To: John Scott,
We are Israeli citizens opposed to our government’s policies of oppression, occupation, and apartheid against the indigenous Palestinian people .
We have learned about your scheduled yoga teaching in Tel Aviv in October, and are asking you to cancel it. Here’s why:
Let us start off by saying that Tel Aviv, where your yoga workshops are about to be held, sits atop the ruins of the Palestinian villages Al Mas’udyia, al-Jammasin al-Gharbi, al-Shaykh Muwannis, Salama, and what was known as The Fisherman's Village. The inhabitants of these communities were killed or expelled during the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing that Zionist militias (later to become Israel's army) committed in 1948 . To this day millions of Palestinian refugees are denied the right to return to their homeland, while any Jew from anywhere in the world is granted not only access but citizenship .
Much like Sun City South Africa, Tel Aviv is used as a tool for marketing Israel as “cool” democracy , while at
the same time hiding this barbarous reality of colonization and ethnic cleansing.
Furthermore, In the West Bank, Israel has been employing a brutal, belligerent military regime by further expanding its colonial settlement project ; within Israel itself, Palestinian citizens are subjected to over 65 laws denying them basic equality, civil, and human rights .
As we speak, Israel commits an ongoing massacre against unarmed people of Gaza, who protest their loss of freedom and rights in a nonviolent way . Gaza is under a siege imposed by Israel, which makes them prisoners of the biggest open - air prison in the world.
About a month ago, Israeli forces bombed to the ground the Said Mish’al Center for Culture and Science in Gaza. The center was adored by Gazans and was celebrated as a place where people could express their pain, grief, happiness, and perseverance through song, dance, and theater. Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza mourned the destruction of the center, which had survived three Israeli massacres over the past decade .
In addition, Israel has just passed the “Nation State Law”, demonstraing its non-democratic apartheid nature .This law is an affront to democracy – it enshrines Jewish supremacy over Palestinian, non-Jewish citizens.
We know that yoga is a helpful tool for relieving stress. In fact, in volatile times such as these, in order to cope with the mental stress of life under political stalemate, Palestinians are increasingly turning to yoga, both in refugee camps, villages, and cities. Yoga is a way for Palestinians to find some solace in such a brutal reality . At the same time, however, coming to Israel, an apartheid state, for a yoga workshop meant for inner and outer peace, is an oxymoron.
One cannot find peace on stolen land.
One cannot find peace in bloodshed.
As Israeli citizens, we ask you not to normalize Apartheid.
Please, cancel your yoga teaching in Tel Aviv.
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within