In 2011, Shakira defied appeals to honor BDS & went with her boyfriend soccer star Gerard Pique to attend the annual Israeli President’s Conference hosted by now deceased Shimon Peres. It was the conference Stephen Hawking pulled out of in 2013 in respect for the cultural boycott of Israel. Shakira, sharing the podium with Peres, opened the conference with a speech against inequality, segregation, & advocating for children, seemingly heedless of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli apartheid & genocide. Later she met with a group of Israeli & Palestinian children in one of those phony multicultural dog & pony shows that Israel puts on. She was scheduled to perform in Israel this July but has just cancelled after many appeals from BDS, including a moving open letter from Great Return March organizers, Palestinian trade unions, university teachers, students, & other organizations. Her booking company did not cite BDS & promised she will perform later in Israel but certainly the slaughter of unarmed Palestinians, including young children, at the Great Return March must have shaken her commitment to Israel. There is no indication she is so corrupt as to turn her back on massacres but she certainly must be educated on how Israel is playing her to promote apartheid & genocide.
The Irish opera star Celine Byrne performed in Israel in January of this year & was scheduled to perform at a May 13th event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel (on the expulsion of nearly a million Palestinians from their homeland) but she also cancelled due to the criticism she received for performing in January. Byrne doesn’t seem to get it when it comes to honoring BDS but it is the purpose of the movement to educate performers about how apartheid Israel, as apartheid South Africa did, uses culture to legitimize the expropriation & genocide of Palestinians. It’s not too late for Byrne to learn.
Two open letters from Palestinians to Shakira:http://www.palestinechronicle.com/open-letter-from-gaza-to-shakira-hear-our-call-from-gaza/
(Photo is from 2011 President’s conference in Israel)