Letter to Mariza

Dear Mariza

You have an enormous talent that allows you to imprint a singular stamp on your singing. With talent comes natural public recognition. And public recognition means that millions of people follow your career and seek inspiration in your actions and words. This means, then, an added responsibility for the artist, for the fado singer.

Sophia left us these immortal verses: "We see, we hear and we read, we cannot ignore". That is the responsibility of all of us in times when so many drop their eyelids or look away.

We cannot ignore the hundreds of United Nations resolutions condemning Israel for its policy of occupation and violation of international law.

We cannot ignore positions such as that of Human Rights Watch, an international NGO based in New York, which has described the Israeli regime as apartheid.

We cannot ignore the inhuman way in which Israel is pursuing a policy of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, who are now the largest refugee community in the world.

We cannot ignore the systematic massacres of the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip with indiscriminate bombing and a blockade that turns that small territory - which the United Nations has already deemed unfit to support human life - into a ghetto that keeps two million human beings, including thousands of children, incarcerated in an open-air prison.

We cannot ignore the reports by human rights organisations of the daily violence to which Palestinian men, women and children are subjected in Israeli jails, without charge or trial and indefinitely.

We cannot ignore that even inside Israel, the Law of the Nation-State enshrines apartheid, the institutionalised form of racism, turning the Palestinians living within the borders of the State of Israel, defined by the armistice lines of 1949, into people without rights and excluded from society.

We cannot ignore that many international artists have already pledged not to perform in Israel as long as these inhumane policies remain in place.

We cannot ignore the persistent calls from Palestinians for artists to help them, including by not performing in Israel. And also from citizens of Israel who reject their government's segregationist policies and call for international artists not to perform in Israel, an apartheid country, such as the Israeli organisation Boycott!

We therefore ask you not to ignore the voices that are reaching you and to cancel the concert planned for Israel and to join all those who reject the apartheid Israeli state and all those who defend a just and peaceful solution for the Palestinian people, namely their right, equal to that of all other peoples, to have their own state, viable and sovereign, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with United Nations resolutions.

We know that this is not an easy position to adopt, given the professional pressures and the seductive behaviour of Israel, which wants to make people forget the nature of its apartheid regime, but it is a just and ethical position.

We also know that you have never lacked courage.

This is our public appeal to you.

With our best wishes,

The National Directorate of the MPPM

Lisbon, 22nd January 2022

Print Friendly, PDF & Email