Dear Clive Gillinson, Sanford Weill, and all Administrative Staff and Trustees at Carnegie Hall,
We are a group of New York City-based human rights activists and artists supporting the struggle for justice, human rights, equality, and democracy in the Middle East. We are writing with respect to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s upcoming performance at Carnegie Hall.
We are writing as human rights activists and artists from North American cities that you plan to visit on your upcoming tour. Palestinian civil society has issued a call for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, modeled on the call for the boycott of apartheid South Africa. Respecting that call, we urge you to cut all ties to the Brand Israel campaign and take a stand against the Israeli government’s violations of Palestinian rights. Until you do so, we will not welcome you in our cities and will organize a boycott of your performances due to your collaboration with the Israeli state.
Strong evidence that CSI canister killed Palestinian protester Mustafa Tamimi: On December 9, 2011, in the village of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank an Israeli soldier inside an armored military jeep fired a tear gas canister at close range directly at the face of Palestinian protester Mustafa Tamimi during a protest against the expansion of Israeli settlements on Nabi Saleh’s land. Mustafa died from his wounds the next day. Protesters did not manage to collect the actual tear gas canister fired at him. However, residents of Nabi Saleh have collected samples of the types of tear gas canisters that the Israeli army uses against Nabi Saleh’s weekly protests, including the specific type of tear gas canister - same size and shape - that hit Mustafa. The type of canister that killed Mustafa can be seen in the January 11 and 13, 2012, photos below taken in Nabi Saleh by Bilal Tamimi. The canister has a headstamp on it that reads CTS. CTS stands for Combined Tactical Systems, a brand name of Combined Systems Inc., in Jamestown, PA. Adalah-NY received these photos from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.
Jayyous has some of the most fertile agricultural lands in Palestine, providing 75% of Jayyous' income and fruits and vegetables to people throughout the West Bank. Furthermore, this area is significant because it contains artesian water wells which irrigate more than 8000 dunams (approx. 1977 acres) of land planted with all types of citruses and other fruits. These wells also irrigate 120 dunams (approx. 30 acres) of greenhouses which, throughout the year, are planted with tomatoes and cucumbers. These lands and those in Qalqilya and the village of Falamya are situated on the western drainage basin, which is this biggest of drainage basins in the West Bank, containing 362 million square meters of water per year. With this taken into account, Israel’s annexation wall was built and settlements were expanded to isolate 75% of these fertile lands as well as the drainage basin, thus depriving the citizens of their lands and water. In addition to this, the settlement of Zufim was built on parts of Jayyous’s lands. Initially, 200 dunams (approx. 49 acres) of these lands were confiscated by the Israeli army under the pretext of building a military camp, but, in 1991, they were used as a site for constructing the settlement of Zufim, which itself began to expand at the expense of Jayyous' neighbouring farmland.
Below are photos of Leader Management and Development's signs in or near the West Bank settlement of Zufim. The company Leader Management and Development is owned by Lev Leviev and his brother-in-law. English translations of the signs are noted in the captions. Click on the photo to enlarge it.
Leviev’s Israeli Settlement Construction: From 1999 onward Leviev’s companies Africa Israel and Leader Management and Development have announced plans to build approximately 5000 housing units in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in violation of international law in Israeli settlements including Maale Adumim, Har Homa, Adam, Ariel, Mattityahu East and Zufim. Some of these announced construction plans were not implemented, mostly due to protests and legal challenges by Palestinian and Israeli civil society groups. Other settlements were built by Leviev’s companies with devastating impacts on Palestinian communities in the regions of Bethlehem and East Jerusalem, and in Palestinian villages like Bil’in and Jayyous. The West Bank communities of Bil’in andJayyous have become well-known worldwide for their long nonviolent campaigns of protests and legal challenges attempting to prevent the construction of Leviev’s settlements on their farmland.