Arab artists pull out from Austria’s Salam.Orient festival

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Lebanese Rapper Malikah

Arab artists, including Marwan Abado, Syrian singer Lena Chamamyan, Lebanese MC Malikah, and Palestine’s DJ Sotusura and MC Boikutt pulled out in the past two days of Austria’s Salam.Orient 2012 music festival because of sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy. Malikah justified her withdrawal by saying:

“”I cannot participate in an event sponsored by a Colonial Occupying Force, especially when the occupied subject is us!!”

With all due respect to Malikah and other Arab Artists, but their decision to pull out doesn’t add up. If you want to boycott Israel and Zionism, you boycott any event including an Israeli and not just one sponsored by Israel. The festival’s schedule clearly listed all participants, including the Israeli band Buchara Groove, so they should have all withdrawn from the start!

Added to that, if they had asked for a clarification from the organizers, they would have understood the reason behind this sponsorship. As shown below, the sponsorship came for one performance and has nothing to do with the event as a whole. In fact, the same happened in 2011 with an Indian band.

“In 2012 Vienna Acts also invited a group from Tajikistan living in Israel to present a music program called “Buchara Groove.” For this evening – and only for this performance – we asked the Embassy of Israel for financial support to cover local cost (meals and hotel) which they agreed to cover. For this reason, the logo of the Israeli embassy is displayed on our website (alongside all other sponsors). Besides this, the Embassy of Israel has no influence on the programmation or content of Salam.Orient.” [Source]

All in all, it doesn’t look like those baseless boycotts are going to end anytime soon. You’d think Arab Artists would make use of their talents to show support to Palestine through songs or plays or acts but instead they insist on doing it the wrong way.

4 thoughts on “Arab artists pull out from Austria’s Salam.Orient festival

  1. Razor

    would you imagine an American team participating in an event sponsored by Iranian embassy? under the auspices of Ahmadi Najad, Khamenei, and in memory of Khomeini? you would tell me that the US boycott makes Iran stronger, right?
    check this and read about labeling products coming from israeli settlements:

  2. Mariam

    Seriously no matter what people do when it comes to boycott against Israel, they never win. Ino there should be a minimum, no? Its sponsored by the oppressor. competing with the oppressor is maybe one thing but letting them pay to pretend they care about talents of the oppressed is a whole other. What is the most logicial way to deal with your oppressor? And speaking of Iran, the world is implementing sanctions against Iran, I’m not seeing anyone complain- rather I see them celebrating.ma3 in forget politics, the economy and livelihood of Iranians is at risk. This is a lot worse than a few artists pulling out of an event.


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