Dear Renée-Claude Ménard,Date: 29 May 2012“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral” ― Paulo Freire
We were dismayed to learn that Cirque du Soleil is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv this August, after first performing in Doha in July. Doha has a rich history in welcoming and advocating arts and cultural exchange, but the choice by Cirque du Soleil to perform in Israel is tantamount to condoning the policies of an apartheid state. As people of conscience we are writing to ask you to respect the Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).
Those that live under apartheid do not have the same privileges as their occupiers. They will not be able to attend your performance due to arbitrary checkpoints; a system of discriminatory permits based on ethnicity, religion and gender; and an illegal police and military occupation . To profit from those that engender such violations with overwhelming impunity only adds insult to injury .
We note from your website that Cirque du Soleil strives to be a Global Citizen. While such intentions are to be commended, your performance in Tel Aviv will only serve to discredit your previous efforts. In fact, the irony could not be starker. Not only does Israel impose its brutal occupation on a population of over 4 million, giving them no access to citizenship or democracy, but its own Palestinian citizens are discriminated against by over 35 laws which deny them equal citizenship .
One of the strongest tools of pressure to end South African apartheid was the refusal of performance artists and other cultural ambassadors to perform there. The Palestinian Call for BDS advocates for clear action by international civil society, to affirm our opposition to practices of apartheid and our commitment to the values equality, justice and global citizenship.
In light of this letter, and other calls, such as those from the The Jordanian Popular Boycott Movement, we hope that you will reconsider your performance in Tel Aviv and join other artists who have taken a stand against apartheid .
Yours,Qatar Youth Opposed to Normalization
في ضوء ما سلف، فإننا ندعوكم لتشاركونا استنكارنا ورفضنا لزيارة السيرك لدولة الاحتلال وذلك بالتواصل بالطرق المدونة أدناه.