Press Release

(Nov. 17, 2015 - New York, NY) – A video released today features eight leading artists stating, “I endorse the cultural boycott of Israel.” The artists include Tony-nominated stage and television actress Kathleen Chalfant; musician Roger Waters, a founding member of Pink Floyd; musicians Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio; musicians Kool A.D. and Tamar-kali; artist and author of Drawing BloodMolly Crabapple; and visual artist Swoon.

The movement for a global boycott of Israel -- launched by a coalition of over 170 Palestinian trade unions, political parties and human rights groups in order to advance their movement for freedom, justice and equality -- has steadily gained support worldwide over the last decade. The video was released by Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel and is accompanied by an appeal for more cultural workers to pledge their support for the boycott of Israel.

New York, NY, November 16, 2015 – On Saturday, November 14th, nearly 400 New Yorkers packed the Verso Books Loft in DUMBO, Brooklyn, to capacity for “Palestine Calling: A Launch Party to Amplify the Cultural Boycott of Israel in NYC” (photos). The event featured rousing musical performances by eclectic artists including oud virtuoso Simon Shaheen, Suhel and Tamer Nafar of the Palestinian hip hop group DAM, Brooklyn vocalist and composer Tamar-kaliSonny Singh of Red Baraat, and Daro Behroozi of Lucky Chops. Eighty-eight artists and cultural workers at the event signed on to a New York City-focused pledge of support for the cultural boycott of Israel.

"It was really exciting to be collaborating with so many incredible musicians coming together around the common cause of justice in Palestine,” remarked Sonny Singh. “I hope this concert will inspire many other musicians and artists to join this movement for the cultural boycott of Israel."


New York, NY, October 17, 2015 – On Friday evening, 60 New York human rights advocates protested on the sidewalk outside a solo concert by Israeli singer Idan Raichel at the City Winery in Manhattan (Photos). Idan Raichel calls himself a cultural ambassador for Israel and is an outspoken and uncritical promoter of the Israeli army. Raichel’s actions support the Israeli government’s Brand Israel public relations campaign, which uses art and music to distract from Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.

August 4, New York, NY—Executives at O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine, refused yesterday to receive a small delegation of human rights advocates at O’s headquarters at the Hearst Corporation’s office in Manhattan. The delegation was bearing a letter signed by over 5600 people calling on Ms. Winfrey to publicly distance herself from the companies of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev. A worker in the Hearst Corporation mailroom told delegates he was ordered to refuse to even accept the letter detailing Leviev’s companies’ involvement in serious human rights abuses in Angola and Palestine. As a result, the visitors held a small protest, holding signs and distributing flyers to passersby in front of the Hearst Corporation’s Manhattan office.

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July 1, New York, NYIn a letter made public today, nine organizations and 34 individuals from the US, Palestine, Israel and South Africa called on Oprah Winfrey to publicly distance herself from the companies of Israel billionaire Lev Leviev. Ms. Winfrey wore Leviev diamonds on the cover of the May 2015, 15th anniversary issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. The letter detailed Leviev’s companies’ involvement in serious human rights abuses in Palestine and Angola.

On May 29, Adalah-NY emailed the letter to executives at O and the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). The letter noted, “We fear that this publicity conveys to your peers and to the public your implicit endorsement and promotion of Leviev’s companies.” Chelsea Hettrick, Communications Director at OWN, told an Adalah-NY representative that Ms. Winfrey was reviewing the letter, and that Ms. Winfrey’s team would respond soon. However, Ms. Hettrick then failed to reply to further calls and emails.

Among those who have severed ties with Leviev’s companies over their human rights abuses are UNICEF, Oxfam America, the British and Norwegian governments, and New Zealand’s pension fund.


New York, NY, April 12th, 2015 – On the evening of Sunday April 12th, 40 New York human rights advocates from Adalah-NY, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Say No,  and others protested the performance by Israeli singer Idan Raichel at the Beacon Theatre at 75th St. and Broadway. Idan Raichel calls himself a cultural ambassador for Israel and is an outspoken and uncritical supporter of the Israeli army (photos). His band, The Idan Raichel Project, is part of the Israeli government’s Brand Israel public relations campaign, which uses art and music to distract from Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.

Although he presents himself as a proponent of peace, Raichel has strong ties to the Israeli military. In his endorsement of the right-wing US organization Thank Israeli Soldiers, he said that supporting Israeli soldiers “is a fulfillment of the Jewish ideal.” Raichel performed for the army before, during, and after its August 2014 attack on Gaza, which killed over 2100 Palestinians, including 500 children. Even more recently he began his US tour by attending a gala fundraiser for Friends of IDF.

For Immediate Release:

New York, NY, March 10, 2015 - Sixty New Yorkers weathered Tuesday evening’s downpour to protest the gala fundraiser organized and hosted by US nonprofit Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) at the Waldorf Astoria. Demonstrators demanded that FIDF be stripped of its current tax-exempt status, which allows it to raise funds used to subsidize the Israeli military at the American taxpayers’ expense. Last year, the FIDF’s tax-exempt fundraising was subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of at least $20 million. Signs and pamphlets at the demonstration reminded attendees and passersby that these tax-exempt millions are not supporting a humanitarian cause, but a military force with a known record of egregious human rights abuses.

New York, NY, December 21, 2014—Forty New York human rights advocates arrived to protest Saturday afternoon at Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev’s flagship Madison Avenue diamond store and were surprised to find the store closed and the display cases completely emptied of all merchandise during the busiest shopping period of the year. The New Yorkers had gathered for the eighth consecutive year to sing parody holiday carols opposing Leviev’s companies’ construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land in violation of international law (PHOTOS).

Leaning signs against the empty store, the protesters sang what have become Adalah-NY anti-apartheid holiday classics with lines such as, “We wish you a loss of business, we wish you a loss of business, we wish you a loss of business and a poor fiscal year,” and “It’s beginning to look a lot like failure, at Leviev’s store.”

Hannah Mermelstein from Adalah-NY commented, “Leviev’s billions have come from exploiting Palestinian and Angolan communities. So today we celebrate because it seems our years of holiday wishes have come true: Leviev’s store is empty.”

November 19, New York, NY –  Demonstrators protesting the performance of Israeli musician Idan Raichel overflowed police barricades in front of Symphony Space Tuesday evening (PHOTOS). With creative signs, songs, poetry, dance and hip-hop performances, over 60 New Yorkers braved the sub-freezing temperatures to highlight the contradiction between Raichel’s self-image as a representative of a “tolerant, multi-ethnic Israel” and his role as a cultural ambassador for Israel and its brutal policies toward Palestinians.

Raichel’s image as a musician who crosses cultural boundaries has made him an important cultural ambassador for Israel in its rebranding campaign. Israeli Foreign Ministry official Andy David said of Raichel: “I think Idan is maybe the best ambassador that Israel has through his music and his inclusiveness.” Raichel has affirmed his role in drumming up support for the Israeli government, saying, “I believe that our role as artists is to enlist in the Israeli propaganda campaign [Hasbara].”