Remind Leonard Cohen of the Nakba, say NO SHOW in Israel

Press Release

Media Contacts:

New York, NY - New York activists gathered in front of Radio City Music Hall Sunday night during a Leonard Cohen concert to call upon the singer/songwriter to cancel his scheduled September concert in Israel. The protesters sang songs, chanted, handed out leaflets to concert attendees and produced sidewalk art. The call comes in support of earlier calls by Jews, Palestinians, Israeli citizens and residents of the UK, and coincides with the publication of an open letter by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) calling for protests throughout the cities Cohen is touring.

“With the construction of the Apartheid Wall and Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands, and on the heels of the brutal Israeli attack on Gaza that killed over 1,400 Palestinians and injured 5,000 more, the Palestinian Catastrophe continues and we demand that artists start taking a courageous and principled stand by refusing to entertain occupiers and oppressors,” said Riham Barghouti, Palestinian-American activist with Adalah-NY. This week Palestinians around the world commemorate the 61st Anniversary of the Nakba of 1948, when Israeli forces expelled 800,000 Palestinians and destroyed 531 villages.

Press Release


New York, NY – Amnesty International has announced today that it will abstain from any involvement in the Leonard Cohen concert in Tel Aviv and will not be party to any fund that benefits from the concert's proceeds. A number of media accounts had reported that Amnesty International was to manage or otherwise partner in a fund created from the proceeds of Cohen’s concert in Israel that would be used to benefit Israeli and Palestinian groups. Amnesty International’s announcement today followed an international outcry over the human rights organization’s reported involvement in the Leonard Cohen concert fund, and an earlier international call for Cohen to boycott apartheid Israel.


(to the tune of "Democracy")

It's comin’ through the tears and angry shouts
From Palestinians on the ground without a house
It's comin’ from the just who realize they must
If peace shall ever come for anyone
From the victims losing homes
and white phosphorus still burning
From those children's broken bones
Hopes of refugees returning
The Boycott Call is comin'... to the USA


Tell Leonard Cohen to CANCEL HIS PERFORMANCE IN ISRAEL, following the lead of cultural figures like Bono, Bjork, Roger Waters, Jean Luc Dugard, Adrienne Rich, and others.

Place: Meet at Southeast Corner of 50th and 6th Avenue
(Across from Radio City Music Hall)

Time: 7:00 to 8:30 PM, Sunday, May 17th

This week marks the 61st anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.

For Palestinians, this is the Nakba, or catastrophe. The Nakba is not just a historical event, but an ongoing process. What began with the destruction of more than 530 Palestinian villages and the displacement of more than 800,000 Palestinians, continues today as ongoing occupation and oppression.

What can we do?

Palestinian civil society calls on ALL of us to boycott Israel until it recognizes the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with international law by ending occupation, ensuring full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and respecting and promoting Palestinian refugees' right to return to their homes. Leonard Cohen is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on September 24, 2009 despite this boycott. Israel relies on performers like Leonard Cohen to whitewash its policies in the face of a growing worldwide movement to hold Israel accountable. By performing in Israel, Cohen is legitimizing the Nakba and 61 years of oppression of the Palestinian people.

Event Location: 

Carnegie Hall
57th Street and Seventh Avenue
New York , NY

Event Date: 

Sunday, May 17, 2009 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

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