April 18, 2010

Gil's Israel gig has Guardian moderators working into the night

My previous post about Gil Scott Heron's planned gig in Israel drew on a Guardian article that, like the Gil Scott Heron website, didn't mention the gig at all. Many commenters have expressed dismay at Gil Scott Heron, a leading voice with Artists against Apartheid, playing the last of the colonial settler states. Of course, rising to this, there have been comments suggesting that it is perfectly appropriate for the man to play in Israel. One such came from someone called "oosdadaddy":
I am no friend of Israel. But please!!!!!

Somehow I can't imagine ardent rightwingers,Orthodox, Hassids and pro Zionists attending his concerts.....Can you?

There are a lot of Israelis Who are vehemently against Zionism and the oppression and persecution of the Palestinians. Arabs, Et al.
I'm guessing he is going over to play for those guys.

Give the guy a break.

There were and are many responses many of which, including mine, as Ilan, were deleted:

oosdaddy [yes, I spelt their name wrong] - there were many South African whites who opposed apartheid but Gil Scott Heron boycotted South Africa and called on others to do the same. Israel is worse than an apartheid state. It is a state predicated on colonial settlement, ethnic cleansing and racist laws to copper-fasten the colonial settlement and ethnic cleansing of the past and to facilitate more of the same for the future.

If you are so sure that Gil Scott Heron is going to play for anti-zionist Israelis then why has he not announced his up-coming gig in Israel on his website? I am guessing that his time with drugs and in prison has left him a little skint and that is why he feels that an offer from Israel is one he can't refuse.

Well he should refuse if he wants to be true to his anti-colonialist past and lyrics. The idea of him singing What's the word? Johannesburg in the last of the colonial settler states would be ridiculous.

Israel has been militarily unassailable for decades now (in fact pretty much since its inception) and yet its violence against natives and neighbours of Palestine has been relentless and it is intensifying. The attack on Gaza 2008/9 that the Israeli government named after a festive family game, Cast Lead, was a case in point. The war was no different from the war on Lebanon in 2006 and yet Israel was reckoned to have lost the Lebanon one whilst it is said to have won in Gaza. The reason for that is that the government didn't set any war aims in Gaza, it simply set out to kill lots of Arabs, which of course it did. In Lebanon the aim was the same but the government claimed that it was going to defeat Hizbullah, which it didn't do.

Through being treated as normal, indeed better than normal by its allies in the US and EU, Israel has now incorporated increasing violence into its guiding zionist ideology. In common with many states, the zionists used violence to secure their state. Now they secure the state to inflict the violence. The end has become the means and vice versa. And America gives Israel aid and the EU gives it preferential trade.

By playing in Israel, Gil Scott Heron will be conveying the impression that Israel is nothing like the South Africa he refused to play in. If he goes ahead with this we could see the curious spectacle of many people in the new South Africa boycotting him.

You claim you are no friend of Israel but anyone who treats this racist entity as a normal state is a friend of Israel. If Gil Scott Heron plays there, he is being a friend of Israel. That is why clear thinking anti-racists who have enjoyed Gil Scott Heron's work and his message over the years are calling on him to cancel this gig. The zios who have hired him will probably sue him but then he could do fund-raisers for himself and get a hero's welcome worldwide for re-joining the anti-racist camp.

Anyway, please check out the link and ask yourself why the Israel performance in May 2010 is missing from a list that runs from April to September 2010. He is showing one shred of decency; he is ashamed, as well he might be.

I have now reposted the comment with the following intro:
I wish the mods would explain why so many comments have been deleted. Many that have now gone don't look so different from those that have remained. Also it would be nice if the mods could say whether they deleted comments on their own initiative or if they received a complaint and, if so, under which heading.
I really don't know what it was that fell foul of the Guardian's "community standards". Does anyone?

Still, it is good to see so many people expressing their displeasure at Gil Scott Heron's planned gig in Israel. As I said, it received no mention in the Guardian article and it is missing from his website. He clearly doesn't want any discussion of his normalising visit to Tel Aviv but maybe ways could be found to let him know that anti-racists are not best pleased.

Another commenter called Filthyphil left what might be some useful info:

Maybe the best way to stop this madness would be to try to get in touch with him. The following details are on the sleeve notes on I'm new here.'

Contact Gil Scott-Heron:

Brouhaha Music Ltd
238 East 112 Street
Suite A
New York, N.Y. 10029
(212) 828 8746
(917) 508 6246

Not sure if it's any use but worth a try all the same. Could also post on his blog too.

It might be worth dropping him or someone connected to him a line.

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