The campaign continues to call on Vieux Farka Touré: DON’T PLAY IN APARTHEID ISRAEL!

In Stuttgart, Germany, on July 19, activists prepared to demonstrate outside his concert, but in the face of continuing protests, Vieux agreed to meet with them about his scheduled concert in Israel. The group also challenged his musical alliance with Israeli musician Idan Raichel, an absolute apologist for Israel’s apartheid policies.

According to their report, Touré was disturbed to learn that Raichel was not quite what he seemed. We put it to him that Raichel had strong connections to the army and supported them without compromise. We asked how it was possible to talk of music bringing people together when he supported repressive policies and actions that sowed hatred in peoples' hearts.

Touré pointed out that he was just a musician and he wanted to bring people of different backgrounds and traditions together -- that was his music and music was his life. We said we got his music, but music can sometimes seem to bring people together while actually masking a bitter reality.

But when we asked him if he or his late father would have considered playing in Apartheid South Africa, he replied "Of course, no!So we said: that is our point. Israel is not the kind of society a musician from Africa should put on his schedule.

In Europe, there were also protests at Vieux Farka Touré concerts in Grenoble, France on July 22 and in Killarney, Ireland on July 24.

In California, there were protests at 3 Vieux concerts: in San Francisco on August 16, in Sacramento on August 20 and in Los Angeles on August 22.

In its appeal to Touré, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) sums up by saying, “PACBI and the broader BDS movement, representing the absolute majority of Palestinian civil society, appeal to you to respect our struggle. We ask you to uphold our strategy of non-violent resistance and refrain from crossing a picket line called for by Palestinian society, endorsed by international organizations, and increasingly supported by progressive Israelis.”

You may read the appeal, “Vieux Farka Touré: Do not Dishonor Malian Music and Cultural Heritage by Entertaining Israeli Apartheid,” in English and French.

Other coverage from Senegal, Mali, South Africa, Berlin and Israel

Article published in Senegal covering PACBI letter

Malian website publicizes PACBI letter

South African civil society letter to Vieux in English and French

Open Letter to Vieux Farka Touré from BDS Berlin

Israeli letter to Vieux and others playing in Eilat