Zakir Hussain calls off Israel visit
By Rizwan Khatik - Sun Jun 17, 12:00 pm
Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain has called off a series of performances scheduled to be held in Israel later this month, in the wake of an appeal made by 85 artistes, writers and activists.
The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (INCACBI) had appealed to Mr. Hussain ‘as an artiste of conscience’ to cancel the scheduled performance since it would “lend a stamp of approval to Israeli policies of colonialism, apartheid and occupation.”
INCACBI has questioned Israel’s admittance into the global cultural arena when it “does not respect international law and recognise the Palestinian people’s right to freedom, equality and justice.” The forum urged him to reflect upon the “ethical implications” of performing in Israel, which would help “whitewash Israel’s practices.”
INCACBI was formed in 2010 in India, in response to the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. It contributes to international pressure on the country to abandon military aggression, legal discrimination and persecution against Palestinians.
Writer and activist Githa Hariharan, member of INCACBI, told The Hindu that Mr. Hussain calling off the tour was “great news” and that all his fans would be glad to hear. She said writer Vikas Swarup had also cancelled his visit to Israel in May for an international writers’ festival.
Thanking Mr. Hussain on their Facebook page, INCACBI said: “No artist can create or perform without paying attention to the injustice in the world around him, or the bravery of people’s struggles such as the one in Palestine. As someone who makes wonderful music, we are happy you have remembered this.”