Thursday, August 22, 2013

  • Thursday, August 22, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the Facebook page of Salif Keita:

August 22, 2013

Dear Sacred Music Festival, Hadassah Hospital, Salif Keita fans,

On behalf of Salif Keita and the Salif Keita Global Foundation, we would like to thank you for organizing a magnificent unifying music festival, and a visit of the albinism treatment center in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Mr. Keita will not be able to attend either events because of the cancellation of his show at the Sacred Music Festival.

Although, the show was cancelled, Mr. Keita (and his foundation for albinism) would like to convey his most sincere apologies to all concerned, such as the concert organizers, the Albinism Treatment Center and especially all his wonderful and diverse fans in Israel. The reason for the cancellation is not one which was made by Mr. Keita, but by his agents who were bombarded with hundreds of threats, blackmail attempts, intimidation, social media harrassment and slander stating that Mr Keita was to perform in Israel, “not for peace, but for apartheid.”

These threats were made by a group named BDS, who also threatened to keep increasing an anti-Salif Keita campaign, which they had already started on social media, and to work diligently at ruining the reputation and career that Mr. Keita has worked 40 years to achieve not only professionally, but for human rights and albinism.

Of course, we do not agree with any of these tactics or false propaganda, but management’s concern is to protect the artist from being harmed personally and professionally. Although, we love Israel and all his fans here, and the fantastic spirit of unity of the Sacred Music Festival, as well as the important work your hospital is doing for albinism, we did not agree with the scare tactics and bullying used by BDS; therefore management decided to act cautiously when faced with an extremist group, as we believe BDS to be.

In addition, Mr. Keita is not a politician who plays for governments, but a musician who performs for his fans who are of all faiths and origins in Jerusalem. It is unfortunate that artists like him are threatened by this group who falsely claim to defend human rights, when they should take their concerns to governments or ask for support of their cause in a lawful way, and not by endangering the freedom of expression of artists, or using harassment and intimidation of artists who play for peace and for all people, in order to bring some kind of justice to the Palestinians they claim to represent.

Since Mr. Keita, during his stay and performance in Jerusalem, had planned to visit the Hadassah Hospital and albinism center, he had also planned to make a donation of certain goods to the hospital which he would still like to offer. The boxes are already in Jerusalem and were shipped for his planned visit to the hospital. The modest donation consists of about a couple of hundred new UV protected sunglasses, as well as UV protected clothing, swimgear and hats for patients with albinism.

Again, we thank you for your invitation to Jerusalem, and are deeply saddened and disappointed by the outcome of this planned performance and visit. We hope that you will receive this donation with the love it was intended to bring to the patients, as we determine a future time to be able to perform in Israel, and visit your important center for albinism and skin cancer treatment.

Sincerely,

Salif Keita and Coumba Makalou
The Salif Keita Global Foundation INC
Washington, DC
Email: skgf@salifkeita.us
Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada  thinks that Salif Keita is a liar. According to him, a letter that blasts BDS and showers praise on Israel really means "boycott." The terror apologist proposes a bizarre theory to explain both this situation and the Eric Burdon incident:
Resort to unsupported claims of “threats” and potentially defamatory statements may be a tactic that some artists resort to when they do not wish to violate the Palestinian call to boycott Israel, but do not have the courage to take a political stance.
That makes perfect sense! The artists publicly say they love Israel, that they would love to play there, that they hate being intimidated by Abunimah's BDS groupies - but privately they really hate Israel, and they choose not to play because they want to support idiots who shower them with insults and threats.

This is an example of the logic of the BDS crowd. The funny thing is that they think these cancellations are victories, because from within their own tiny bubble that are utterly unaware how normal people are disgusted by their tactics. They honestly think that artists who get hundreds of insults are on their side. Clueless.

(Meanwhile, TV chef Anthony Bourdain is coming to Israel. Let the new set of threats begin!)

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