at checkpoints – not allowing Palestinians who were sick to get through to medical care, and concluded that both were bad, both causing each other. A Cycle of hate –as they say.

    The problem is this. I have a husband that has stood at those checkpoints. I have heard his stories. Stories such as receiving intelligence warnings, that a lady will pose as being in labor, but really she is strapped to her stomach with bombs, and that the soldiers need to search every woman who comes through the checkpoint in labor.
    Saul came across a pregnant woman in labor that day.

    What would you do?

    And don’t call him evil, don’t you dare try to compare him to a suicide bomber or try to tell me that he caused suicide bombers to come into existence. He is a great man. He is funny, he loves his kids, he loves me. He is ambitious, he is spiritual, he works hard, he loves to joke and laugh, he loves to run and was collecting his things for the Jerusalem marathon scheduled for Friday when he, by the grace of god, missed being blown into a zillion pieces.

    We are not the same…and don’t anyone dare compare us.

    We are not hateful.

    We do not wish them death.

    I have a group of 15 year olds that show up every week to learn about being good people, about making the best of their lives, raising their standards, contributing to the world. These are great kids.
    Don’t give them the injustice of comparing them to part of a society whereby their government actively funds the families of so called “Martyrs” if they are skilled enough to kill as many Israelis as possible.
    Don’t compare them to a people which teach their children that the highest form of service to God is the killing of Jews.
    Don’t compare them to children who are sadly taught to hate.

    These kids are not hateful.

    They like me are angry and sad…and scared. Because once again we feel the threat of evil.
    And that is what it is – evil.

    And we don’t know what to do about it, how to treat it, how to fight it or stand against it.
    At some point our sons, husbands and brothers may be called to go and fight it…again – and they will, because we defend good and refuse to be governed and made fearful by evil.

    But…We hurt because we are taught to love …

    We hurt because we are taught about the importance of doing good and seeking good.

    We hurt because we believe that meaning is found only in our contributions to this world

    Given what we are taught and that which we believe, when confronted with such hatred how do we take a stand and demand that this cannot be allowed to thrive and flourish, how do we say ‘no more’?

    So for now we are just sad and angry…wanting so badly to be neither of these things.


  5. Rita says:

    1. Kudos to Dame Kiri –

    2. “Global Peace and Justice Auckland” Is that what Hate-mongers call themselves now? Gives the words “Peace” and “Justice” quite a nasty connotation.

    3. http://www.stopbds.com/
    a link that gives some information about this despicable, hate-spreading anti-Semitic Boycott.

    4. BUY ISRAELI GOODS, they produce good quality!

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