Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ticket To Ride and response to PACBI

They're here. In my hand. I put them on the table so I could photograph them in case I'm 95 years old and I want to remember what concerts I went to in my lifetime. I just pray that I don't forget to take them out of the pile of papers I put on my desk for the shredder. That would be quite the tragedy.

And not only does my boss stress me out with her not granting me the concert day off immediately (although it does look hopefull, as she glanced at me yesterday and said she doesn't see a problem with it, but I should check with her next week), but today the PACBI (Palestine Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel) aggravated me to no end when I read in the paper today that they had asked Paul to cancel his September concert.

PACBI people - I work for peace. I put my soul into peace. To quote the wonderful Sari Nusseibeh, President of Al Quds University - "Our position is based upon the belief that it is through cooperation based on mutual respect, rather than through boycotts or discrimination, then our common goals can be achieved". Yay for him.

Let's think of things Paul can do for the sake of peace:

1. He could take 10-20% of the concert profits and hand them over to Palestinian/Israeli dialogue groups. There are tons of them, which goes to show that this is what the people really want. There's the Interfaith Encounter Association, Rabbis for Human Rights, International Committee for House Demolitions, Bereaved Parents, Combatants for Peace, Jerusalem Peacemakers, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, All Nations Cafe, Emun-Trust...and I can't think of more offhand, but this post would be too long if I list them all.

And this doesn't count all the political peace groups there are. So to "punish" the good people of this country by wishing Paul would cancel, pisses me off. No need to do that. It gets my goat. I get hearburn and palpatations.

2. He could play a smaller "unplugged"-like gig in Ramallah, where the audience will be smaller and the stage doesn't have to be so elaborate, but he'll be going to the Palestinian people. If not Ramallah, then Abu-Dis with its Al-Quds University campus might be an idea. But Ramallah is the Palestinian Tel Aviv so why not there.

3. Invite Palestinians from the West Bank to the concert. Two weeks before the concert special permits can be offered to Palestinians - for those who can afford to buy these tickets (if they're difficult to pay for on the Israeli side, it is doubley difficult on the Palestinian side).

On Paul's site there was a plea from an Israeli, on this subject, who let me quote here:

Please don't judge us from outside, it's a very easy thing to do.
No one can have an idea regarding who's right/wrong based on google ! and CNN.

Only the one who lives here (both Israelis and Arabs) know what it's like, and know all the historical events that led to this current situation.

It's a very complicated situation, and which both sides are right and at the same time wrong, and all the people suffer.

The Israel side sure has its reason for behaving like it does; we're constantly under attack, ever since 1948! Most of the wars since were arab countries attacking Israel (since the first war).

We did the best we could in order to offer peace to the Arabs, but it didn't work. When Arafat in 1999 had the chance to change history, he became afraid that he'd be murdered and backed off.

The huge difference here, from apartheid is that we merely try to protect ourselves. We don't get any pleasure from arab suffering, it's painful for us as well.
So, we should also be punished and not having the biggest rock star in the world come and visit us? why? what did the people do wrong? Every time there was a chance for peace, the Israeli people voted for it, They voted to give up our lands, now we're willing to give up the "ramat hagolan", we're always pro peace, why don't we deserve this concert? I think that we all deserve it, the Arabs deserve it as well and I wouldn't say anything if Paul has chosen to perform in gaza.

So, Paul doesn't have to boycott the concert. There are other, better options that will make everyone happier, especially me.

1 comment:

Rabbi Lars Shalom said...