talibBrook­lyn rap­per and act­iv­ist Talib Kewli who is well known for his col­lab­or­a­tion with Mos Def as Black Star has become the latest vic­tim of the anti-BDS move­ment with hunt.

The artist dir­ect­or of the Open Source Fest­iv­al Phil­ipp Maiburg wrote to Talib ask­ing him to denounce the Boy­cott, Divest and Sanc­tions (BDS) move­ment so that he would be allowed to per­form at the fest­iv­al. This fol­lowed newly stated Ger­man laws which depic­ted the BDS move­ment inac­cur­ately as “anti­semit­ic”. The let­ter read, “As we are also work­ing with pub­lic fund­ing we have no oth­er choice than to ask you for an offi­cial state­ment con­cern­ing your pos­i­tion towards the BDS,” an email from the dir­ect­or read”. Under this new law (the first one to be passed in Europe) any pro­jects sup­port­ing BDS will not receive pub­lic fund­ing.

Talib’s hon­est and sin­cere reply to this let­ter must have been unex­pec­ted. He wrote, “By lying and say­ing that BDS is an anti-Semit­ic move­ment, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment is enga­ging in fas­cism and doing a dis­ser­vice to the Ger­man people. Boy­cot­ting, Divest­ing and Sanc­tion­ing are peace­ful solu­tions to the crisis that des­troys Palestini­ans homes and lives. It is the oppos­ite of ter­ror­ism. The ball is in your court. I would like to per­form in Ger­many, but I don’t need to. I’d rather be a decent human being and stand up for what’s right then cen­sor myself and lie about BDS for a check.” The full let­ter and response can be found on Talib Kewli’s Face­book page.

Shortly after his response, his invit­a­tion to the fest­iv­al was with­drawn.

On behalf of all solid­ar­ity act­iv­ists I would like to thank Talib Kweli for his sup­port in speak­ing out for justice and doing the right thing. For res­ist­ing peer pres­sure and big­oted char­ac­ter­iz­a­tion. The BDS move­ment calls for the boy­cott of Israel. It is inspired by the move­ment in South Africa which led to the end of the racist apartheid régime. It is a non-viol­ent and peace­ful means of res­ist­ance for Palestini­ans to fight for their right of self-determ­in­a­tion under a bru­tal occu­pa­tion.

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About Khadija Jones