Israel boycott: ANC wants to 'engage' Black Coffee, other artists on performances

DJ Black Coffee. (Photo: Getty)
DJ Black Coffee. (Photo: Getty)

The ANC has called on artists to join its cultural boycott of Israel. The party's statement comes after popular DJ Black Coffee played in the capital Tel Aviv over the weekend. 

Record producer Nkosinathi Maphumulo, better known as Black Coffee, drew the ire of social media users after tweeting about attending a sold-out event in Israel last Friday.

The chairperson of the ANC's international relations committee, Lindiwe Zulu, said the party would be engaging with the creative sector to ensure that South Africa continued to play a critical role in helping resolve the crisis of the occupation of Palestine. 

"In solidarity with the people of Palestine, we will continue highlighting shortcomings wherever they rear their head with regard to the role of South Africans in undermining the cause of the emancipation of the people of Palestine.

"We await an opportunity to engage Black Coffee and the creative sector at large, with a view to finding each other on this and other matters, as a way of creating common cause between all South Africans in rallying behind Palestine," Zulu continued in the statement. 

The ANC has always made it clear that it stands in solidarity with the Palestinians. The party resolved at its December conference to "immediately and unconditionally" downgrade the South African embassy in Israel to a liaison office.

This a move that was questioned by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the South African Zionist Federation. The board said this was an attempt to demonise Israel, "while real human rights abuses, like those occurring in Libya, Myanmar and Syria, among others, are ignored". 

A struggle that 'mirrors our very own'

Zulu said in her statement on Tuesday that artists must appreciate the role played by the international anti-apartheid solidarity movement. 

"The peoples of Palestine are in a just cause for self-determination and we urge our artists not to form part of the normalisation of Israel's suppression of the Palestinian people in their quest for self-determination and statehood that mirrors our own very own struggle.

"The South African artistic community, having themselves experienced discrimination and oppression, must therefore continue to pledge solidarity with others who are oppressed," Zulu said. 

Black Coffee was also criticised by EFF deputy President Floyd Shivambu for travelling to Israel.

More than 15 Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured over the weekend by Israeli security forces confronting one of the largest Palestinian demonstrations along the Israel-Gaza border in recent years, Gaza medical officials said.

Read more here

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