Bassem Tamimi, father of imprisoned teen Ahed Tamimi, has called on Uruguayan singer and actress Natalia Oreiro to cancel an upcoming concert in the city of Tel Aviv.
In a letter published on the website of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign, Tamimi argued the Latin Grammy-nominated singer to cancel the concert scheduled for March 20.
Ahed Tamimi's father urges Grammy-nominated singer Natalia Oreiro 2 respect Palestinian picket line & cancel her concert in Tel Aviv. Natalia has taken a stand 4 children's rights before, shouldn't now help violate rights of Palestinian children #FreeAhed https://t.co/DDMj3zqHtM pic.twitter.com/79IL4HTOHd
— BDS Movement (@BDSmovement) February 28, 2018
Tamimi hopes Oreiro will take a stand for Palestinian children’s rights by not performing in Israel as she has taken a stand for children’s rights before, saying a performance in Tel Aviv will cover up Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights and undermine efforts to free Ahed and other imprisoned children in Israeli jails.
“I am writing you with the hope that you will cancel your concert in Tel Aviv, because it’s clear that Israel’s far-right government systematically uses performances by artists to cover up its decades-old system of military occupation and racial apartheid,” Tamimi said in the letter.
“Your concert would undermine our efforts to secure freedom for Ahed and over 300 other Palestinian children incarcerated by Israel.”
“Israel uses the presence of international artists like yourself to whitewash its human rights violations. I’ve heard that you have supported the ‘No a la Baja’ campaign in Uruguay which helped stop efforts to lower the age at which children can be imprisoned,” the letter said.
“I sincerely hope you will not now lend your voice to the propaganda efforts of Israel’s regime of oppression that incarcerates 16-years old girls like my daughter, and whose military detention centers are notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children.
— Natalia Oreiro Czech (@nataliaoreirocz) January 21, 2018
“Ms. Oreiro, my daughter was dragged from our home in the middle of the night, after her teenage cousin was shot in the head. She is facing a military trial with charges that can lead to years of unjust and inhumane incarceration. Several members of our family, including myself and her mother, have been arrested by Israel. Today, there are more than 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners. However, despite all that, I write to you full of hope.
“I hope that you too will stand up for Ahed and all Palestinian children,” the letter concluded. “I hope that at the very least you will commit to doing no harm to our popular struggle for freedom, justice, and equality,” he wrote.
Ahed Tamimi, now considered an iconic symbol for Palestinian resistance, was detained for confronting Israeli soldiers who had forced their way into her family’s yard soon after soldiers shot and critically injured her 15-year-old cousin who was hit in the face. Her trial is still ongoing.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) March 4, 2018
Tamimi’s story has garnered global attention from a number of high-profile entertainers, scholars, and civil rights icons including Sarah Silverman, Danny Glover, Rosario Dawson, and Jesse Williams among others who publicly showed support for Tamimi, while both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called for her release.
The BDS movement has frequently made calls for many artists to cancel events in Israel, to which some of the top artists, including Roger Walters, Stevie Wonder and most recently Lorde, have accepted the call.
(Wafa, PC, Social Media)