Open letter to Paul Simon

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Oslo June 27, 2011

Dear Paul Simon,

We are musicians, singers and songwriters from Norway who are deeply concerned about the situation in Palestine and Israel. The Israeli occupation is oppressing and humiliating the Palestinians on a daily basis, for example by illegal settlements, restrictions on movement (checkpoints in the West Bank), and the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem, including the demolishing of Palestinian homes.

We can see how the building of Israeli settlements and infrastructure on the West Bank is reducing the Palestinian land and dividing it into ‘bantustans’. We notice that the right-wing regime in Israel has no intention of giving up these policies, as was clearly demonstrated by Mr. Nethanyau on his recent visit to US, where he bluntly rejected President Obama’s conditions for peace.

Our simple and solemn wish is for the people of Palestine and Israel to live in peace like good neighbours. The only way to achieve this is to stop the occupation. When the occupant shows no sign of compromise or respect for UN resolutions and human rights, we see no reason for supporting it with our songs and music.

Therefore we agree with the message given to you in the letter from Professor Haim Bresheeth, Mike Cushman and Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, dated London, June 6, 2011.

Paul Simon, you have been an idol and inspiration for us, both for your songs and your social and political conscience. We appeal to you to consider this issue carefully, and as a result of that, cancel your concert in Israel in July !

Best wishes,

Ragnar Olsen, musician and songwriter

Mari Boine, singer, songwriter and musician

Morten Lorentzen, musician

Dag Kajander, composer and musician

Geirr Lystrup, musician

Sverre Kjelsberg, musician

Ole M. Olsen, musician

Erik Honoré, musician and producer

Erik Hillestad, musician and producer

Hanna Furuseth, musician

Andreas Lind-Johansen, musician

Isak Anderssen, musician and composer

Rolf Undset Aakervik, musician

Frode Larsen, musician

Frode Grøtting, musician