- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 30, 2013

Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple,” has urged Grammy Award-winning singer Alicia Keys to cancel her Tel Aviv performance this summer and perform in Gaza instead.

“It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists,” Miss Walker wrote in an open letter posted Wednesday on the website for an organization that calls for the “academic and cultural boycott of Israel.”

Miss Keys, who is set to visit Israel for the first time in July, is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on July 4 as a part of her European tour.

The author and activist told Miss Keys that boycotting Israeli products can act as a nonviolent protest to end an apartheid “less lethal than Israel’s against the Palestinian people.”

A boycott, she said, “is the only option left to artists who cannot bear the unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine, whose major ‘crime’ is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own.

“I have kept you in my awareness as someone of conscience and caring, especially about the children of the world. Please, if you can manage it, go to visit the children in Gaza, and sing to them of our mutual love of all children, and of their right not to be harmed simply because they exist,” Miss Walker wrote.

Miss Keys has not responded to the letter.


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